Master of Health Science and Physician Assistant Certificate in Physician Assistant Program
Physician Assistant at Hillsborough Medical Group and President/CEO of Utilization Solutions in Healthcare
Lisa Shock is the president and CEO of Utilization Solutions in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., which she started in 2009. She graduated from Colgate University with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and a Master of Health Science from Duke University’s Physician Assistant Program. She has been a physician assistant and a practice owner for more than 10 years.
Why did you choose to pursue an education as a physician assistant?
I wanted to work with patients and I decided on a PA opportunity. There was a research opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill and at the time when I was deciding what to do next, but I always got back to the fact that I wanted to make a difference in patient care, so I started shadowing PAs at UNC Chapel Hill. Shadowing was part of the application process [at Duke] — I started shadowing and started thinking about how I could meet the prerequisite programs because part of the process was to become really familiar with the profession.
What skills from your Bachelor’s degree from Colgate prepared you for your master’s at Duke?
Colgate is a rigorous institution, so even though I had been out of school for five years, it was good to come from a rigorous undergrad program and being used to that level of science. Duke was the top program in the country and still is No. 1. And at the time, when I decided I wanted to be a physician assistant, Duke offered a master’s in addition to the physician assistant certificate.
What did you like/dislike about the health science program?
I love the program at Duke — I teach geriatric and long-term care there the first year and then pre-care in the second year, and I’m on the alumni steering committee. I always say it’s like the Lexus commercial: relentless pursuit of excellence. We always need to be No. 1. It was No. 1 the entire time I was training, and then it wasn’t for a couple of times, and it’s No. 1 again.
One of things that’s special is that we have access to a world-renowned medical center, an international basic science training program, and cardiovascular learning, all from experts in their field- not someone who has just read or heard about what they’re teaching. The other thing is that Duke alumni are passionate and we try to get back to the profession, try to be innovative and strive for educational excellence. Every year, we strive to bring new information and to be cutting edge and expose students to every aspect of the field.
What advice would you give to potential physician assistant students?
Definitely hook up with any of the PA leaders in the state and utilize the opportunity for shadowing. I love to have students shadow and students do that all the time. I remember acutely, even though it was 15 years ago, when I decided I wanted someone to give me the chance to learn. Be thirsty for learning, be open to it, and take creative opportunities and be persistent. Everyone looks the same on paper, so sometimes it comes down to who is really passionate and who’s educated and knows what we do as part of the healthcare team.