Although she has been a Certified PA for a decade, Klarisse L. Mathis M.S. PA-C did not have a straightforward journey to her dream career. The Brooklyn native knew she wanted to work in the medical field but couldn’t quite find the right role. Mathis learned about the PA profession during her senior year in college and decided it was the right path for her, but getting there wasn’t easy.
“I had to retake science courses and take other pre-requisites which took me about two years,” said Mathis. She also spent time gaining medical experience by working as a Physical Therapy Aide and shadowing an Orthopedics PA.
Mathis later attended PA school at The School of Health Sciences of Touro College (Touro College Manhattan Campus). Unfortunately, during her final exams, her grandfather passed away. “My grandfather was a big support for me throughout my life and through PA school. He helped raise me. I found it difficult to concentrate on my exams.” With the support of her classmates and family, Mathis was able to push through her grief.
Today, Mathis specializes in orthopedics. She can be found in the operating room (OR) performing joint replacements and spinal surgeries or taking care of inpatients. She also sees patients in the emergency room (ER) and treats conditions like dislocations and fractures. “My orthopedics team is amazing, and we work very well together,” said Mathis.
PAs are educated in multiple specialties, allowing them flexibility in their skillset. When Mathis isn’t in the OR or ER, she works with high school football teams as the PA on the field.
“I believe PAs are health care’s biggest and best kept secret weapon – our education allows us to serve in multiple specialties.” Mathis said. “We are able to see more patients, thereby increasing access to care for many people.”
Mathis also mentors pre-PA and PA students on their education journey, an experience she finds rewarding. She also gives presentations to high school students to educate them about the PA profession. She tells students,
“The PA profession is broad. The possibilities are endless.”