Serving others is central to who Lynsey Terrill ’19 is, both personally and professionally. Growing up, the impactful interactions she had with her orthopedic PA helped form a passion for health care and the important role medical experts play for their patients.
“My PA took the time to explain things to me and I always left feeling taken care of,” she said. “I feel the Lord has gifted me in countless ways. As a soon-to-be physician assistant, I will be able to use the skills and knowledge I've acquired to aid in healing His people. It gives me the opportunity to serve others every day of my career.”
The Biochemistry major is currently pursuing her Master of Physician Assistant Studies at University of Mary Hardin Baylor (UMHB). Terrill will graduate in 2023 and says navigating PA school at the start of the pandemic was both challenging and motivating. Despite virtual learning when it came to hands-on skills, she says the timing of her enrollment was actually very beneficial.
“Going to PA school in the time of COVID motivated me in a way I did not expect, she said. “It taught me how to be adaptable and learn quickly. It’s important as a health care provider that I’m able to handle whatever situation is thrown my way and not let uncontrollable circumstances affect my patients’ treatment.”
The academic rigor and one-on-one guidance of her classes at TLU prepared her for the demanding course work of graduate school while her on-campus involvement helped develop leadership skills. Her experience built the foundation for success after graduation, and she urges current students to first and foremost not compare themselves to others when it comes to credentials.
“There is always going to be somebody who looks ’better’ than you on paper,” she said. “People are going to have more volunteer hours or more research experience, but my advice is to just keep unapologetically being yourself. Work hard in everything you do and continue to take every opportunity to grow yourself as an individual. Good grades alone won’t get you accepted into PA school. They also want people who can effectively communicate, who are compassionate, who know how to lead others effectively, and who are genuinely going to give it their all in treating every patient they come across.”
While she’s honest about how pursuing a career in STEM won’t be easy, she has a special message for young women.
“While it’s very challenging, it’s also one of the most rewarding things a person can do with their life,” she said. “My advice for females in this field is to find a group of people you can lean on to support you through hard times and be there to celebrate you during the good times. Keep working hard and soaking up all the knowledge you can so that when you graduate you can go out into the world and show them what a woman in STEM is all about.