May 11, 2018

Meet Seth Eiland in our UAMS Physician Assistant Studies Program

Meet Seth Eiland in our UAMS Physician Assistant Studies Program in the UAMS College of Health Professions. He is our featured Student Highlight #UAMSCHP

Hello, my name is Seth Eiland and I am a Physician Assistant student here at UAMS.

I was born and raised in Camden, AR. Although I have become accustomed to living in the city, my roots are planted
in an area many city-dwellers would call “the sticks”.

I chose to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant for many reasons. I knew that I wanted a career that would give me the ultimate opportunity to help others, regardless of circumstance. When I combined my desire to serve others with my
love for science, a career in medicine was the perfect fit for me.

I obtained my first job in high school as a pharmacy cashier and later as a pharmacy technician. It was during that time that I first became exposed to the inner-workings of the healthcare system. I enjoyed learning about the various medications and their uses, but even more so, I learned that I really enjoyed talking with people. You would have thought the comments on my report cards that read “too much talking” would have helped me realize this earlier! Anyway, I started to investigate other areas of healthcare that would give me the opportunity to talk to people, form longterm relationships with them, and be more intimately involved in their care. That’s when I discovered medicine.

After graduating from high school, I moved to Arkadelphia, AR to attend Henderson State University. I continued to work as a pharmacy technician during that time, but I also started working in a local family medicine clinic. Four years passed and I found myself walking across the stage to receive my Bachelor’s degree in Biology. It was an exceptionally proud moment in my life as I was the first person in my family to go to college.

After graduating from college, I was faced with a decision—should I go to medical school or PA school? I knew that medicine was right for me, but I wasn’t sure which route I should take. I meticulously examined both career paths, and with advice from my closest mentors, I decided that PA school was right for me. I knew that the profession was relatively new to the state, and I was excited to be a part of something up and coming. I applied to the program here at UAMS and soon I was accepted—it was the happiest day of my life!

With graduation quickly approaching in May, I am focused on a couple of short-term career goals. My first goal is to get uncomfortable on clinical rotations. By stepping outside of my comfort zone, I hope to improve upon my areas of weakness and expand my clinical boundaries. My second goal is to prepare as much as possible for the PANCE, the national certification exam for PAs.

My long-term career goal as a Physician Assistant is to work with students in some way. I want to inspire students in the way that so many educators have inspired me. I think it would be rewarding to be a professor at a PA program or a preceptor for students during clinical rotations.

Upon graduation from PA school, I plan to take the PANCE, apply for licensure, and begin the search for my first job as a Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C). I’ll
probably look for a job in primary care so that I can establish a firm foundation as a newly minted healthcare provider.

When asked for my favorite quote, I usually struggle to pick just one. However, theone I find resonates with me the most recently is, “Patients don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. I have found this to be very truesince starting clinical rotations. Patients want to know that you care about them—they want to know that they aren’t just a number. For this reason, I try to spendsome time getting to know the story of each patient I encounter. I think it reallymakes a difference in how care is delivered and how it is received.

As just one person, it’s overwhelming to think about trying to change the world. I do think I have a shot at changing my community, though. The aspect of my
community that I want to change is the stigma of mental illness. I think that mental health conditions are grossly underdiagnosed and undertreated in our communities. It makes me sad when I hear about the stigmas and barriers to mental health care that still exist in our society. I hope that one day I can impact my community by making mental health a priority for my patients.

Throughout my life, there have been many people who have influenced me in big
ways. I think the biggest influences, however, have come from my educators. As a first-generation college student, I often had doubts that I could succeed in higher education. If it weren’t for the support from my educators, I’m not certain I would be where I am today. With that being said, challenges will continue to arise
throughout life. Personally, I’ve found that it’s best to stay positive when you find
yourself in a difficult situation. Don’t give someone or something the power to
control how you feel. Use each challenge as an opportunity to better yourself and
those around you.

The best words of advice that I can lend to future students is to find something
you’re passionate about and go for it! You will make the biggest impact on your
community and the world if you pursue something that makes you just as excited 40 years from now as it does today. The world needs people who live and work

Outside of medicine, I have many interests that include: reading, going to the
movies, listening to music, spending time with friends, and traveling. I also enjoy
aviation—I hope that one day I can start working on my Private Pilot’s License.
I am motivated each and every day by my mom. Although she is no longer with me in this life, I think of her daily and I am reminded to live without regrets.

To learn more about the Physician Assistant profession, I encourage you to visit