UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN River Falls
Name: Sarah Slinger
Hometown: Northfield, Minn.
Position: Medical Assistant, Tareen Dermatology
Major: Biology - Biomedical Sciences
Sarah Slinger grew up playing sports, including gymnastics and dance. She traded all that for horses when she got the bug to start barrel racing. Sarah spent her free time barrel racing in the upper Midwest, something she wanted to continue during her college years.
Sarah looked at several campuses a short drive from home because she knew she didn’t want to be too far from her horses or her family.
“UW-River Falls was the first school I toured and I loved it,” she says. “My hometown of Northfield, Minnesota, is a town similar in size to River Falls and also a college town. I just felt like I was in a new Northfield with different people when I was in River Falls. I also couldn’t get over how nice everyone was.”
She also knew that UW-River Falls was well known for its biology program.
“I was both good at and enjoyed science,” she says. “My favorite class in high school was my junior year biology class. I also had an idea that I might want to work in the medical field so I declared a biology-biomedical major.”
Throughout college, Sarah was able to nurture her love of horses by continuing to race and by taking equine management and advanced horsemanship courses.
“Being a barrel racer, I loved the idea of getting class credits for riding and working with horses,” she says.
A self-professed homebody, Sarah stepped out of her comfort zone by studying in Scotland during her last semester. It’s something she thinks every Falcon should do.
“I went from not being at all excited to go and being nervous I would be homesick the whole time, to not wanting to come home and being worried about adjusting to life back home,” she says. “I forced myself to study abroad because I knew it would better me and it was the most amazing experience I have ever done.”
It was her freshman year biology colloquium class that really piqued her interest in becoming a physician assistant. The deeper she got into her biology coursework, especially biomedical biology, the more excited and passionate she became about working in health care.
After she graduates May 11, Sarah will work as a medical assistant for Tareen Dermatology in Fairbault, Minn.
“My plans are to stay with Tareen for a few years getting plenty of patient care hours, volunteering and perfecting my personal letter and my application to attend graduate school to become a physician assistant,” she says. “I would love to someday go back and work for Tareen as a PA.”
She credits a full-time internship at Northfield (Minn.) Hospital, where she gained experience in medical surgery, homecare and hospice, with helping her get the job at Tareen and for further solidifying her choice of a health care career.
“I just love being able to help someone or improve their day,” she says. “It feels good to make a difference to someone. Some people were very appreciative, and some people weren’t. I know that is how it’s going to be, but when I’m able to really brighten someone’s day or make them feel better, it is worth the times that I dealt with people that were less appreciative.”