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.



Liz Braun
Liz Braun
Hometown: Springfield, MO
Class of 2018
College/University Attended: Missouri State University
Undergraduate Major: Nursing
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program?

There are many reasons that lead me to choose the UMKC PA program. I think what initially intrigued me about the school was the PA curriculum.  I love the module format of learning.  We will study each body system in depth, including all of the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, clinical skills, pharmacology and more.  We focus on one body system at a time, which really makes the learning process smoother.  Another benefit of the PA program at UMKC is that we are part of a greater medical community here on “Hospital Hill”.   We are on the same campus as nursing, dentistry, and pharmacy and share the same building as the MD and Master of Science in Anesthesia program. One final aspect that persuaded me to make UMKC my number one choice was its incredible location.  Kansas City is not only a fun place to live, but with so many hospitals located in the metropolitan area alone, there are a great number of clinical and professional opportunities here for me in the future.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

I absolutely love my classmates and teachers.  Being in a small classroom has been really enjoyable. I like that I can get to know everyone in my class. It’s encouraging to see that we’ve all come from such different backgrounds and we all have the same passion.  I also feel a lot of support from my instructors.  They are really dedicated to helping us succeed and you can feel that each and every day.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

What an incredible opportunity it is to dedicate 29 months of your life to medical training and then be in a position to help meet the health needs of patients in our community.  I really love working with people and a career in this field will offer me a meaningful way to impact individuals each and every day.  I was also really drawn to this career because of the medical model we are trained by and the flexibility to choose any specialty.