My name is Paige Redifer. I am from Weyers Cave, Virginia (a small town south of Harrisonburg). I graduated from Ferrum as a Boone Honors Program graduate in 2014 with a BS in Pre-Professional Science and Biology and a minor in chemistry. I stayed busy while at Ferrum! I held leadership positions in the College’s Minds-N- Medicine Club, the service-based Lions Branch Club, the Honors Advisory Council, and a political organization on campus. I was an Admissions Ambassador and an Admissions Blogger. I currently hold alumni status in two collegiate academic honors societies: Alpha Chi and Beta Beta Beta.
While at Ferrum, I changed my intended career path and, consequently, my minor a few times—so if this is you, don’t be afraid! My indecision allowed for many diverse experiences in undergrad. During my first year, I worked with Dr. Long on Criminal Justice research and helped with a paper that was later published in the International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology. With the help of the BHP travel scholarship, I had the opportunity to travel to Zambia, Africa, on a medical mission team with Orphan Medical Network International between my second and third years at Ferrum. This trip was (literally) life-changing for me, resulting in a redirection of my intended career path because I fell in love with patient care. I set my sights on the PA profession.
After graduating from Ferrum, I obtained my Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) license, worked as a Skilled Care CNA and a Chiropractic Assistant during my “gap year” while simultaneously applying to PA programs. During the application process, I learned about Campbell University’s dual degree program that additionally offered a master of science in Public Health (MSPH) and took advantage of this opportunity. I enrolled at Campbell in August 2015 and completed the core requirements for my M.S. in Public Health during the 2015-2016 school year (while also working as a graduate assistant for Campbell’s Office of Student Success.) I had the opportunity to do public health mission work in Guatemala in March 2016. My capstone research for my M.S.P.H. degree was titled “College and University Policy Related to Student Sexual Health.”
I am currently in the depths of my didactic year of the PA program. (In case you’re confused about or interested in my program, the remaining requirements for my M.S.P.H. degree will be met from my Evidence-Based Medicine Courses that I’ll take during the PA curriculum.) Along with hundreds, actually thousands, of hours of studying, the remainder of PA school will be quite fun! I will be traveling with a team of Campbell students from many disciplines of medicine (DO, Pharm-D, PT, PA) to do medical mission work in Honduras in March 2017. In August 2017, I will begin a series of one-month clinical rotations. I am on track to graduate with an M.S.P.H. and M.P.A.P. in July 2018. Although I have many ideas, I am not sure what I want to do or specialize in after I graduate. I do plan to continue short-term missions and want to return to Zambia with the OMNI team.
As you can tell, I didn’t have my life plan written as well as I thought when I was a first semester freshman, in the BHP gateway class. Ferrum and the BHP gave me a chance to figure out who I was and what I believe, find my passion, and make the best friends I could ever ask for! I am absolutely sure that the BHP is the best group you can call yourself a member of on Ferrum’s campus and wish you all the luck in the world. If there’s ever anything I can do to help you, please get in touch with me!