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Medical Assistant Graduate Highlight – Emily Crum

After living in Pittsburgh for a few years as a bank teller and being laid off twice in six months, Emily Crum decided that she needed a more stable career.

“Nursing school seemed like my best option, however, I didn’t know if I had the stomach for it,” Emily said.

After seeing a commercial for Pennsylvania Institute of Health and Technology, she made an appointment to visit the campus and discuss the medical assisting program.

“The school was close to home and everyone seemed friendly, so I went for it,” Emily said.

She chose the medical program because she wanted to do something where she would “make a small difference in someone’s life,” she said.

Along with the fast pace, clinicals and health fairs were some of Emily’s favorite things about being enrolled in the medical program at PIHT.

Staff members also played an important part in her time as a student. Emily said Medical Assisting Director Pam Hughes changed her life, and for that, she’ll be forever grateful.

“I can still remember our tearful goodbye from my last day,” Emily said. “It was like the worst break up I’ve ever had in my life. Pam made me a better person and never let me give up on myself, even though I already had. I can still hear her say, ‘Hey Emily,’ if I’m about to do something in a hurry without gloves on or if I’m doubting myself. She’s someone who will always be in my heart.”

Before Emily graduated, she was offered a job at Tri-State Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center with Dr. Robert English Jr., where she’s now been working for more than a year.

“I can still remember screaming in the phone like a huge nerd when they offered me the job and then flying to school to tell my instructors,” Emily said. “Never in a million years would I have believed that I’d be working for a dermatologist.”

During her workday, the practice sees between 60-90 patients per day. She helps with exams, surgeries and light therapy treatments for patients with acne and pre-cancers. On a typical day, Emily gives multiple numbing injections, sees numerous biopsies, as well as seeing patients who are seeking treatment for eczema, acne, MRSA, scabies, melanoma, condyloma, skin tags and shingles, among other things.

“While I never thought I’d end up there, I’m glad I did,” Emily said. “Every day ends by laughing with the great group of girls I work with and knowing that I changed someone’s day.”

Not only has working in the medical field help Emily change the lives of others, but it’s changed her life too.

“I think it has made me a better person,” Emily said. “It also really puts things into perspective. You should be thankful for everyday and not complain so much.”

For more information on graduation rates, median debt of students who have completed their programs, and other important information, please visit our website at