Why I Chose the PA Pediatric Surgical Fellowship
Posted by Texas Children's HospitalComment


Texas Children’s Pediatric Surgery Fellowship for Physician Assistants is the first of its kind in the country. It is a 12-month clinical pediatric training program catered to PAs, where each fellow is able to gain hands-on experience in a full spectrum of pediatric surgical subspecialties. Fellows are given the opportunity to become  leaders in all areas of pediatric surgery, including subspecialites in cardiovascular surgery, general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopaedics, otolaryngology, plastic and craniofacial surgery, trauma services and urology.

Our newest fellows share why Texas Children’s Hospital was the best choice for them.

As I was nearing graduation and looking at opportunities, I realized there were jobs I wanted but experiences I needed to obtain them. My ideal job included working with children at a teaching hospital either in the operating room or through performing procedures. I had some experience at Texas Children’s Hospital in General Pediatric Surgery, Plastic Surgery and the GI service, while I was in Baylor College of Medicine’s PA school, that I really enjoyed, but there were other services I wanted to rotate through. While job searching, I found these very specific fields required prior training that I had not yet acquired. The fellowship was the perfect way to obtain training in many surgical subspecialties and transition from student to practitioner.

By: Jackie Guarino, PA-C

The fellowship appealed to me because I was looking for directed learning in a specialty like pediatric surgery in a great institution such as Texas Children’s Hospital.  I was drawn to Texas Children’s by its reputation as an established learning and research institution and to have the opportunity to be in a learning program in a difficult subspecialty and to make a difference in a child’s life.

By: Cassie Mueller, PA-C

I chose the pediatric surgical fellowship through Texas Children’s Hospital for many reasons. I love pediatrics and I love surgery. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my first year as a full-time PA.  By going through a fellowship program, I have the opportunity to continue my education while working, and get paid doing it! The fellowship is a great way to network with people and build great relationship with my colleagues in many specialties of pediatric surgery. I get a sense of what each specialty looks like and will get the opportunity to see how the PAs are utilized in each specialty. Not only is there an educational component but there is the opportunity to be involved in ongoing research, and to start a research project of my own. I get to work in a place that values their PAs and incorporates them into everyday life at work. There are always things to learn, see and do. The resources that we have access to are top-of-the-line resources that you don’t see at every teaching hospital. I am very blessed to be where I am.

By: Caitlin Justus, PA-C

I have always been interested in working with children. I knew this fact about myself before I chose a career path and before becoming a PA. When the time came to decide what to do next, now that I had graduated from PA school, a job in pediatrics was a clear answer. Then, the challenge was to figure out what in pediatrics would be a good fit for me.

The next step in the journey towards becoming a part of the Physician Assistant Pediatric Surgical Fellowship was meeting Ryan Krasnosky at a job fair at the University of Texas Medical Branch. That day changed the course of my career. The following morning, I found myself at Texas Children’s Hospital interviewing for a position in the fellowship. After that, the hard part came, deciding if a fellowship program was a good fit for me. It was never something I had previously considered. There are many things about myself that I had to consider before making such a major decision. I enjoy learning. I know that pediatrics is an area that we did not have a great deal of time to focus on in PA school. As a student, I learned that I enjoyed different procedures and being in the operating room. The decision became clear. I wanted to have the opportunity to become a part of the first ever training program of this kind, a fellowship program that focused on pediatric surgery. For me, it was the perfect combination of interests, and I am excited for the year ahead!

By: Lesley W. Davies, PA-C

To learn more about the qualifications and curriculum for Texas Children’s Pediatric Surgery Fellowship for Physician Assistants, visit here.

The program is led by Larry Hollier, MD, chief of plastic surgery, Ryan Krasnosky, MPAS, PA-C, fellowship program director and assistant director of surgical advanced practice providers, and Brenda J. Davis, fellowship coordinator.

This blog was co-written by Larry Hollier, MD.

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