Milton Rose Scholar prepares for a career as a physician assistant

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Brae Buster
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Why Pfeiffer

“Through the Milton Rose Scholars Program, I’ve gained valuable experience in a laboratory setting. And the Honors Program helped broaden my understanding of complex topics and gain confidence in my research and presentation techniques. I know I’m prepared to take steps toward a career in the medical field.”

 Brae Buster ‘17, a biology major and psychology minor who plans to become a physician assistant, knows her way around a lab. The research opportunities available to her as a Milton Rose Scholar and through the Honors Program familiarized her with the techniques of scientific research and taught her effective ways to organize and present findings. But it was the ability to develop relationships with her professors that made a difference.

“The feedback I received from faculty members from presenting over two years at the George Pfeiffer Symposium helped me work out complications in running tests,” she said. “I’m extremely thankful for their openness and willingness to help me achieve my goals.”  

Brae, an all-conference and all-region scholar athlete and 2013 Conference Carolina Freshman of the Year soccer player, will spend the next year working in a clinical setting likely as either a CNA, lab tech or medical assistant, building on recent experience shadowing physician assistants from a dermatology practice where she assisted with biopsies and other minor medical procedures.

“It’s suggested that physician assistant candidates take time to work in the medical field to complete the 1,000 clinical hours required to be accepted to PA programs,” said Brae. “In my case, this works out perfectly because as a student-athlete, I was available only during summers to start accumulating these hours. I plan to also become certified as a phlebotomist, which will count toward the requirement.”

In addition, Brae hopes there will be opportunity to continue the research she initiated for her Milton Rose research project, which focused on use of paper-based microfluidic devices for the detection of water contamination.

“These devices can be used for the detection and treatment of diseases in humans,” she said. “I can definitely see myself furthering this research with my future studies in the medical field.”