In this edition of BMB's Alumni Spotlight, we feature Paige Hoban, PA-C.
Paige graduated from the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department in 2013 with a bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology, Clinical Laboratory Science option and a minor degree in Microbiology. While a student at Penn State, she conducted research during her summer and winter breaks in the Metabolic Laboratory at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Paige says that the internship and lab group experience was pivotal in her medicine experience and helped her to experience both the research and clinical laboratory spectrums that were available as careers.
After graduating from Penn State, Paige worked at The Hospital of University of Pennsylvania as a Medical Laboratory Scientist in the Hospital’s Blood Bank Laboratory. Currently, Paige lives in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and works at Temple University Hospital as a Board-Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C).
Let’s chat with Paige, talk about her experiences while at Penn State, and catch up with what she’s been up to.
What do you do at Temple University Hospital?
I am currently a PA-C in the Medical Respiratory Intensive Care Unit at Temple University Hospital. I am also cross-trained to cover the lung transplant/pulmonary/COVID-19 units. My job entails gathering patient histories, performing physical exams, writing daily progress notes, reviewing lab and imaging results, and ordering appropriate medical management. I perform procedures including arterial blood draws, feeding tube placement, central line placement, and ultrasound evaluation. Furthermore, I work with the multidisciplinary team to conduct patient/family meetings as well as prepare discharge summaries, discharge instructions, prescriptions and medication reconciliation.
What was it that made you want to come to Penn State, and BMB, to pursue your education?
In high school, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. This disease brought some hardship to my life but in the end it is what gave me the passion to pursue a career in science and to ultimately help others during their toughest moments. (Fun Fact – I was the VP of the Crohns and Colitis Foundation at PSU!).
Next was trying to find what path in science to go in to. I will never forget my shadow day at PSU and going to the Biotechnology Clinical Laboratory Science Option meeting. I loved that the clinical laboratory was an essential key to the differentiations of disease diagnoses, treatment choices, and promoted critical thinking with innovative technologies and testing. This was a major in which my education would be a perfect foundation to a career in medicine.
If the overwhelming joy about finding a perfect major wasn’t enough, I also fell in love with Penn State because it had a strong sense of community, pride, and love…as well as amazing ice cream, club gymnastics team, THON and the best football around!
How do you feel Penn State, and BMB, prepared you for your current position or career?
Penn State and the BMB major prepared me for my current career by giving me a core science education, having excellent CLS clinical rotations that developed me from a student to a real-life scientist, and providing excellent networking opportunities. Furthermore, my involvement in PSU club activities allowed me to develop skills of leadership, teamwork, organization, and communication.
Share at least one interesting/fun fact about yourself.
My go-to fun fact especially for my 90s kids – I was on Slime Time Live!
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Outside of work you will usually catch me doing yoga, running at sunrise, going for walks or going to the park with my dog Honey, hanging out with my amazing family and friends, jamming out to Taylor Swift, watching Harry Potter, or planning my next travel adventure.
Favorite “We Are Penn State” Moment.
The first “We Are Moment” that comes to my mind was my first time at THON. I have never felt such an aura of community, love, and dedication to a cause. Hearing the family hour stories followed by seeing the final donation total truly felt like this is what “We ARE” means – “We ARE” dedicated to making a difference to these children’s’ lives and the fight against pediatric cancer.
Advice from Paige to future generations of scientists and medical professionals:
The advice I would give to future and current students would be to find your passion in science and let it drive you to a career you will be happy in (it is okay if you switch careers within it!), treat your classes and your clinicals as job interviews, jump into your field with an internship or volunteer opportunity because this will clarify if you are choosing the right path and network with everyone you encounter. Finding a mentor is another bonus support! I was lucky to have Dr. Carl Sillman during my time at PSU. Finally, always take time for yourself and develop some personal enjoyments aside from your schooling and career.