#WCW - Meet Kendra Medrano, PA-C

Meet Kendra Medrano, PA-C. She is current a Physician Assistant in Fort Lauderdale, Florida specializing in Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgery and Cosmetics. She graduated from Keiser University in 2015. You can follow her on Instagram at @itskendralynne and on YouTube at Kendra Lynne.

Why did you choose a career in health care?

I grew up exposed to the medical world. Both of my parents are nurses and they used to bring me to the nursing home they worked in when I was a little girl. After that, my love for the medical field in general was undeniable. I truly love helping people to the best of my abilities and seeing how happy it makes them!

Have you always wanted to work in health care?
Yes! There was one point in my life where I wanted to be an actress but that was very short-lived haha

What motivated you to become a Physician Assistants versus other careers in the medical field?
Honestly, what motivated me to become a PA was that I loved the flexibility to move in to any field at any time. I have so many interests and I didn't want to get stuck in one field as a doctor. Also, the lifestyle of a PA was more suited for me. I didn't want to spend that many years in medical school. I also wanted to be able to do more for my patients as far as diagnosing and treating and doing surgery which is why I didn't want to be a nurse. 

What were some of the biggest obstacles while you were in PA school, and how did you overcome them?
The biggest obstacles in PA school was the first year, didactic year. The beginning wasn't too bad, but once we started taking more classes at a time, we ended up having tests maybe 4 days in a row with sometimes  2 exams in one day. It was a huge struggle, but for me I used to wake up really early the morning of the test and study for the test we were having that day. Back in college I was able to pull off "all-nighters" but I wasn't physically capable of doing that anymore so I had to wake up early instead.

What advice do you give to current PA students and those that are currently applying to PA school?
The advice I give to current PA students is to try to find time for yourself and for friends and things that you enjoy doing. PA school is vigorous but every now and then you need a break for you mental, physical and spiritual health.

For those applying to PA school, they should take advantage of the time that they have before going to school! Also, prepare yourself for your interview. It is a very important part of the application processs. It could determine whether you get in or don't get in. Have an idea of what you want to say when they ask you those generic questions: "Why do you want to be a Physician Assistant?", "Why [insert school's name here]?", "What is a PA?". 
Don't be too concerned about memorizing every single word that you wrote down, but rather have major points that you are able to effectively elaborate from.

What study materials did you use to pass the PANCE? What tips would you give PA students that are currently studying for the PANCE?
The study materials I used to pace the PANCE was PANCE pearls, USMLE Step 2, the notes I took from each rotation, and did a bunch of practice questions. I also took the practice tests provided by the NCAA. 
One of my friends used Physician Assistant HIPPOPA Education and swears by it. It is a bit pricey but comes with lectures and print outs as well. She solely used this resource and passed.
Tips I would give are:
-Take it soon! The sooner you do, the more you remember from school
-Make a schedule of what you want to study and on what day
-Try to takes some breaks!
-Do as many practice questions as humanly possible 
-Drink a lot of coffee!!

What have been some of the obstacles you have encountered since practicing? What tips would you give to new graduates?
The obstacles that I have encountered since I have been practicing are mostly comments about how young I look. I don't get this too often because of my demeanor when I speak with my patients. Other obstacles was finding a job that I was interested in, in my location. Unfortunately my area is a bit over-saturated with PAs. 
Tips I would give to new graduates is to remember that you are a new graduate. You are worth a lot but sometimes your first job may not be your dream job and may not be offering you what you expect or want. On the other hand, do not take a salary that is below our average.
These jobs that may not be your dream job help you gain experience and open doors to new opportunities. 
Also, make sure you get along with your supervising physician. This is VITAL. We work as a team and having a good connection and good communication with your supervising is a very important part of practicing and learning a new field. 

What has been one of the biggest lessons you have learned since practicing?
Always check over your work, be thorough, and learn from your mistakes. Don't hold it over yourself!! Every experience is a learning experience!

Why did you chose your current specialty? Did you always know you were going to chose this specialty?

I chose my specialty because I love surgery and I love using my hands. Previously I was a hospitalist for Infectious Disease. I did that for about a year but it wasn't my ideal job. I always knew I wanted to be doing surgery

What other aspirations do you have in the future? Do you see yourself staying in ENT surgery for the long run?
I currently own my own aesthetics business doing Botox, fillers, etc and am loving that as well. I see myself staying in the surgery field in general. My long term aspiration is to have my aesthetics business as my main job and to do surgery as an independent contractor on the side! I also hope to continue inspiring and influencing people who want to go into the medical field and help in any way that I can. Being a PA is so rewarding and I love helping anyone who needs some guidance or advice.

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