In Focus: Binitha Babu
What attracted you to Hofstra University’s Physician Assistant program?
For my college education, I wanted to stay home and for Physician Assistant Studies to be my major. Hofstra is only 20 minutes away from my home so it was exciting when I found out Hofstra has a Physician Assistant Studies program. I also attended the Admitted Students’ Day back when I was a senior in high school and fell in love with the campus right away. I met some of the staff and faculty that day which helped me strengthen my choice: Hofstra. Throughout my undergraduate life, I went to the Physician Assistant Studies department office with questions and concerns, and they all were so helpful and answered all of my questions. As I progressed through the pre-professional phase and professional phase, I realized my choice was the right one.
What led you to be interested in this field?
I knew I wanted to do something in the field of medicine or science for my career. Science and math have been my strong areas since high school and throughout college. I have a relative who is a physician assistant. She loves her job and is happy with her career choice. This also helped me to make the decision of choosing physician assistant as my career.
Talk about your experience in/advantages of being in the Honors Program and the dual-degree program.
As part of the Honors College Associate program, I had to take 18 credits worth of honors classes. I took a seminar class called cross cultural psychology, which was one of the most interesting classes that I took at Hofstra. This class focused on how psychology and sociology are viewed across different cultures. I also took an honors chemistry course for which I worked closely with the professor on various honors assignments while also doing the same work as other students who were not taking the class for an honors credit. This experience also allowed me to have a better connection with my professor. I also had minors in chemistry and biology because most of the pre requisites for the professional phase counted as credits for the minors. These challenging courses gave me a foundation and an insight on how to handle the difficult classes during the didactic phase.
Tell us about what phase of the program you are currently in and your experiences in that phase.
Currently, I am finishing up the research phase, which is the last phase of the program. My group’s research focused on intensive care unit mortality at Woodhull Medical Center in Brooklyn. In the beginning of this phase, we had lectures on epidemiology and research design to help us understand what research is and how to conduct it. The second phase was to collect our own data and come up with conclusions about that data.
What other opportunities and extracurricular activities did you take advantage of at Hofstra?
During my undergraduate years, I was a part of the Student Members of American Chemical Society and worked as a student assistant for the Hofstra University website. During the professional phase of the program, I became the treasurer for the Class of 2014’s Hofstra Student Academy of American Academy of Physician Assistants. I volunteered for the bone marrow drive that is held along with the blood drive at Hofstra. I also have spoken to high school students who are considering Hofstra’s PA program and participated in the peer mentor program to advise new incoming students.
Describe your experience working and studying with faculty in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
The faculty and staff in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies are the best! They all go out of their way to help with any concerns or issues we have. During my time here at Hofstra, I’ve gone to the staff and faculty with questions often, and they have always answered them and made me feel comfortable and welcomed.