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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Annamarie Parker
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I am an English, Writing major with a double minor in German and journalism. I'm also pursuing my TESOL certificate while working for Housing and Residence Life. I love to travel and meet new people.

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

TIMES ARE CHANGING — FAFSA announced changes to its filing system in February.
Editorial — The "better" FAFSA
North Wind Editorial Board February 27, 2024

NMU students gain edge in CMU’s Physician’s Assistant Program

Enrolling in Central Michigan University’s Physician’s Assistant Program just became easier for NMU graduates.
Through a recent agreement with Northern, the program will now reserve four interviews annually for NMU students.
David Lucas, director of pre-medical programs at Northern, said he is excited about the new arrangement.
“With about 40 open slots, and four guaranteed interviews, that’s 10 percent of the class. That’s pretty good,” he said.
However, the four spots will only be offered to students who meet CMU’s entrance requirements, and are also nominated by their advisors.
Physician’s Assistants (PAs) provide diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive health care services, according to the United States Department of Labor. Duties can include taking medical histories and examining and treating patients.
CMU accepts roughly 44 people into its 27-month-long PA program every year, said Clint Fitzpatrick, director of Admissions and Enrollment Management for the College of Health Professions at CMU.
While NMU has four guaranteed interviews, this doesn’t mean that students will automatically be accepted, Lucas said. However, he believes that acceptance won’t be a problem.
“If you’re recommended by us, and you meet the requirements, unless you absolutely bomb the interview, you’ll probably get in,” Lucas said.
Northern students have a history of doing well in CMU’s program, Fitzpatrick said.
“They do extremely well in the program,” he said. “The faculty are ecstatic because they are getting some great, qualified students that stick with the program and excel. It’s a no-brainer.”
While CMU has similar agreements with other private universities, Northern is the only public university that has guaranteed interviews within the PA program, Fitzpatrick said.
CMU is one of five Michigan schools that offer a PA program, and every year the school receives hundreds of applicants for its 44 available slots.
“It’s extremely competitive, and it becomes more and more competitive every year,” Fitzpatrick said.
Since each school has its own set of requirements, it is more complicated to be accepted into a PA program than a standard medical school, Lucas said.
“PA schools are not uniform,” he added. “This makes it more complicated, when the course requirements are different, and amount of direct patient care is different [for each school].”
NMU pre-PA students are also given the opportunity to observe a professional PA during their time at Northern. As sophomores, the students are able to contact PAs in the Marquette area and schedule time to observe with them.
“We want our kids to get experience, to know what they’re getting into,” Lucas said. “We’re lucky compared to most schools. The medical community is a huge help to us.”
While the guaranteed interviews provide an edge for NMU students, Lucas said they won’t be sending just anyone to take one of those spots.
“If we don’t have four students that meet all the requirements,” he said, “then we won’t be sending four.”

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