Vanguard team members see medicine as a calling. This attracts talented college grads who aspire to become doctors, PAs, and NPs, and they join Vanguard for the pre-health program.
“We are extremely selective. These are high-performing biology majors, psychology majors, etc. These candidates have outstanding references and go through a rigorous interview process at Vanguard,” explains Jessie Stanek, Clinical Manager.
Pre-Health team members gain valuable training and hands-on experience in a clinical setting, while receiving mentorship and coaching from a Vanguard medical provider.
For Sean, the pre-health program helped him identify his career path. Sean is preparing to start the physician assistant program at Midwestern University in Illinois in May 2020. He reflects on his time at Vanguard and how it affected his career decision.
“I started out in the direction of becoming a medical doctor. After working with Emily Reynolds (Dermatology Nurse Practitioner), I realized that PA school aligned more with my personal and professional goals,” says Sean.
A newer Medical Assistant also shares that Vanguard has helped her decide on a direction. Brier has worked at Vanguard for 6 months with both Dr. Vinh Chung and PA Rachel Frederickson. “In this time, I have realized I am leaning towards PA school. I am at Vanguard and in the pre-health program to learn more about what I want to do. Watching Dr. Chung do Mohs micrographic surgeries is amazing. Rachel focuses on general dermatology, so I have seen a range of dermatology conditions,” explains Brier.
Preparing for Patient-Focused Medicine
Natalija, a pre-health candidate, is preparing to take the Medical College Admissions Test and start the medical school application process soon. Her interest in medicine was ignited by her college courses in human body movement and biomechanics. In her time at Vanguard as an MA, Natalija has valued her relationship with patients, and she has been able to explore what it means to be a medical doctor.
“It let me see how well I interact with patients and providers. If I can meet the needs of the providers, I can understand better what it takes to become a doctor and what it takes to have a successful team supporting a whole practice,” says Natalija.
The Advantage of Clinical Experience
Sam is now waiting on acceptance letters after finishing the interview process of the medical school application process. “All of the providers here step into the role of teacher. They take the time to explain things we haven’t seen before, that are novel,” says Sam of his time as an MA.
“Dr. Archibald recently taught me how a procedure he was doing is like something he does in cosmetic surgeries. Dr. Leslie teaches me about pathology. The providers take the time to teach us about the breadth of their practice,” says Sam.
This mentorship also extends to writing recommendation letters for graduate school applications. “At one of the schools I interviewed with, they told me one of the reasons they invited me to interview was because of my letters of recommendations, including Dr. Leslie’s letter,” explains Sam.
Whitney will be departing Vanguard to attend the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Whitney has always loved the sciences. After earning her undergraduate degree in biochemistry, Whitney reflected on what was missing for her to have a successful medical school application.
“It was clinical experience. Hands-on clinical experience,” she says. “Not only are you with a patient from the beginning of their appointment to the end, you are the first clinical person and you are the last clinical person they see. I now also understand more about the other aspects of clinical work, like pathology calls and scheduling surgeries, because I have done them here at Vanguard,” says Whitney.
Each spring, Vanguard hosts a send off party for Pre-Health program graduates. It is a bittersweet occasion, where we’re excited to see candidates head off to school but we’re sad to say farewell. One of our great rewards is when former team members return to the local community to practice medicine.
What It Takes to Join the Vanguard Tribe
Not just anyone can become a medical assistant at Vanguard Skin Specialists. Medical assistants are part of an entire team dedicated to offering the best dermatological and plastic surgery care for their patients. Vanguard attracts MAs who want to a career as a medical assistant. Vanguard also attracts individuals who want to spend two to three years exploring next steps.
To learn more about the pre-health program or to apply to become a medical assistant at Vanguard Skin Specialists, please submit inquires to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vanguard Skin Specialists is a dermatology and plastic surgery practice with offices in Colorado Springs, Canon City, Pueblo, and Woodland Park. Vanguard is rated as one of the best places to work in Colorado Springs. Vanguard believes being the best dermatology practice requires attracting the best people for the team.