Student Spotlight: George Nicholas, Class of 2020

Male anesthesiologist assistant student learning regional anesthesia

My name is George Nicolas, and I’m a second-year Master of Science in Anesthesia student at Case Western Reserve University in Houston, Texas.

My path to this career wasn’t expected. I completed my undergraduate education at Walsh University, where I graduated with a bachelor's degree in Biology. I applied to medical school shortly after graduating, and unfortunately was rejected my first time applying. After strengthening my application the following year, I came in contact with an old colleague that was just accepted into the CWRU MSA Program in Cleveland. He had informed me of the responsibilities of a certified anesthesiologist assistant, and I was immediately intrigued. After shadowing a few anesthetists, I realized that I loved every minute of being in the operating room and wanted to pursue this as a career. The following year I was accepted into both programs and decided to go the MSA route.

What I love most about the MSA Program is the ability to apply our knowledge in the clinical setting shortly after learning the material in the classroom. I just finished my ambulatory rotation in Lubbock, Texas where I spent the majority of the time placing spinals and peripheral nerve blocks. During our second year, we have the ability to rotate at several facilities outside of Houston. I took this as an opportunity to travel each month to a different location, and I absolutely love having the ability to live out of a suitcase during these months. In fact, I just started a general rotation in Canton, Ohio! Due to the diverse patient population and various facilities in which we rotate in, I am able to learn something new and know that I will be able to apply it in my future practice.

Outside of clinical work, I enjoy going for runs alongside the gardens and lakes of Hermann Park. I enjoy trying new restaurants as well as going to Astros games with friends and classmates—and don’t even get me started on the avocado bubble tea here in Houston! I am currently obsessed with bubble tea at the moment, and I find myself driving 55 minutes every weekend just to order my avocado boba!

My advice to potential students is to take a deep breath, relax, and enjoy the process! This career isn’t easy, but there is nothing I would rather be doing.

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