With a huge passion to connect & inspire those around me! Most days you could find me in the hospital operating + seeing patients, but if not -- I’m likely active on social media connecting with you!
I hope this space becomes a source of inspiration to cultivate a life that is celebrated beyond professional titles — to pursue a life that will ignite all of your passions, expand your horizons, and have the confidence to do it all— whether in or out of medicine!
I firmly believe that in order to completely thrive as the multifaceted humans we are, we must align both our passions & skillsets to achieve a meaningful life we wholly desire to achieve
I’m a native Florida girl, born + raised. I started my blog when I got accepted to PA school in 2016 and freshly relocating from my home state of Florida to Knoxville TN. At that time, there was nothing readily available for students in my shoes (outside of anonymous program forums). I wanted to document my journey & make the path to becoming a medical provider less intimidating, less of a shot in the dark. Making the path for students facing similar hurdles I also faced less of a challenge. Today, the medical blogging community has grown exponentially from where it all began. Though, I would consider myself a pioneer in that space, I have also evolved my channel and future goals for this space to provide more than educational/medically focused content- a better blend that represents my life in medicine & areas of passion, both present and future.
The focus of content that you’ll find here will be more cohesive in its purpose to empower others in & out of medicine to maintain a balance that’s fulfilling in all aspects of work + life.
As I share a transparent look into every day accomplishments, hurdles, + what balancing life in medicine as a female provider looks like— My hope is to empower women to pursue all of their passions without sacrificing their happiness in the process of achieving a successful life. Within content in this space, whether it be sharing the lifestyle of my medical profession, my love for the science in skincare, style picks, or discussing emerging health trends— I hope to inspire women to embrace being multifaceted humans professionally and personally. We owe it to ourselves to cultivate the balanced life we’ve always dreamt of achieving, one tailored to our individual passions + hustle, that one single work title cannot not define.
My mission is to inspire you to cultivate a life that is celebrated beyond professional titles — to pursue a life that will ignite all of your passions, expand your horizons, and have the confidence to do it all— whether in or out of medicine —
I firmly believe that in order to completely thrive as the multifaceted humans we are, we must align both our passions skillset to achieve that meaningful life we wholly desire to achieve
The University of Florida (Go Gators!), Majored in Health Science. I loved my major!
South College in Knoxville Tennessee
In undergrad I worked nights + weekends as a Patient Care Tech (I became licensed as a Certified Nursing Assistant before applying to this position) in a Pediatric after hours clinic which was a part of a Peds Emergency Dept after graduating undergrad / during my gap yr, I worked for a surgical tool company- (not your avg post-bacc job & it did not apply towards my direct patient care hrs, but it gave incredible insight and the opportunity to network while spending so many hours in the OR (+ counted as HCE) Other direct patient care hours I used in my application were medical mission trips to Nicaragua and India.
I applied with roughly 1,000 hours of PCE and a full time year of HCE that I acquired during my gap year.
Overall, this comes down to personal choice & is a loaded question.
I actually wrote a blog post on it too. Knowing that the medical field was an interest, I began taking pre-req courses when I discovered the PA profession. The role of being an advance practice provider with freedom to switch specialties seemed like a dream + sig. less schooling than med school. I immediately switched my focus to classes best preparing me for the PA school apps. Becoming a provider was the most important aspect to me;I wanted to improve the connection in the patient-provider relationships without the requirement of a residency in addition to the extra 2 yrs of med school. I researched the responsibilities & role of a PA in the healthcare team + knew it was the route I needed to pursue!
I should preface that this answer will vary even within the specialty to any PA you ask- all dependent upon the scope your attendings practice at! But- since you asked: My provider role in Vascular is primarily surgical- so the majority of my time is spent in the operating room as a first assist to my surgeons (I scrub with all of the surgeons, currently there are 6). My job is not only confined to OR duties, but to assure patients are assessed & ready for surgery pre-operatively, as well. I assess patients in the inpatient (hospital) & outpatient (clinical) settings, this includes: new patient consults, pre-operative assessments; intra- and post-operative care. Some examples of conditions that our team treats and operations we perform include, but not limited to: abdominal aortic aneurysm rupture repairs and dissections, arterial reconstructions, arterial thrombectomies, carotid artery stenosis, endovascular repairs / stent placements, creation of long term access for hemodialysis use, &
I also take the first call for our entire vascular team every third night & every third weekend, which encompasses coverage for the surrounding associated hospitals &/or facilities that do not have the surgical subspecialty on site.
Because of COVID and abiding to hospital policies, students' applications to observe/shadow are not being accepted at this time. I will be sure to announce when this changes!
Nope, however - I did make sure I shadowed with the practice in/out of the OR prior to accepting the position (definitely recommend it even if you have experience in the field).
I did not. However, some specialties like Emergency Medicine or Dermatology offer these (not required) which can assist new PA graduates to have a more competitive application for these fields.
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I own the rights to all of my content. All information provided on this blog is my personal opinion and none of my opinions or recommendations are affiliated with my employer. Please respect my work and credit me if you would like to share my content and/or contact me prior for approval. This site does not provide medical advice.
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Don’t be shy. Reach out via Instagram @withashleykay) or over on the contact page, anytime. I love hearing from my community + happy to give any personal recc’s you may need (including, but not limited to IG reels or TikTok suggestions)’
** excluding medical advice*