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Inside Education and Health Sciences

A healing hand

By By Cara Gfroerer ’24

When Chase Hoffman '22 started his freshman year at UD, his grandfather was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer. Hoffman admired the doctors who were able to offer his grandfather answers and provide him with support. 

This inspired Hoffman to pursue a career in medicine, specifically as a physician assistant. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Physician Assistant Practice program in the School of Education and Health Sciences. Hoffman said he feels that as a PA he can directly impact his patients' health by building more personal relationships with them, something traditional doctors with busy schedules often cannot do. 

"I want to be the one who people can turn to for answers," Hoffman said.

Hoffman's educational journey is continuing to unfold thanks to the academic access UD made available to him through scholarships, mentorships and other experiences that helped broaden his view of what his future vocations could be. Enhanced access to a UD education is the highest fundraising priority for We Soar, the campaign for the University of Dayton. 

Hoffman didn't originally plan to go to UD. He grew up in the Dayton area and attended Chaminade Julienne High School, also run by the Society of Mary. He explored all of his options, and the final puzzle piece that helped Hoffman realize UD was the right fit for him was his interview for the Flyer Promise Scholars.

Hoffman was one of 10 students at his high school to receive a spot in the second cohort of the program, which includes a scholarship, plus mentorship and leadership opportunities. 

"Flyer Promise opened doors for me," Hoffman said. "It was great being able to meet people from different professional backgrounds." 

Hoffman graduated in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in pre-medical studies. As an undergraduate, Flyer Promise provided Hoffman with support and resources, which encouraged him to continue his education after graduation and apply to the PA program. 

Hoffman is finding his PA program to be challenging and rewarding. Next year he will be taking his clinicals, and soon after he will graduate. 

Amy Christopher, a clinical faculty member in the PA program, said she admires Hoffman's drive and inspiration when it comes to pursuing a career in medicine.

"He's admired the communication and relationship building that PAs have versus other health care professionals," Christopher said, adding that Hoffman's demeanor will lend well to a future career as a physician's assistant, helping patients feel cared for.

"Even in stressful situations, he's incredibly calm," she said. "The pace of the program and the amount of material that we have to cover is intense, and he's done very well." 

Hoffman said he is considering pursuing a focus in emergency medicine or oncology upon graduation.

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