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Gary Taylor, second-year Physician Assistant Studies student, joined the PA program after serving in the U.S. Army for 10-and-a-half years. As a Special Forces medical sergeant and combat diver, Taylor was the medical technician for the dive team.

“When I was transitioning out of the military, I knew I wanted to pursue the PA profession,” Taylor said. For Taylor, the PA program aligned with his desire to continue to serve underserved populations and its commitment to the military.

Taylor will join the second-ever cohort of students to graduate from the PA program on December 15, 2018. Consistent with his commitment to rural medicine, he has completed several clinical rotations at Chatham Hospital, including in internal medicine and emergency medicine.

During his time as a student, Taylor was a Blue Cross NC Physician Assistant scholar. He pursued electives in cardiology and orthopedics. Taylor also participated in the Rural Inter-Professional Health Initiative (RIPHI), a three-year pilot program supported by the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, which enables students in the field of health professions to learn in underserved rural clinical settings in North Carolina.

“I truly enjoy helping medicine and helping people, so I feel like I can now take those skill sets and employ that here in North Carolina and to an underserved population,” Taylor said. “It’s a phenomenal field. It just seemed like the perfect fit.”