In Focus: Fizzah Iqbal
Tell us about your path to Hofstra University.
After I completed my undergraduate studies at Cornell University, I wasn't sure whether I wanted to pursue clinical medicine or public health. After a stint as a public health educator, I realized that without a clinical background I couldn't fully become involved with patient care the way I wanted to. After looking at many Physician Assistant programs, I chose Hofstra University because of its partnership with the North Shore/LIJ Health System and its strong reputation among physicians and physician assistants that I already knew.
What made you pursue a career as a Physician Assistant?
I knew Physician Assistant studies was right for me because it's a way of practicing clinical medicine in a short period of time. This, in turn, allows me to continue to pursue my interest in public health. Furthermore, Physician Assistants are among the top professions for job opportunities after graduating.
What opportunities did you take advantage of at Hofstra?
Hofstra University has a spectacular library system. As a physician assistant student, you spend a great amount of time in the library! Whether it was a textbook, a research article or journal, there are a variety or resources available online or a librarian was always willing to help. The campus is beautiful and often provided a retreat from the intense workload we have so even just something as simple as walking around campus during lunch was always a pleasant experience. Finally, our program does yearly blood drives, breast cancer awareness walks and other events that support various causes. This provides an opportunity to make our fellow students and community members aware about health issues and also about our excellent PA program.
Did you find mentors among any of the faculty here?
Our director, Professor Horvath, has been a wonderful mentor. She provided encouragement to work hard but also to take care of ourselves and our families. Having balance during this program was extremely important and Professor Horvath understood and supported me as I personally worked on creating balance between my PA student life and personal life. She also is extremely supportive of encouraging us to pursue leadership roles and become active members of the PA profession.
How did your experience prepare you for your future job search?
The rotations that I've been assigned have been immensely helpful for my future job search. Whether you plan on staying in the local area or not, the hospital systems and clinics have been a great experience in applying our academic knowledge to the clinical world. Furthermore, it's a great networking opportunity to meet and work with other health professionals in our field.
What advice would you give to others considering attending Hofstra?
I would advise any student considering Hofstra to come visit the campus, talk to the professors and faculty of the program. In addition, try to meet students who are already in the program you are considering in order to get a student's perspective of the program and life while in school. I would also recommend becoming active in a group or project that's meaningful to you, because there is a group or activity for just about everyone.