WCU-CGS MPA Student Aims to Bridge Gaps in LGBTQ+ Healthcare

While volunteering at an LGBTQ+ camp, Brenna M. had an experience that permanently reshaped her approach to healthcare.

She was looking for volunteer work to add to her master’s applications when she came across Brave Trails, a national non-profit organization dedicated to LGBTQ+ youth leadership.

“My time volunteering in the LGBTQ+ community was a turning point,” Brenna said. “It changed my views on how I could use my expertise and career to advocate for those who might not have the same privileges I do.”

Providing care to LGBTQ+ youth ignited Brenna’s unwavering passion and now steers her educational path as a master of physician assistant student at West Coast University-Center for Graduate Studies.

“I’m excited to come into class having that lens and understand where those gaps are and how I can help fill them,” Brenna said.

Brenna’s path into medicine, driven by her lifelong passion for science, initially led her to a year-long stint in a biomedical engineering lab, where she found herself missing the human-to-human interaction that medicine provides.

“I loved the science from research, but it wasn’t stimulating my need to interact with people,” Brenna said.

However, a conversation with a friend who worked as a physician assistant revealed that the PA profession perfectly aligned with her desires for both science and connecting with people.

Now two-thirds of the way through her first year at West Coast University, Brenna is enthusiastic about her experience at the Center for Graduate Studies. She said she appreciates the MPA program’s hybrid model, which provides the flexibility to balance work, life, and studies.

“I think that’s a huge advantage to this program,” Brenna said.

When asked what advice she would offer to those considering an MPA program, Brenna emphasized the importance of bringing a passion to your studies that extends outside the classroom.

“Figure out what gets you excited and try and bring that lens to PA school because it’s definitely going to translate at the end,” she said.

WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.