Physician Assistant Alum Assists Professional Sports Teams, Teaches about PA

Midwestern University Physician Assistant Alum Stays Active in the Community.

  • AZ - Glendale
Alumni Caitlin Hall works as a PA with the AZ Diamondbacks.

Ms. Hall (second from left) was recently a part of Arizona Diamondbacks Career Day.

Midwestern University honors National Physician Assistant Week and celebrates its current program, students, and recognizes the accomplishments of our alumni. One notable Physician Assistant Studies alumna is 2016 graduate Caitlin Hall, M.M.S., a physician assistant at Banner Health. Ms. Hall is also an Adjunct Instructor at Midwestern University’s Glendale Campus.

Ms. Hall gave a recent talk at the Arizona Diamondbacks Career Day, where she spoke with about 2,000 local high school students about careers in sports medicine and her work as a physician assistant. “They knew what being a physician meant. It was a rewarding opportunity to explain to students that there are other healthcare roles they can look into,” she said.

In her career, Ms. Hall holds leadership roles within the various physician assistant groups. At Banner Health, she collaborates with the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Brewers. Ms. Hall assists the supervising team physician with the administration of physicals and attends to the players if they become injured. Ms. Hall also spoke about other aspects of her role in sports medicine. “We provide high school participation physicals to 20 local high schools, as well as Saturday morning clinics for athletes who may have been injured during Friday night games,” she said, and added she also works with elderly patients who become injured playing sports such as pickleball and golf.

Ms. Hall said, “I think the PA role is vital to making sure the patient gets good clinical care. Being a PA is a very rewarding career. I enjoy the ability to practice medicine and educate students. I’ve had the ability to grow significantly and learn constantly from the supervising physician and the healthcare team. I enjoy the flexibility and autonomy that I’ve had practicing as a PA. In healthcare today, taking care of a patient truly does require a team for the patient to get proper care. We make sure patients receive what they need as far as required testing, appropriate treatment plans, and patient education, which is a big part of my role as PA. The PA sits down and educates people on diagnosis and treatment plan.” She also shared some of her experiences as a PA that were meaningful to her. “When kids come in and they’re injured and can’t play sports, they feel their whole world is upside down,” Ms. Hall said, adding helping the kids with operations and getting them physical therapy in order for them to return to playing sports is rewarding.

Alumni Caitlin Hall works at Banner Health.
2016 graduate Ms. Hall is a physician assistant at Banner Health.

Ms. Hall is also proud of continuing to be involved in education. She works with students from Midwestern University, Creighton University, and Northern Arizona University during their clinical rotations. “Teaching the next generation of clinicians is probably the most rewarding part of my job,” Ms. Hall said. Currently, she is an adjunct instructor in Midwestern University’s PA program, where her duties involve the clinical skills lab, helping with simulation labs, proctoring physical exam testing labs, and teaching orthopedics, suturing, casting, and splinting.

In addition, Ms. Hall is in the process of writing and publishing her second paper on a case study of a cocci (fungal) infection of the shoulder joint. She published her first paper about reverse total shoulder arthroplasty (procedure to restore joint functionality) with James Stoehr, Ph.D., Professor, Physician Assistant Program, College of Health Sciences (CHS), Glendale Campus.

Reflecting on her experience as a student at Midwestern University, she said, “My time at Midwestern University was everything. I was involved in the Sports Medicine Club.” She said this experience was important prior to starting her job and allowed her to collaborate with the osteopathic medicine students. “The PA program prepared me very well for my career after school. The program focuses on professionalism, and inspired me to work partly in education, with the importance of teaching next generation.”

Ms. Hall also shared her decision process in choosing to study at Midwestern University. “I was very lucky I got to interview at several PA programs. When I came to campus, I knew that’s where I wanted to go. Everyone was so kind, so welcoming. The campus itself was impressive. Midwestern University focused on interdisciplinary education.” She reminisced about sharing several classes with physical therapy students and the osteopathic medicine students helping with anatomy labs. “You’re plugged in on campus, you’re not separated to your one program.”

She also offered advice to current PA students. “When you are in PA school, if there’s a subspeciality you think you like, such as sports medicine, get involved. See if it’s something you want to do. Make the most of elective rotation, networking, getting to know people, shadowing people in the subspeciality, and doing your elective rotations in those subspecialties.”

As for future career plans, Ms. Hall is very happy at Banner Health. “I love my current job and position, and I will continue to be an adjunct faculty member with Midwestern University.”

An education at Midwestern University offers students a plethora of future career possibilities, and the Physician Assistant Program provides a wide range of options for graduates. The Physician Assistant Program is offered in Downers Grove and Glendale.

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