Choosing Your Career PAth

When asked why she wanted to become a Certified PA, Kathryn Iwasaki, PA-C, found it was tough to just pick one answer! Kathryn recalls that she was drawn to many aspects of the profession, such as the versatility, the opportunity to collaborate with different health care practitioners, and the flexibility to choose any specialty. At the end of the day, she decided the PA path was the best path for her. Recounting her decision, Kathryn states, “I felt the PA field offered lateral mobility that fit the criteria of what I wanted in a health care career. In my junior year of undergrad, I switched from Pre-Med to Pre-PA.” After this decision, she was all in and knew her hard work and effort would pay off.

Now, working as a Certified PA specializing in Neurosurgery and Emergency Medicine, Iwasaki shares that her favorite part of the job is patient care. “On some days, I celebrate achievements and happy moments, and on other days, I empathize and counsel. I enjoy building this rapport that leads to trust. Trust helps me fulfill my job as a Certified PA by helping others to make positive strides towards better health,” the Georgia-based PA explains. “You experience so much with another person during appointments.”

For anyone considering a career as a Certified PA, Kathryn recommends asking a PA if you can tag along with them to work for a day. There is a lot you can learn about the profession when you’re up close and personal with all the career has to offer. “When I was in undergrad, I spent days reaching out to medical offices to let me shadow. Only one responded, however, this one connection led to other opportunities that guided me throughout my entire professional career,” Kathryn recalls.

To learn more about the critical role Certified PAs play as health care professionals or to see if the PA path is right for you, please visit