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Vishalee Patel
Vishalee Patel

Vishalee Patel, a first-year student in the UNC School of Medicine Physician Assistant Studies program, has recently been named assistant editor of First Rounds, a resource for PA students.


First Rounds, an online resource written for and by physician assistant students, has named Vishalee Patel as assistant editor. Patel is a first-year student in the Physician Assistant Studies program at the UNC School of Medicine.

A 2014 graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Patel is a first-generation American who has family ties to Charlotte, North Carolina, and India. Her interest and background in public health and health policy led her to apply to the PA program at UNC.

“Health care is constantly changing, and I feel like it’s our responsibility as future health care providers to ensure that our patients have access to care,” Patel said.

Patel sees part of that responsibility as communicating with other physician assistant students in various programs around the county as she assumes the role of assistant editor.

First Rounds is a publication housed under the American Association of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Along with editor Mia McDonald at the Jefferson College of Health Sciences, Patel will select stories for publication as it transitions to an all-online format.

Stories are submitted on a rolling basis by PA students from around the country, and can include anything from volunteer opportunities, inspiring stories, or sharing of resources.

“I wanted an avenue to communicate with my own peers,” Patel said. “I wanted to learn about their journeys and everything that has led them to the classroom. … I want to give more of a voice to stories that are happening here at UNC and use it as an opportunity to engage with other students and other PA programs.”

Patel has felt drawn to communications and sharing of ideas thanks to her previous work in private clinics in Charlotte before enrolling in PA school. She said her passion for service and connecting her community influenced her decision to take on this role at First Rounds.