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Wildcats@Work with Karis Kellner

Karis Kellner '14 graduated from the UA Eller College of Management with a focus in healthcare management. After earning a master's degree, she is beginning her career as a physician assistant in emergency medicine.

What is your current career?
I’ve just finished graduate school and I am starting my career as an emergency medicine physician assistant in South Carolina. 

What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
Physician assistants (PA) practice medicine in collaboration with physicians and other healthcare providers. In the emergency department, a PA is responsible for diagnosing, treating, and managing a variety of diseases and conditions in both adults and children. My responsibilities include obtaining medical histories, conducting physical exams, ordering diagnostic tests, interpreting labs and imaging results, prescribing medications, arranging consultations and providing patient education. With oversight from emergency physicians, I also perform procedures such as lacerations repairs, joint reductions and airway management. 

How did your time at the UA prepare you to make networking connections and succeed as a professional?
Graduating from the Eller College with a focus on healthcare management provided me with the skills I needed to become an effective leader within my organization. Emergency medicine is a team sport; in order to be successful, you must be proficient in delegating, multitasking and prioritizing. My degree in business management allowed me to develop my leadership abilities in these areas, which has helped me transition easily into the world of clinical medicine. 

What is the best piece of career advice you’ve ever received?
It’s hard to pick just one, so here are my top three: First, make business cards, and remember to take them with you everywhere you go. You never know who you might meet. Second, all of the success in the world is meaningless if you have no one to share it with. Setting goals is important, but so is celebrating your victories with those who take pride in your accomplishments. And lastly, don’t ever be so focused on making a living that you neglect to make a life, too.