ISU PA's Veteran Connection - Alison Follett
I am Alison Follett and I have had a love and interest in medicine and science since I was a kid.
My passion to help and serve others led me to join the U.S. Coast Guard. My first true introduction to the physician assistant profession was at my first unit. The USCGC Polar Star is an icebreaker that cuts a path through the Antarctic ice shelf to McMurdo Station for the passage of supply ships. The length of this journey provides a role for a PA-C in case of emergencies. On this trip, I had the opportunity to learn the true scope and abilities of a PA-C, which inspired me to join the profession.
During my military career, I served as a Petty Officer Second Class on several cutters as well as a small boat station. My experiences in these units prepared me for the challenges of PA school. My position was one of leadership and responsibility, where I was held to a high standard. Didactic year is often described as “drinking through a fire-hose.” The high expectations of the military helped me to develop healthy ways to manage stress, as well as strength of conviction and self-confidence. Travelling and interacting with people from all walks of life has prepared me to treat and develop relationships with any patient I encounter, especially those of medically underserved populations.
I was drawn to the PA program at ISU because of the small class size and the focus on community. I am so grateful to be a student here. I am very close with my peers, feel well-supported by the faculty, and stay involved in the community.