Graduate Spotlight: Karen Post

Karen Post

Hometown: Vero Beach

Undergraduate College: Florida State University

Major: Exercise Physiology

What and/or who inspired you to go to PA school, and how so?

I first wanted to go to PA school when I was in undergrad and a friend of mine opened my eyes to the profession. I knew I wanted to help people and enjoyed science, so I set a goal of going to PA school. After graduation, I worked as a paramedic for Leon County EMS, and I was further driven to become a PA after caring for all types of people from all walks of life in the emergency setting.

What did you learn about yourself during your time in PA school that surprised you?

I learned the true definition of grit. After graduating from FSU with my undergraduate degree in 2015, I spent several years working in the medical field as a paramedic. I loved the job, but it was a challenge, especially working through COVID-19. Shortly after starting PA school, I realized that this was a time where I had to push through another challenge in life. I didn’t know if I had it in me, but I dug deep and found the resolve to push through and it built my strength and character even more. I am so thankful for the process of PA school, because it taught me what I am capable of under pressure.

What course and/or professor had the greatest impact on your PA education?

The courses that impacted me the most were clinical medicine courses. I feel like these courses prepared me for clinical rotations the best and challenged me. This information was also the most applicable to real-world practice. The professor who had the greatest impact on me throughout my PA education was Allison Justice. She was one of our clinical medicine professors as well as my advisor throughout my didactic semesters. She was always so supportive and patient with me and the class, and the information she provided both in the classroom and outside of it is so helpful in practice and in real life.

In what setting and specialty are you planning to launch your PA career?

I plan on beginning my PA career in either the field of emergency medicine or critical care.

Given the rigors and stressors of PA education, what diversion did you lean on to get you through?

I leaned heavily on my faith in God. I experienced many personal challenges along with the rigors of PA school. These reinforced my faith and made me realize that I would not have made it to PA school without God, and I cannot make it through it without Him either.

Benjamin Smith, associate dean of the College of Medicine and director of the School of Physician Assistant Practice, said, “As the class president, Karen has balanced her time as a student with her leadership role. She is mature and steady in all that she does.”