Parkersburg resident awarded Paul Spear Scholarship Award from Physician Assistant Program

First-year Marietta College graduate student Melissa Law was awarded the Paul Spear Scholarship at the Physician Assistant Program’s White Coat Ceremony in October. The award was based on her desire to work and help the southeast Ohio and Appalachian region.

In order to receive the award, Law signed a one-for-one agreement to practice in the Appalachian region for each year she is awarded the scholarship. The scholarship is a full tuition waiver for the duration of the program and totals $30,188 for the first year and $25,988 for the second year.

“This scholarship is a blessing and has made my education possible,” said Law, who earned a bachelor’s degree from West Virginia University.

Law, the daughter of Bill and Connie Law of Parkersburg, W.Va., is in her first year of the Physician Assistant program at Marietta College. She learned about the award when she was interviewed for the program in February. She had to write an essay on why she should be awarded the scholarship and discuss her future plans in the PA profession.

“Melissa is a strong student and has a strong interest in providing healthcare to the region and Marietta College is dedicated to helping provide quality healthcare for the region,” said Dr. Gloria Stewart, Director of the Physician Assistant program.

The PA program consists of a 27-month curriculum. The first 12 months are pre-clinical academic based, and the last 15 months are clinical rotations. The graduate students do clinical rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, psychiatry, orthopedics, pediatrics, prenatal/gynecology, and electives.

Law, a graduate of Calhoun County High School, believes that much of her success is due to the quality of the PA program at Marietta College.

“The faculty and staff are very friendly and helpful,” she said. “I really enjoy the program because the clinical skills that I am learning help me to see that this is what I want to do with my life.”

The Marietta College Physician Assistant program is in its third year with a total of 40 students enrolled. Students from the class of 2005 are presently on clinical rotations in core areas such as surgery, family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, psychiatry, orthopedics, prenatal care and emergency medicine. The College’s first Physician Assistant class graduated in August.

“The Physician Assistant program provides the students with a very strong science and clinical foundation for them to work professionally in the future,” Stewart said.