In Focus: Jason Wieland
Tell us about your path to Hofstra University.
I have grown up on Long Island my whole life. I attended Huntington High School with aspirations of playing collegiate athletics. I ended up attending SUNY-Binghamton University graduating in 2009 with my BA in Biology with a concentration in Chemistry. Upon graduation, I decided to follow a career path to becoming a PA and fell in love with Hofstra’s program after my interview.
How did you decide on your major?
I always knew even in high school that I wanted to be in a patient oriented profession. A day-to-day office job was not for me. As I was applying to undergraduate programs, I had leaned towards getting my doctorate in Physical Therapy. However, I finally decided that a degree in Biology would give me the best options come graduation. A family member at the time was an Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant and after numerous lengthy conversations, he had convinced me that a career as a PA was the best option for me.
What extra-curricular opportunities did you take advantage of during the PA program?
During my time at Hofstra, I had the opportunity to participate and help run the “Be the Match” National Bone Marrow drive in conjunction with the American Red Cross blood drive. As well, I helped raised money and walked in the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” walk/run by the American Cancer Society held annually at Jones Beach.
Did you encounter any inspiring faculty at Hofstra?
Our program is a small, tight knit group of students and core faculty. The faculty was always there for us regardless if it was to vent about life stressors or give extra review on medical topics. I always felt comfortable going to anyone of them for help and advice. I can easily say that each of the core faculty inspired us all in different ways.
Did you find mentors among any of the Physician Assistant faculty here?
My advisor, Professor L’Eplattenier, PA-C was the main faculty member that I went to for help and advice. I always knew his advice was sound and trustworthy. I can easily say he brought a calming presence to our conversations that made stressful times at Hofstra easier.
Tell us about your internship experiences.
Our internships include working over the course of a year in nine different specialties of medicine throughout different hospitals on Long Island, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and upstate New York. Those core specialties include Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Psychiatry, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Obstetrics & Gynecology and an elective. Our elective could be any specialty or sub-specialty of medicine ranging from Interventional radiology to Dermatology. I did my elective in Critical Care medicine in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit.
How did your experience prepare you for your future job search?
Hands down the education I received at Hofstra was top notch. Throughout the clinical portion of our education and even while preparing and taking our board examination, I never felt unprepared. My classmates and I received job offers throughout clinicals and gave us the confidence to apply to positions throughout the country to some of the nation’s top hospitals.
Tell us about your position at Montefiore Medical Center.
I currently work in the Department of Cardiothoracic & Vascular Surgery as a Cardiothoracic Surgery Physician Assistant. Our PA cardiothoracic team covers two different campuses working in the OR, CSICU, step down, floor and consult services for all cardiac and thoracic surgical patients. My daily responsibilities include rounding on the floor patients, admitting/discharging patients, seeing new consults, placing chest tubes/pigtails and performing thoracentesis at the bedside. I work 13 twelve-hour shifts a month, spread over day shifts and being on call.
What advice would you give to others considering attending Hofstra University?
To those who are looking to become a PA and want a small class size and supportive faculty, I would undoubtedly recommend applying to Hofstra University. The education you receive here will give you a strong base to tailor your medical knowledge upon once you decide on the specialty you want to practice. By far one of the best decisions of my life was coming to Hofstra for my graduate education. Hofstra opened doors for me that I may not have had if I had received my degree from another institution.