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Science Graduates

Kenneth W. Betzing, PA-C

What I do now:

I'm a physician assistant.

My work/job consists of:

I provide high-quality health care services to patients, serving as an integral member of a physician-led team.

Path to my current career position (how I got from the past to the present):

My path was full of detours, mostly due to immaturity and poor choices. After graduating from LSUS, I had an unsuccessful attempt at graduate school. Following that, I started doing basic science research and then clinical research at what was once LSUMC. During that time, I came back to LSUS to broaden my education, and then entered the newly-opened Physician Assistant Program at LSUMC. Since then, life has been a blur. It has been full of mostly successes and innumerable blessings.

How I got to LSUS (or why I chose LSUS):

I felt overwhelmed on the larger campus where I started my college education. When I transferred, I quickly learned that LSUS offered an outstanding education for a comparatively low price.

Fond memories of LSUS:

- Baptist Student Union (now BCM)
- Intramural sports in my later years there
- Learning how to take school seriously, but still enjoy that time of my life

LSUS faculty who helped me:

There were quite a few who helped me, but a handful truly helped me become a more serious student and productive member of society. Those are Dr. Cran Lucas, Dr. Kalinsky, Patricia Meador, Dr. Wayne Gustavson, and Dr. John Hall. Some of these professors helped me directly, and some indirectly. All helped me by the example they set, as well as their classroom standards and expectations.

How LSUS helped me succeed:

As I progressed through my college years, I enjoyed the smaller class sizes. This helped motivate me since I got more one-on-one time with faculty, and I couldn't "get lost" in a sea of people. More importantly, shortly after graduation, when I hit a bump in the road, I came back to LSUS to take a few extra classes. At that point, I finally opened my eyes and ears, and truly paid attention to the wisdom and life lessons the faculty generously provided.

Advice to college-bound students:

Work hard, but also seek out wisdom. There are people in life, such as parents, relatives, high school teachers/mentors, etc., that offer solicited and unsolicited advice. Their advice and wisdom is more valuable than you can imagine. It can help you escape major bumps and bruises in life by helping you avoid common pitfalls and making your road much smoother. Those individuals who succeed early in their college years, and then careers, are often the ones who listened to others and took that smoother road. Be one of those people!

Advice to someone who wants to enter my field:

The field of Medicine is vast. Do your research; seek out those in various medical occupations and ask them about likes and dislikes regarding their career choice. Don't forget to ask them if they would do it again. If you decide being a Physician Assistant is the right thing for you, buckle down, and work hard. Additionally, realize that many of your classes at LSUS (Biology, Anatomy, Physiology, Microbiology, Biochemistry, etc.) will give you a great foundation for the coursework you'll face during your Physician Assistant education.

Tips on choosing a major or career:

At a younger age, we often overlook the fact that a career is a lifelong endeavor. While you're certainly not locked into one thing for the rest of your life, career changes later in life are often complicated and difficult. Due diligence in high school and early in college will often produce wise career field choices and a happier life.

My toughest personal challenge:

I wish I had learned, at a much younger age, to listen to those who had life experience, knowledge, and wisdom.

Successes (honors, awards, etc.) in my life:

- Happily married with 3 children
- Alumnus of the Year: LSUHSC School of Allied Health Professions, Physician Assistant Program (2009)
- Distinguished Fellow American Academy of Physician Assistants (2008)
- Faculty member Pi Alpha - National Honor Society for Physician Assistants
- Appointed by Gov. Blanco to the LA State Board of Medical Examiners Physician Assistant Advisory Committee (2004), and reappointed by Gov. Jindal (2015). Serving as Chair of the Committee since 2010.
- Appointed to membership on the Region 7 Healthcare Consortium, by local State Representatives and Senators. (2004)
- Being named Department Head/Program Director of the LSUHSC PA Program (2000)
- Omicron Delta Kappa - National Leadership Honor Society (1994)
- Kappa Delta Pi -International Honor Society in Education (1994)

I've learned this from life:

Recently, I've realized that life is much shorter than we think. While in college, life seemed as if it would go on forever. Now I realize how short life is and how much of a gift we've been blessed with each day. We need to live our lives as if today was the last day we will have. And, don't forget to have fun along the way!

I recently saw this on social media and it is quite appropriate: "Life is like a roll of toilet paper. When it's new, it seems like it will last tend to waste it. But the closer you get to the end, you realize just how precious each piece is." (Unknown source)

What I'd be doing if I had all the time in the world:

Traveling with my family. I'd also like to devote more time for medical missions.

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