A double dose of Pizza with a PA

Published: October 27th, 2016

Category: Uncategorized

First-year students in the UF School for Physician Assistant Studies were treated to a double dose of Pizza with a PA in October. This series of events, sponsored by the Office of Medical Alumni Affairs, connects practicing alumni PAs with first-year PA students in an informal Q&A lunch session.

Monica Jetté, PA ’93, spoke to a group of 25 students about her many experiences working as a PA in the cardiovascular intensive care unit and her recent shift into interventional radiology at UF Health Shands Hospital. Jetté shared stories of her time as a PA student, “learning the ropes” as a PA in academic medicine, establishing herself as a vital member of the health care team, and her passion for patient care and excellence. She also shared valuable insight on communicating and engaging with patients, as well as the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Gary Sparkman, PA ’87, returned to Gainesville during UF Homecoming week to speak with a group of 30 first-year PA students about his lengthy experience as a PA in cardiothoracic surgery. Sparkman, formerly a paramedic and member of the ShandsCair flight team for more than 10 years before attending the UF School of PA Studies, was the first PA hired at North Florida Regional Medical Center. He shared stories of working in Nashville, Orlando and Vero Beach, and discussed how the profession has changed throughout his career. “For me,” Sparkman said, “being a PA is not a job — it’s a lifestyle. It’s who I am.”

The events were held in the PA classroom on the second floor of the George T. Harrell, M.D., Medical Education Building.