Student Spotlight: Cassie Dunn, Class of 2020

Female certified anesthesiologist assistant student standing in front of medical cart

My name is Cassie Dunn, and I’m a first-year Master of Science in Anesthesia student at Case Western Reserve University in Houston, Texas. I grew up in a rural North Georgia right outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee—therefore Houston’s southern hospitality, cowboy boots, and sweet iced tea make me feel right at home!

I attended The University of Georgia, where I received my Bachelors of Science in Agriculture in Biological Sciences. Not knowing exactly what I wanted to pursue after college, I became a flight attendant for Delta Air Lines. While traveling around the world, I discovered the certified anesthesiologist assistant profession. In fact, one of my college classmates currently works as a pediatric anesthetist at Children’s Hospital of Atlanta, and I had opportunities to shadow her. This helped grow my unwavering interest in the field of anesthesia, and is the reason why I am interested in pursuing a career in pediatric anesthesia.

Two female Master of Science in Anesthesia students in scrubs
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Being able to begin my clinical education at Memorial Hermann, a level-one trauma hospital, and Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, has been an experience unlike any other! Currently, I am on a general surgery rotation. My case types vary day-to-day, so very rarely do I see the same case. The other day, for example, I worked a case that included an emergency exploratory laparotomy. This type of procedure is really interesting because the surgeon opens up the patient’s abdomen and explores the surrounding organs and tissues. Not only was it an interesting procedure, but I had the chance to practice new skills I had just learned in our simulation lab like placing intravenous and arterial lines.

Houston also provides exciting experiences outside of the clinical work. Houston is a vibrant city filled with sports, good food, and warm weather! I am a huge baseball fan, and I love attending Houston Astros games at Minute Maid Park. Although those baseball park hotdogs are to die for, for an unbeatable kimchi cheeseburger with loaded fries, check out Burger Joint in Midtown—it’s one of my favorites! In the afternoons after clinical, I enjoy going for runs alongside the beautiful gardens and lakes of Hermann Park and soaking up the Texas sunshine at the rooftop pool. There is always something to get into in Houston on the weekends!

About this post: The Student Spotlight series highlights MSA students in their second year of coursework in Cleveland, Houston, and Washington. The series is a student-led initiative, and is designed to share current student experiences with prospective students.