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San Joaquin Valley College Blog

A Long Road To Success

December 7, 2012

It was five long years from the time Andrew (AJ) Bloom first decided to become a Physician Assistant until he actually enrolled in the Visalia campus’s PA program. It wasn’t procrastination that delayed that start date; it was his deliberate, methodical preparation to meet the program’s prerequisites.

“In the beginning my goal seemed so far away,” says AJ, “But I knew I had to keep chipping away at the ‘prereqs’ of volunteer work, patient-related work experience and shadowing Physician Assistants to make it happen.” He developed a long-term plan to meet his goals and put his mind, heart and back into it.

“It was a lot of small decisions along the way that gradually added up,” he says. “It was taking summer classes, getting a tutor for chemistry and turning Bs into As” that finally positioned him as a qualified candidate for the PA program.

Now, well past the half-way mark, AJ is breathing a little easier. He has hit his stride with the demands of a rigorous PA program.

“I live by the clock,” he says, “and set a firm study schedule.” The moment things first came together for him was when he passed his first set of mid-terms. “Ok, this is do-able,” he decided. He hasn’t looked back.

As a graduate from Chico State with a BA Degree, and a licensed EMT who worked for 5-years in that field, AJ knows a career in medicine holds the brightest future for him and his family. His wife, Ali, and toddler, Finley, are his strongest supporters – along with Ali’s parents who live in Visalia and have provided a home for this young family while they try to get ahead.

“They are putting a roof over our heads and making it possible for Ali to be a stay-at-home mom and for me to have the focus I need to complete the program,” says AJ. A new baby coming in May will get to witness AJ’s August walk across the graduation stage and into a new life of service to the local community.

“As a professional PA, I want to stay relevant in this field and make a positive impact on people’s lives in an underserved health community,” says AJ. He is well on his way.

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