Master of Science in Anesthesia

Student Profiles


Paul Berg
Paul Berg
Hometown: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Class of 2017
College/University Attended: Florida Atlantic University
Undergraduate Major: B.S. in Biological Science, B.S. in Neuroscience and Behavior, B.A. in Philosophy
Why did you choose to attend the Master of Science in Anesthesia program at UMKC?

Despite there being an MSA program near my hometown, I specifically decided to attend UMKC for several reasons. The structure of the program is unique in that it integrates a small class size with an intensive 6 week “boot camp”. This combination enhances close student-instructor interactions, which ultimately prepare students for early exposure in the operating room. UMKC is distinguished in that it houses the MSA program on a Health Sciences campus that is specifically dedicated to the advancement of future health care professionals. Finally, the Clinical Training Facility located on this campus is a state-of-the-art simulation lab and is of critical importance to the teaching and development of Anesthesiologist Assistants.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

The faculty and staff at UMKC are exceedingly supportive and approachable. The level of instruction in both the classroom and simulation lab has allowed for the attainment of an immense amount of knowledge in such a short amount of time. It will be very rewarding to see my progression firsthand, as I transition into the clinical phase of the program. Also, our class created a strong bond from the beginning, which promotes a collaborative learning environment. This teamwork mindset by our class has significantly enriched my experience at UMKC.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

From the beginning of my undergraduate studies, I knew I always wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field. After shadowing various physicians and observing several surgical operations, the critical role of the anesthetist was most appealing to me. Further research led to discovering the MSA programs and the anesthesia care team approach. Ultimately, I decided that my role in patient care would be most fulfilling if I pursued a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant.



Elizabeth Gambill
Elizabeth Gambill
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Class of 2018
College/University Attended: Missouri State University
Undergraduate Major: Cell and Molecular Biology
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Science in Anesthesia?

The MSA program at UMKC really stood out to me because of the early clinical exposure, small class size, and 100% job placement and NCCAA pass rate. I am originally from Kansas City and the idea of coming home to further my education in a community that I love was very appealing. Ultimately, it was the glowing feedback from a former UMKC MSA student about the facilities and instructors that made UMKC the best choice for me.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

The Clinical Training Facility is a wonderful asset that UMKC offers to MSA students.  It exposes students to instrumentation, techniques, and situations that will be seen in the OR, but in a controlled environment. The instructors in this program are highly skilled and truly care about our success in our classes, skills lab, and the OR. The small class size is great because of the great support system I feel from my classmates and the personal attention we acquire from the instructors that has exceedingly enhanced my learning experience.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

Throughout my undergraduate career, I knew I wanted to work in the medical field. I came across the occupation of anesthesiologist assistant by working in the surgery department and was immediately intrigued. Anesthesiologist Assistants have a challenging, yet very rewarding career. I liked the hands-on nature of the job and the idea of being part of an anesthesia care team in the OR. While surgery personnel are exposed to surgical and anesthetic circumstances every day, the patients that come in may have no experience in a hospital whatsoever, and may be scared or anxious. As an anesthesiologist assistant, I will have the opportunity to help make these patients feel more comfortable and confident that they are in good hands, while providing high quality care.



Catherine Allan
Catherine Allan
Hometown: Mooresville, NC
Class of 2016
College/University Attended: University of Kansas
Undergraduate Major: Biology
Why did you choose to attend the Master of Science in Anesthesia program at UMKC?

The UMKC Master of Science in Anesthesia Program is an exceptional program. I was impressed with their 100% pass rate on the NCCAA exam and 100% job placement for graduates. The program’s structure, beginning with six weeks of intensive training in the simulation lab followed by early OR experience, also sets it apart from other programs. The small class size allows for more one-on-one instruction, which is invaluable in obtaining the skills and knowledge needed to become an anesthetist.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

I strongly believe that what makes an educational program great is the caliber and dedication of its faculty. UMKC’s professors and instructors go above and beyond in educating and training students to help us develop into the best practitioners we can be. I have enjoyed applying the classroom and simulation lab learning to real-life practice, and observing the development of my skill set in the OR. I have also enjoyed the camaraderie and friendships that I have developed with my classmates, as a result of the small class size and collaborative nature of the first year.

Why are you pursuing a career as an Anesthesiologist Assistant?

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to have a career in the medical field. During high school and college I explored several different medical professions. I thought about becoming a pharmacist, an optometrist, a physician assistant, and a medical doctor. I wanted to find the perfect fit. Something challenging, intriguing and hands-on, yet allowing me to have a balanced lifestyle. I wanted to help people, get my degree in a timely manner, and have a career that would allow me to also focus on family. One day while researching various healthcare professions, I serendipitously came across the anesthesiologist assistant. I decided to look further into this profession and got to shadow a couple AAs. As soon as I saw what it was all about, I knew that being an AA was what I wanted to do.