When she decided to pursue a career as a physician assistant, Lyndsey Milcarek planned her education to give her as broad a health care perspective as possible.
After finishing undergraduate degrees in medical technology and anthropology at UB, she enrolled in UB’s Master of Public Health (MPH) program with a concentration in health services administration.
“I enjoyed my undergrad experience here and knew that UB would provide me with a number of opportunities I wouldn’t be able to find at a smaller university,” she said. “I knew that a degree in public health was right for me because I have aspirations to go beyond my role as a health care provider. Training in grant writing, management/administration and public health issues within the United States will help me analyze bigger picture items within my future practice.”
Milcarek said she is enjoying all aspects of the MPH program, especially the interactive classes. “The professors have a lot of practical experience in various fields, adding realistic and unique applications to the material they present,” she said. “They always ensure that students are up-to-date on current events within the field and are always willing to host class discussions relating to these issues.
“All perspectives are appreciated and taken into consideration, even though each student in the classroom may have a completely different area of training and expertise. This makes for a great atmosphere for learning and professional development.”
Milcarek added an international viewpoint to her studies when she chose to complete her field training through UB’s study abroad program in Minas Gerais, Brazil. The field training experience is an MPH program requirement and provides opportunities to apply skills and knowledge learned in the classroom and engage in the practice of public health.
“I studied the health care system in Minas Gerais and the experience was incredible,” she said. “I learned so much in the three weeks I spent there; I came back with a wealth of knowledge and a new perspective on health care. Lessons learned from comparing our health care system to theirs will help me get involved in larger scale health care transformation projects in the future. And the lessons I learned from observing clinical care practice will also help me provide better guidance for my patients in the future—especially when combining basic health care services, which is practiced more frequently in Brazil than here in the United States.”
Milcarek plans to graduate from UB in May 2014 and has already been accepted to Daeman College’s physician assistant program.