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Beyond the Scope: Ep. 3 | Secrets of a PA School Grad



Beyond the Scope: Ep. 3 | Secrets of a PA School Grad

In this episode I interview Joel Ciolek. Joel is a PA out in Washington so he’s been on the front lines of COVID out there in Washington and we’re going to talk about that at the end of this podcast, but first we’re gonna talk a little bit about kind of how he got to where he is now because he’s a new grad.

Joel joined the physician assistant career when he was fifteen. Knowing he wanted to go to PA school, he started doing all those prereqs.

The Secret of Patient Care Hours for a PA School Grad

In this episode, Joel discusses how he got his patient care hours and how he received his on-the-job training. We further discuss ways to get patient care experience during the episode.

Joel tells us his story of how he became intersted in Opthamology and how he chose his career today.

About Joel Ciolek

Joel was born and raised in the Seattle, Washington area and is a recent transplant to California. He attended Heritage University to obtain his Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and is a board certified physician assistant practicing in the field of Ophthalmology. Joel is one of only 80 PAs practicing in this specialty.

Joel attributes his interest in Ophthalmology to his patients and mentors. Ophthalmology patients were his first patients. Ophthalmologists were his first mentors. Through both relationships, Joel was able to actualize his childhood moral imagination of medicine into something real. In other words, pursuing medicine was no longer just a scholastic pursuit; Joel was seeing medicine in action through the eyes of patients and Ophthalmologists, and this captivated not just his mind, but also his heart.

Joel considers it an honor to be able to look into someone’s eyes for a living and preserve and restore someone’s vision. Since our eyes are also an emotive organ; we communicate with our eyes and so Joel finds this field to be very inviting and free of distraction.

Some specific interests of Joel’s include ocular oncology (cancer that either originates in or spreads (metastasizes) to the eye) and inherited eye conditions, such as retinitis pigmentosa.


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