Hi, my name is Mallory Mews. I’m a second-year MSA student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. I am originally from Wisconsin; I was raised in a small town near the Green Bay area, but eventually moved to Milwaukee where I attended Marquette University and received my Honors Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. From the beginning of my undergraduate career, I had planned on applying to medical school and becoming a physician; I eventually developed a particular interest in pharmacology and physiology, so I thought it may be worthwhile to shadow an anesthesiologist. Little did I know just how worthwhile that experience would serve to be, for that anesthesiologist not only strengthened my desire to pursue anesthesia but also introduced me to the anesthesiologist assistant profession - a profession that would allow me to practice in the areas of medicine and healthcare I was truly fascinated by, and to enjoy the life and future family I had wanted outside of said practice. I left that hospital that day completely enthralled and focused on a career as an anesthesiologist assistant [I actually almost punched a random person on the street because I was talking to my mom on the phone and was so excited and I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings], and I’ve never looked back.
CWRU’s program is very unique; rather than separating the didactic curriculum from the clinical experience, the two are used to reinforce each other - meaning that we have the opportunity to take classes and spend significant time gaining clinical experience within the first year [my first day in the OR was after just three weeks of starting the program]. Being able to learn in the classroom and immediately bring understanding to application in the OR is one of the true strongpoints in CWRU’s program, and one that I believe really helped me to connect all that I was learning together. Moreover, this further allows our second year to be more focused on our clinical experience within our specialty rotations; because we’ve already spent time learning and troubleshooting and mastering the more fundamental tasks, we can begin to fine-tune our skills and continue to add in the intricate details specific to certain specialties.
As much as I’ve enjoyed the program, I’ve also gotten to enjoy and appreciate Cleveland as a temporary home. There are lots of fun things to do here - some of my favorite things include visiting the West Side Market on Saturday or Sunday mornings, going for walks along some of the trails and parks around the city, walking around downtown and trying out new restaurants and coffee shops, and going for runs around campus and the city.
I said that I’ve never looked back after that day shadowing the anesthesiologist. But, that was a lie; I can’t help but look back and feel so blessed, so grateful, and so lucky to pursue this truly incredible profession at this truly excellent school surrounded by truly great classmates, instructors, and faculty.