When You Know You're on the Right (Pre-PA) Track

March 11, 2020

MCLA Philip Malm

Philip Malm ’20 will begin a physician assistant master's program at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in January 2021.

Philip Malm ’20 knew he wanted to be a physician assistant when he transferred to MCLA as a sophomore health sciences major. But the experiences he had in the College’s pre-PA concentration program solidified his career choice. Malm was recently accepted into his top-choice physician assistant master’s program, in his home city of Worcester, Mass. He will begin classes at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in January 2021.

He said his choice of study was inspired by his love of working with patients. “Through MCLA, I was able to shadow a few physician assistants and get some great exposure to the medical field,” he said. He earned his EMT certification at the end of his sophomore year and worked for the Northern Berkshire EMS, which he loved.

Malm recently started a position as an in-home direct care provider with Berkshire Family and Individual Resources (BFAIR). “I’m working in group homes with adults with developmental disabilities,” he said, which is the type of longer-term patient care that most interests him.

At first, Malm said, he was unsure about his decision to transfer from a private college in Boston to a state school in a smaller city, but soon came to realize that North Adams has a lot to offer. He became a mentor through a program of the Northern Berkshire YMCA, and has volunteered at the Louison House and with TEDX North Adams. 

At MCLA, Malm said, he fell in love with all aspects of science because of his professors. “You can tell they care about the things they teach,” he said. “They all have unique and engaging backgrounds and bring excitement to the topics because they have enthusiasm for the material,” he continued. “I liked science before MCLA, but I fell in love with it because of the professors and the education I got here.”


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