The first cohort of students in the Master of Medical Science in Anesthesia (MMSc-A) program began classes earlier this year. Now that he’s survived the successful launch of the new program, The Pulse invited program director Nate Flath, CAA, to introduce himself.

Are you originally from Northeast Ohio?

Yes, I was born and raised in Wadsworth, Ohio. I was the first in my family to graduate college from Bluffton University. I then attended Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) for my Master of Science in Anesthesia, but the campus was in Houston, Texas.

What brought you to NEOMED?

Starting the Anesthesiologist Assistant Training Program! Having worked as a Certified Anesthesiologist Assistant (CAA) for eight years, educating students in the operating room and advocating for my profession on the state and national level, I was looking for the next step in my career. Fate would have it that this opportunity happened to pop-up in my homeland of Northeast Ohio! I was excited for the opportunity to help advance my profession, build a culture of a program, help cultivate future leaders for the AA profession and continue to add to the positive reputation of NEOMED.

What motivated you to become a CAA, as well as get into education?

My parents were both EMTs, so when I was young, I would frequently find myself at the fire station or in the car with my dad as he responded directly to a call. I have known since I was very young that health care was my future. As I entered my junior year of pre-med coursework in undergrad, I really began to question whether being a physician was right for me. I continued forward, took the MCAT and began my applications for medical schools.

Again, fate would have it that I stumbled upon a pamphlet from CWRU’s M.S.A. program while visiting my mother. After researching the profession, talking with numerous health care providers and shadowing, I knew this was the profession I had been searching for. The ability to provide direct patient care and guide patients through some of the scariest moments of their life is one of the most rewarding gifts of a profession. The profession also allows me to balance my passion for caring for others with my other passion: my family. The ability to completely focus on my patients while in the hospital and then leave and completely focus on my family at home created a work-life balance I was looking for in a career.

What do you enjoy about working at NEOMED?

I love the small, family community that is NEOMED. Seeing similar faces on a daily basis and getting to know colleagues on a personal level creates a unified team culture that helps reinforce the idea that we are all working together to advance the NEOMED community.

What are some things you like to do outside of work?

My second passion is my family. I love to spend time with my wife, Rachel, and three boys, Carter, Hayes and Landon. We are a big sports and outdoor family so if we aren’t on a sports field, we are probably outside hiking, fishing or doing other outdoor activities. My personal stress reliever is also sports and I still love playing in adult soccer or basketball leagues as well as golfing.

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