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ATSU-CHC student says Physician Assistant program preparing him for future in healthcare

A.T. Still University-College for Healthy Communities (ATSU-CHC) Central Coast Physician Assistant (PA) program student Tomislav Lojpur, PA, ’23

A.T. Still University-College for Healthy Communities (ATSU-CHC) Central Coast Physician Assistant (PA) program student Tomislav Lojpur, PA, ’23, knew ATSU was the place for him well before the first day of class.

That’s because Lojpur had attended several information sessions and spoken to ATSU-CHC faculty and staff before he applied, and liked what he’d heard.

“The faculty and staff were very friendly and supportive during these sessions,” Lojpur said. “They spoke about the ATSU mission statement and showed they were passionate about serving underserved communities, which is something I admired. I was very interested in attending a program that prioritized patients and communities.” 

Lojpur was born in Novi Sad, Serbia, and moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, when he was 5 years old. He graduated from Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania with a degree in health sciences in 2021. Upon starting classes at ATSU-CHC, Lojpur joined the Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) Mentoring Program, and became a student ambassador. 

“I joined PALs due to my passion for teaching. It felt like a great opportunity to enhance my skills in that aspect,” Lojpur said. “I joined the ATSU student ambassador program because I felt driven to be an advocate due to my positive experiences. I know how difficult and uncertain the application process can be. It is very fulfilling to be able to help individuals who are in that stage of their journey.”

Lojpur said he appreciated the student-first mentality at ATSU-CHC, which he said promotes learning and also acknowledges the importance of student mental health and wellness. He also enjoys the “flipped classroom” model in the program, which promotes discussion and collaboration between students in a group-learning environment. The benefits extend beyond simply learning the curriculum.

“This method of learning allows students to also develop interpersonal skills through collaborative efforts while also learning medicine. I believe this strategy will translate to practice due to the team-based care that most work environments require,” Lojpur said. “The case-based group study allows students to immerse themselves in the role of the PA and learn through practice and discussion, rather than notes and lectures.”

Lojpur said the program is preparing him well for a future as a certified physician assistant. 

“ATSU is helping to prepare me by giving me the opportunity to complete my clinicals at Community Health Centers of America in underserved areas,” he said. “This is a very valuable experience which will help me in both the clinical and interpersonal aspects of the profession. Also, with programs like ATSU student ambassador and PALs mentor, I am able to develop skills that will help me grow as a student and, hopefully, a future educator as well.”


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