Master of Science in Anesthesia

Student Profiles


Tyra Jenkins
Tyra Jenkins
Hometown: Saint Louis, MO
Class of 2020
College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Saint Louis (UMSL)
Undergraduate Major: Biology (pre-med)
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

I chose to attend UMKC School of Medicine once I discovered there was an MSA program. I already attended a school in the UM system for undergrad so I knew this would be a great transition. This school was also the closest to home and affordable for residents and non-residents. Having a small class size was also very attractive considering I learn well in smaller classroom environments, which I got to experience as a student of the UMSL Pierre Laclede Honors College. With a smaller class size, it allows for more one-on-one assistance. After doing further research into the MSA program I found that they had a 100% job placement and 100% first-time pass on the certifying exam which caused me to solidify my decision to attend UMKC School of Medicine.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

Being a professional graduate student at UMKC has given me a chance to experience having really invested professors in my future that want to see me excel. Having the opportunity to work in the simulation lab and work through real life scenarios that we may encounter as health care providers has been very beneficial and exciting. Having the opportunity to start being in the operating room within the first two months of starting the program eventually helps with overcoming the fear of being new in the operating room before actually starting your clinical rotations. Also having multiple resources along with the faculty, professors, and classmates available to help you along the way makes the experience at UMKC more enjoyable.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

I chose to become an Anesthesiologist Assistant because I love medicine and being in the heath care field. Being an Anesthesiologist Assistant is a very lucrative profession with many valuable opportunities to work in different places. Becoming an Anesthesiologist Assistant is very rewarding because it consists of a team of people that come together to make the best decisions for their patients.



Micky Belay
Micky Belay
Hometown: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Class of 2021
College/University Attended: St. Cloud State University
Undergraduate Major: Biotechnology
 Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

As a typical adult who was looking for a career change, I searched extensively to find which school could get me where I wanted to go. Additionally, I was looking for a school suitable to accommodate me throughout my graduate school experience. UMKC stood out to be one of the best schools that offers an MSA program, while also having a welcoming and diverse campus. UMKC has an outstanding reputation when it comes to retention rate, in addition to 100% graduation and job placement rates. The school size and the extensive clinical rotations make students successful in the program and beyond. It feels like Kansas City is my home away from home—with its affordable lifestyle and inclusive ideology.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience?

From day one, my experience has been memorable and has served as a stepping stone to where I am today. I started benefitting from the resources the school has to offer starting from my interview day. I remember how the program director and admissions office were informative and helpful—showing us where they stand and how they can support us throughout our time at UMKC.  The faculty members, classmates, admissions office, the preceptors, and affiliate doctors have always been there to make my experience as a graduate student less challenging and manageable. UMKC makes medical school much easier with the right resources and support, which is what we all need to be the best in what we do.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

I always wanted to be in a fast-paced career that fits my personality. My previous career did not give me the same flexibility to challenge and expose myself to new technical skills as other medical professions. Thanks to my aunt who introduced me to the Anesthesiologist Assistant profession and, after shadowing a couple of hours overseas and here in the states, I was sold on the idea of pursuing the profession. While shadowing in hospitals, I enjoyed the adrenalin rush and the OR setup. Additionally, it also seemed like AAs have a structured lifestyle and were deeply involved in patient care. It was very appealing to think that, in just 28 months of intensive coursework, I could practice as CAA—cutting out additional years of schooling and student loans.



Alex Sextro
Alex Sextro
Hometown: St. Louis, Missouri
Class of 2021
College/University Attended: Truman State University
Undergraduate Major: Exercise Science
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

My choice came down to what program anesthesiologists thought best prepared their students and the location. The anesthesiologists that I spoke to in St. Louis all believed that UMKC prepared their students excellently. When I shadowed UMKC anesthesiologist assistant graduates in St. Louis hospitals, they seemed to be proficient and loved their work. Additionally, the school was the closest to home and in an enjoyable city. Kansas City is home to many great restaurants, sports, and events. I was able to enjoy March Madness games at the Sprint Center as well as play pickup basketball with a medical school group.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience?

I loved getting into clinics within the very first semester and applying what I am learning early on in the program. This hands on learning experience in clinic really reinforces what is taught in class and makes the material solidify well. Additionally, the small class size has been a big factor. UMKC provides plenty of one-on-one time with teachers and for you to get as many repetitions in simulation and clinics as possible. If you need more practice with any skills, the professors are more than happy to help you succeed.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

I chose the anesthesiologist assistant career due to its challenging and rewarding nature. For me, this line of work rarely gets boring since I am daily entrusted with human life to provide the best care possible. There is such a variety of cases and patients that every anesthetic is different in its own way. You could be providing anesthesia for a new mother having a baby one day, assisting in a robotic gallbladder removal the next day, and then providing anesthesia for neurosurgery the following day. The fast-paced environment and team approach of the operating room is where I thrive.