Hi everyone! My name is Isabella Arias, and I am a fourth-year undergraduate in the Bachelor of Health Science on the pre-physician assistant (PA) track. I am from Miami, Florida and I come from a family of Cuban immigrants. Upon graduation next Spring I plan on taking a gap year to travel and work while waiting to hear back from PA schools.
My decision to pursue a career in healthcare blossomed in college as I began exploring possible careers that would incorporate my love for science. I was drawn to healthcare immediately due to the ability to interact with patients and make an impact on local communities. I began shadowing various professions, and in sophomore year I learned about the PA Profession. I was drawn to all aspects of what it means to be a PA, and since then have been become involved in clubs and other organizations that have shaped my future goals.
Through my education at the University of Florida, specifically being a part of PHHP, I have been able to develop my love for healthcare and receive guidance towards achieving my future goals. PHHP has allowed me to collaborate and learn with peers from diverse backgrounds who share similar passions as me. This experience is largely due to the guidance of Dr. Michael Moorhouse, who has been a knowledgeable advisor and encouraged me to continue becoming involved in activities that are meaningful to me.
During undergrad, I became involved in the Pre-Physician Assistant Association (PPAA) club. This club has taught me so much about the profession and provided me with countless opportunities to gain insight from practicing PAs. I have met so many amazing people who share the same love for the profession that I have. After joining the board, I have had the honor to be part of a team that has offered me priceless advice and supported me in my professional development.
Growing up surrounded by a diverse community (in and out of school) allowed me to gain an immense appreciation for the value of inclusion and the importance of cultural competency. Through my education and personal experiences, I have seen the disparities in healthcare treatment and the impacts these have on underserved communities. Through my involvements in the local community, I have grown a passion for serving populations that lack proper access to the services I was fortunate to grow up with.
An organization that has shaped my time at UF is Kids Count. I volunteer as a literacy tutor working with kids each week who are often behind their grade-level in reading. Volunteering is one of the highlights of my week as I bring joy to the kids I tutor and form meaningful relationships by building trust. It is an amazing experience that I am grateful to be involved with. In addition, I became involved in the Gainesville chapter of Hearts for the Homeless during my junior year. This club has allowed me to interact with the homeless community and provide them with blood pressure screenings and information about local health resources. These experiences have taught me valuable lessons about the importance of having good communication skills and knowing when to be silent and listen.
After graduating with my Bachelor’s degree in the Spring, I plan on taking a gap year to travel and work in the healthcare field. I will also be applying to PA schools in the Spring in hopes of taking the next step after my gap year towards pursuing a career as a PA! UF has given me the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally. I have learned the importance of being disciplined, well-rounded, and compassionate to everyone around you. I am honored to be able to share a little bit about my experience at UF. Please reach out to me at email@example.com if you have any questions!