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What Students Say

For first generation student, good mentors make the difference

Kyler Perry

Wasilla, Alaska native, Kyler Perry, recently graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelors of Science in Biology and a minor in Sociology. The 22-year old almost moved back home before he learned of the opportunity to be a medical assistant at Meridian Surgery Center.

Still a resident of Alaska, Perry was planning on going back, until he was offered a job with Dr. Wright.

A friend and fellow Meridian Surgery Center intern told Perry about the opportunity. “During my interview, I was in the office for quite a while, meeting everyone and talking to Dr. Wright. After I left the interview, I was cancelling my plans to go back to Alaska, and I started the next day bright and early! I am very fortunate that it all worked out like this!”

As a first generation student, Perry finds the prestige of becoming a physician appealing. “I was in a hospital setting a lot growing up because of my grandparents, and it was admirable to see what the physicians were doing for my family. I've immersed myself in as many things related to becoming a physician, and I've really enjoyed everything that I've done when working with Dr. Wright.”

Perry chose Biology as his major in college because of his interest in the sciences during middle and high school. “I knew I wanted to do something in the sciences, and I had a wonderful AP Bio teacher in high school.” Inspired by doctors during his grandparents illness, Perry is decided on a career in medicine. “I've been immersing myself in as many things that relate to becoming a physician, and I've really enjoyed everything that I've done. Without my parents help and support I would not have the opportunities I have today.”

Currently a medical assistant for Dr. Wright, Perry is training in just about everything Meridian Surgery Center does. It has carried a learning curve, but Perry is up to the challenge. “I room patients, take vitals, schedule appointments, answer the phone calls. I've cleaned surgical instruments, admitted patients for surgery, and organized surgery charts. It's a really great environment where I've been able to do a lot.”

Always up for an adventure and challenge, Perry is currently applying to medical schools. “Ideally, I will be finishing up medical school in five years and moving on to residency! I have no idea where I'll get in, but I could imagine being in a completely different place of the country in a completely new environment, which I'm pretty excited about.”


Surgery center job shadow gives college student vision for the future

For college student Brendan Studebaker, one day at Meridian Surgery Center gave him a glimpse into his future. And he likes what he sees. "Shadowing the staff made me realize that I want to become a doctor for sure," said the University of Washington Tacoma Biomedical Sciences major. "Everyone was excited to be at work, they are all well educated and intelligent people, and I can tell they genuinely like to help and mend patients' lives."

Brendan, who lives in Puyallup, had the opportunity to watch Dr. Wright, as well as other physicians and medical staff in action with patients who allowed him to follow them through surgery.

YouTube videos and emergency surgery television has nothing on watching the real thing in person, he said. "I did end up getting queasy once, but that was the first time I had seen a part of someone outside of their body, and I still couldn't look away because of how awesome it was to really see inside the body first hand," said the 2014 Bonney Lake High School graduate.

The live action came with play-by-play analysis from the surgeon himself. "When Dr. Wright was operating on the patients, he would explain to me in detail everything that he was doing. The operations were all extremely informative and gave me a really good idea of how the surgery worked and why it was going to help the patient," said Brendan.

Besides learning that he indeed has stomach for surgery, Brendan got a taste for other roles in the surgery center and became more interested in anesthesiology. "The anesthesiologist showed me a lot about his job, and it really has me thinking about looking deeper into that area of surgery. Since then, I have been doing a lot of research on anesthesiology," he said.

It was the perfect way for Brendan to transition into his sophomore year, helping to confirm his academic path. "The job shadow was truly inspiring. I will definitely keep in contact with Dr. Wright over the course of my college career. I would love a chance to come back in and observe some more surgeries if possible. Thank you so much again for the opportunity to come in and explore my options and interests."