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Shannon Parma

Shannon Parma

Shannon Parma

Why did you enroll in the program?

My lifelong dream has always been to become a physician in order to physiologically and psychologically help people in need as physicians were able to do for me. However, I realized many of my patient experiences reside with pediatric and middle-age people. Even though it is great to have patient experiences with younger and middle-age people, I realized I have minimal patient experiences with the older adult and elderly population. Since a large portion of the patient population is 65 years and older, I acknowledged how I would be an ill-equipped physician to serve the needs of the aging population. So, in my last semester of my undergraduate degree, I searched graduate programs that focused on the geriatric population and discovered this program. After reviewing the program description, I knew this program would be the best fit for fulfilling my goals and I immediately enrolled.

What were your goals?

My goals throughout this program was to obtain information and knowledge on how to most effectively yet empathically serve the needs of the aging population as an aspiring physician.

Did you achieve your goals?

Yes! I also was able to achieve goals that I did not even set such as learning how to properly peer-review my peers’ research work, interpret research studies, and successfully write research papers.

How will you use this degree to help older people improve their quality of life?

Well, during my last semester of this program, I was accepted into multiple medical schools. So, in August 2017, I will be attending Florida Atlantic University College of Medicine to become a physician. The majority population in this area is elderly so I will definitely use the information and skills I gained from the course materials to better interact and devise treatment plans for my future older adult patients. Also, I intend to start community projects with interventions to help overcome the obstacles and challenges older people endure (that I acquired from the program). As a result, by using this degree in conjunction with my MD degree, I believe I will be able improve the quality of life and life expectancy of the aging population.

Was there one or more courses that had a large impact upon you and why?

Honestly, every course I took in this program had a large impact on me because every course focused on a different aspect of aging and the elderly population. So, I was able to individually learn new aspects of aging and the aging population then relate those concepts to the other courses in the program. Practically, every course was equally important and insightful, and easily correlated with the other courses in the program. Overall, each course provided me the tools and knowledge to fulfill my goals as a physician.

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