July 19, 2017

PA student Jamie Murawski enjoys helping other PA students through social media.University of Detroit Mercy Physician Assistant student Jamie Murawski loves to help people, it’s why she’s in school to be a Physician Assistant (PA). She also loves to help potential PA students. 

Through social media and blogging, Murawski chronicles her ups, downs and everything in between during her journey through PA school. Prospective PA students can follow Murawski’s progress and ask questions along the way.

“I really just like answering questions,” Murawski said. “I know that sounds boring to some people, but I like educating people about the field because a lot of people don’t even know what a PA is. I like to teach about that. Then there’s a lot of people who are striving to go to PA school, but they have no idea how to get there, and I was in that position so I want to be someone who helps as many people like that as I can.”

Murawski originally planned to go to medical school, but while working on her undergraduate degree, she began working as a nanny for a PA. Murawski never really knew what a PA did before that. She decided to change her plans and pursue becoming a PA.

“PA school and the PA career is better suited to my personality and lifestyle in terms of leadership and work-life balance,” Murawski said. “At the core, I have always wanted to diagnose and treat patients. I had no idea PA was even a profession until I had already completed a few years pre-med. I thought being a doctor was the only way to see patients if I wanted to have a role in treatment. That's part of why I wanted to create this whole social media account; I was trying to become a resource for that person who has never heard of a physician assistant before and wants to learn more.

“Most of my account is geared toward students interested in medicine in some way, whether that is nursing, medical school, PA school or any other profession. I'm just documenting my PA school journey along the way in hopes that I can help someone else.”

Murawski’s Instagram account, @jamienicole_pa, offers insight into PA school through posts, daily stories and Instagram live posts where people can interact with her.

She also did, “A day in the life of a Physician Assistant student at University of Detroit Mercy,” on a SnapChat takeover for @Medtakeovers, which can be viewed on YouTube.

Murawski has also written several guest blogs, including one for the PA Platform entitled, “The Unexpected Expenses of Interviewing and Attending PA School.” She has several more posts scheduled to appear on the PA Platform.

PA student Jamie Murawski checks on a patient.“I think it’s pretty interesting and innovative what she does,” said Amy Dereczyk, program director and chairperson for Detroit Mercy’s Physician Assistant Program. “She contacted me because they were going to do the SnapChat thing, ‘A Day in the Life of a PA student.’ It was kind of fun and when it went live it was great to see how she put it together. I think she does a really good job of telling people what it’s like and how it is, and putting Detroit Mercy in a good light.

“It’s nice to see her running theme is, ‘This is why I chose Detroit Mercy.’ She highlights those reasons in pretty much everything she does to help people realize what they want out of a PA program. Now, I look forward to when she sends me a link to things she’s doing and we share it to let other people know.”

Murawski was accepted at multiple PA schools and chose Detroit Mercy in part because of the location and the affiliations it has with hospitals in the area.

Now, Murawski is a big advocate for Detroit Mercy’s program because of the opportunities it presents, like site visits to local hospitals where students interact with real patients. Murawski also likes Detroit Mercy’s strict requirements for exams. 

“You have to get an 80 percent or better on every exam or you don’t pass and you have to remediate,” Murawski said. “That is a huge thing for me because the best way to learn from your mistakes is to fix them and redo them. A lot of schools don’t do that; if you don’t pass one, it’s fine because you can average it out and you can still pass the course overall. Detroit Mercy wants to make sure you are competent in every single specialty of medicine, which I think is really, really important.”

Detroit Mercy’s strict requirements help prepare students for the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certification Exam). 

“We have an amazing pass rate,” Murawski said. “Our pass rate last year was 100 percent, and it has never dipped below 95 percent. That’s because we have such a rigorous program.” 

Murawski will enter her second and final year of PA school in the fall. As the competition for spots in PA programs continues to rise, Murawski hopes she can be a resource for others.

“If people see themselves going into this field, there are so many great resources out there,” Murawski said. “There are so many places to ask for help, even if you are just applying and want someone to read your personal statement, there’s a resource for that. Keep an open mind, don’t give up and go for whatever you think you can go for.”

— By Dave Pemberton. Follow Detroit Mercy on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. Have a story idea? Let us know by submitting your idea.