Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant

Student Profiles


Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts
Hometown: Olathe, Kansas
Class of 2019
College/University Attended: The University of Kansas
Undergraduate Major: Finance
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

I chose UMKC for several reasons, first I saw the program was well organized. The curriculum is laid out from month to month with the first ten weeks forming the stepping stones for transitioning into modules. Second, the program has amazing staff who are personable, inviting, and really want to help students succeed. Lastly, UMKC’s program is in the perfect location for students get the experience they need. Its location on “Hospital Hill” puts PA students in the same campus as the nursing, dentistry, pharmacy program as well as near two major hospitals, Children Mercy and Truman Medical.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

Since we have a small class size, I really enjoy the bond that I have formed with my classmates. I also appreciate how attentive and caring the staff have been, because they truly want every student to succeed academically. In this kind of nurturing environment, I know I will never have any trouble finding any kind of additional support.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

In my search for the perfect profession, I shadowed MDs, DOs, NPs and PAs. I saw the benefits of each career, however, I was drawn to the role of Physician Assistant because of the ability to switch fields of practice, practice autonomously, and connect with patients regularly. Beyond that, I saw PAs are great healthcare providers, friends, and even life coaches to their patients. The typical characteristics PAs emulate really fit my personality, so I know a career as a PA will allow me to grow and impact patients in a meaningful way.



Nathanial Horton
Nathanial Horton
Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Class of 2019
College/University Attended: Northwest Missouri State University
Undergraduate Major: Biology
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

Being from Kansas City, MO, it was important for me to remain in Kansas City and close to home for graduate school. UMKC has a prestigious medical school and multiple health professions graduate programs which allows students the opportunity to build relationships with those they may work in the healthcare industry in the future. Being a part of the health sciences campus facilitates a diverse learning atmosphere, which was influential towards my decision to attend as well. UMKC has partnered with multiple hospitals and clinics across the area which provides an amazing opportunity for future healthcare providers to network with possible employers. Another aspect of the program that influenced my decision was the caliber of the program faculty. As our class size is smaller than most programs, you can build stronger relationships with faculty and your classmates; this was something that I valued as a student.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

The relationships I have formed with both my classmates and faculty. I love my classmates and it is great being on this journey with others who are passionate about medicine and helping others. It is a different learning environment than most are used to with undergraduate studies and you truly feel like family. Everyone in the program has your best interest in mind, as a student, future PA and as an individual.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

Becoming a Physician Assistant affords me an incredible opportunity to be in a position to make important decisions regarding patients’ health, while practicing medicine within the Kansas City community. Physician Assistants play a dynamic role in the healthcare team, and their influence on medicine is constantly expanding. Another opportunity Physician Assistants have is the ability to change specialties at any point during their career. For me, it is important to have that flexibility, as it’s been a challenge to pin my medical interests to one specialty. I have always enjoyed working on a team, and I love helping people, so becoming a PA provides me the opportunity to accomplish both.



Bailey Hession
Bailey Hession
Hometown: Willard, Missouri
College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Columbia
Undergraduate Major: Health Sciences
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program?

I was born and raised in Missouri, so I really wanted to attend schools in state for both my undergraduate and master’s degrees. Two schools in the University of Missouri system ended up being my perfect matches. And because I did attend Mizzou, a partner institution, for my undergraduate degree, I was also able to take advantage of the PA Scholars Program that UMKC offers. It was a unique opportunity for me to apply to PA school during my senior year of college and get accepted a year early. Because of this, I was able to finish my senior year stress free, as I knew exactly where I was going after graduation. In addition, I really appreciated UMKC’s dedication to looking at the applicant holistically; I think it helps the school to get the best prospects to apply each year.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

I have really enjoyed the small class size, as getting to know all my classmates has been amazing. We all come from such different backgrounds and experiences, so we all have different contributions to make to the class. I was unsure what to expect from a graduate level cohort, but since there are only 20 of us, we have become very close. They are the only ones that know what this experience is like, and we have become such a great support system for each other during this process. The small class size has also allowed us to get the most from our professors as well. They are able to dedicate their time and talents to making sure we become the best version of ourselves. They always have an open-door policy and really are here to help us succeed.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

I believe that PAs have the ability to impact patients in a way that other providers might not be able to. This career provides a unique opportunity to be able to interact and care for patients while still providing high-level medical knowledge. I have always been drawn to the balance that PAs have between medicine and patient interaction. In practice, I hope to develop a patient-provider bond that will allow me to impact my patients in more ways than one. I also want to provide quality care that is easily accessible by all and, by becoming a PA, I can do that. All this can be done within the confines of a team of providers, which I think is the best way to practice. I pursued this degree to be able to help the most people in the shortest amount of time. To go to school for 2.5 years and graduate as a competent, caring provider is something that you cannot find in many other professions. Upon graduation, hopefully a job will not be hard to find, so I know that what I have learned here at UMKC will be put to good use right after graduation.