Sonia Vasilyeva ’22

Patient-centered Care

Interested in medicine, Sonia felt called to the PA field for the flexibility in career options, specialty opportunities, and the ability to work collaboratively on a team of healthcare providers. At Northwestern, she’s gaining the medical knowledge and deepening her passion to provide patient-centered care.

Why did you choose Northwestern?

I chose Northwestern because I wanted to be part of a smaller cohort to better support my learning, but also to form stronger relationships with professors. I’m also really interested in learning medicine in a rural setting. It’s allowing me to gain more experience and insight into the full variety of healthcare needs that PA’s are truly able to provide.

How do you feel Northwestern stands out as a PA program?

I think that Northwestern stands out as a PA program because of how it incorporates faith into the curriculum. It’s very unique and special. The program prepares me for faithful service in the medical field by allowing me to freely examine how my own faith impacts my life and beliefs. This helps me to think about the kind of care I want to provide for patients and the impact I want to have from my care as well.

How would you describe your experience at Northwestern?

I have experienced the benefits of a supportive and collaborative community within my cohort. Being part of the first cohort has been a special experience allowing my classmates and me to help create those traditions. The faculty invest in my success, and they support and mentor me. They’re available to meet and explain any concepts that I may have not understood from class or discuss any concerns that I may have. The faculty overall are very approachable and I really appreciate how each one of them makes an effort to get to know each student on a more personal level.

How are you learning and preparing to be a PA?

The curriculum has helped me to start thinking like a clinician already. I have developed my critical and clinical thinking skills through the evidence-based approach and hands-on learning that the PA program is based on. The benefit of a modular learning style (organized by body systems) is that you really get to master the material and retain the information more easily. This is primarily because many of the key concepts are being reiterated multiple times throughout each of the different courses. I also really think that learning medicine with examples of actual patient cases helps me to apply the clinical skills that I have learned in a critical way.

What kind of impact do you hope to make in your career?

As a PA, I want to provide patient-centered and culturally competent healthcare in underserved communities. I see my work as a service that is both greatly valuable and needed. I also hope to be an advocate for patients' needs and use my voice to make a true difference in their lives.




The ARC-PA has granted  Accreditation-Provisional status to the  Northwestern College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by  Northwestern College

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA  Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the  Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.  Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at