Moving from Mongolia to Colorado with her mother at age 12, Enkhjin Enkhsaikhan was inspired by her mother’s pursuit of higher learning and work in the medical field. But although Enkhsaikhan knew from a young age that she wanted a career in health care; she wasn’t always certain of her direction.
“I guess I always wanted to be in the O.R. But there's so many different professionals in there, I wasn't sure which one I want to be,” she says.
When she began researching different roles in health care, she discovered the profession of certified anesthesiologist assistant (CAA) and sought out the new program that began at NEOMED in the 2021-22 academic year.
Enkhsaikhan is one of 12 students in the inaugural class of the Master of Medical Science in Anesthesia (MMSc-A) program who will receive their white coats in a ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, April 2, in Cook Alumni Hall.
“The White Coat placed on each future health care professional is more than a familiar lab coat,” notes Nathaniel Flath, CAA, program director. “It is a cloak of competence, communication, caring, curiosity, character and community.”
That sense of community is one the factors that led Enkhsaikhan to NEOMED.
“One of the driving factors for coming here was the fact that it was so intimate and family oriented,” she says. And because the cohort is small, she has become close to all of her classmates. “You're pushing together with the people around you, and that makes it so much more rewarding,” she says.
That sentiment is echoed by classmate Patrick Varley. “My favorite part of the program is definitely how it's a small class size and such a tight-knit group of individuals. Everybody brings each other up. And I like that a lot.”
Varney’s route to the MMSc-A program was a bit different from Enkhsaikhan’s.
Intent on going to medical school, Varley started a business creating real estate videos to save funds for tuition. When he graduated from college, he continued to operate the business for two years. But he knew it wasn’t going to be his final career, he says: “I still had a passion for medicine.”
He shifted his goal away from earning an M.D. when he watched a YouTube video, “A Day in the Life of an Anesthesiologist Assistant.” “I was like, ‘Oh, this seems awesome,’” he says.
Anyone interested in learning about CAA careers and the MMSc-A program is welcome to attend an open house Saturday, April 2, from 1-3 p.m., just prior to the White Coat ceremony in the Research and Graduate Education building’s first-floor lobby.
Guests will learn how the MMSc-A program prepares students to be CAAs through state-of-the-art, high-fidelity simulation, an innovative didactic curriculum and hands-on clinical experiences.
Open House Details
Saturday, April 2
First floor lobby of the Research and Graduate Education Building, NEOMED
4209 St. Rt. 44, Rootstown, Ohio 44272
Parking is available in Lot R next to the building. Entrance will be marked with signs.