Michael Feroli found the military through the Jefferson College of Health Sciences Physician Assistant (PA) program rather than the other way around. A December 2011 graduate of the program, Feroli became a Naval officer the following summer and found fulfillment in both the clinical setting at Camp Pendleton, CA, and the more intensive environment of a mobile trauma team at Camp Leatherneck, Afghanistan during the summer and fall of 2013.
He said that experiences shared by JCHS PA program alumni and preceptors who served in the Navy, “were truly motivating and inspirational in pursuing a military medical career.” Even though his trauma team in Afghanistan stayed fairly quiet, the PA program got him ready from the first moment.
“Jefferson did an awesome job preparing us right out of school. There is very little time given in the Navy. They want us to see patients quickly,” Feroli said.
He cites his high level of job satisfaction as a reason he went back to school. He graduated in 2000 with a marketing degree from the University of Maryland and went into sales. But, his career, he said, was “organized around my benefit. Being a PA allowed me to make an impact on one person at a time, and adding the military into that seemed like a good fit. I have always wanted to serve, but I was not sure how or when or if.”
Feroli says the Navy is high pressure. “They expect you to mentor corpsmen, do administrative tasks, deploy, attend training seminars—the job is much more varied, and I love that responsibility. Jefferson set me up well so that I could come up to speed quickly as a PA.”
Now working at a family medicine clinic at Camp Pendleton, Feroli said this venue allows him to care for Marines, members of the Navy and their families. His wife Wendy, a vascular sonographer and ICU nurse, was a major factor in his attendance and graduation from the Jefferson PA program. Michael says she was a great motivator, along with his parents and the “caring, enthusiastic personalities of the JCHS PA faculty.”
“I am thankful to be a Naval Officer and Physician Assistant, since I am able to provide a high level of care, both in a clinic setting at home and while deployed,” said Michael. “Somebody may be having the worst day ever, but might have a better day because of the care we offer.”
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