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AHEC Scholars Spotlight: Patrick Johnson

Patrick has had a winding path to the University of WI-Madison Physician Assistant Program. He's a life long learner with an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. in English Literature with an Emphasis in Creative Writing from UW-Madison. His current studies keep him plenty busy, but he joined AHEC Scholars in order to access resources to broaden his understanding of people with different experiences and backgrounds than his own and develop methods for helping eliminate health disparities.

The AHEC Scholars program is impacting Patrick through its network of online modules, conferences, healthcare professionals, and hands-on learning opportunities. Patrick says, "Any opportunity to learn more about how social determinants of health affect behaviors and thereby affect our health will help tailor my approach to my future patients in helping them prevent disease; maybe more importantly, studying the behavioral element of disease can help connect with patients in more nonjudgmental ways."

Patrick advises younger students to volunteer and/or work in as many healthcare contexts as possible, as soon as possible and try to learn about a specific patient population and develop the emotional intelligence to establish rapport with individuals in that group.

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