“You never know until you try”

Morgan A. Logan

Morgan A. Logan, PA-s Class of 2023, OHSU School of Medicine

PA-s, Class of 2023
OHSU School of Medicine
NHSC Scholar
Hometown: Charlotte, North Carolina
Undergrad: East Carolina University (ECU), BS Public Health
Experience: birth doula, personal care aide in assisted living, optometrist assistant, and retina ophthalmic assistant
Favorite Place in Portland:
Miss Delta for whenever I need a taste of the Southeast =). Barlow’s Public House in Vancouver has some crazy cocktails for the adventurer in you.

I had no idea what a PA was after I graduated from ECU. I happened to be working as an after school assistant teacher when one of my students’ parents, an Army PA, informed me that I should look in that direction. While researching the profession, I felt as if I was reading about myself and my goal in life. The ability to be personable, knowledgeable, and compassionate in an attempt to alter the outcome of someone else’s health life resonates with me. I grew up in a neighborhood without sidewalks, without healthy food resources, and without doctors’ offices. If you did so happen to make it to see a provider, they were more than likely a white male and could not identify with these persons of color in need. This was enough to light a fire within me and forced me to ask how can I make an impact?

I decided to apply to PA school but had no idea that it was going to take eight years and three cycles before I read the words “accepted.” My friend from back home played a huge part in me considering OHSU. She is in the Navy and was stationed in Portland/Vancouver for two years. It was my third and final attempt at applying and I told her there was no way I was going to get into this acclaimed program with my grades. As the saying goes, you never know until you try.

I applied during the summer of 2020, a year painted with uncertainty around a virus and social injustice. I watched the George Floyd murder on my phone…in clinic. Frustrated, I knew what I wanted in a PA program. OHSU has their anti-racist statement boldly and proudly positioned on their homepage. I had not seen that on the other programs pages. To me, I knew that OHSU is where I need to be, where I HAD to be in order to make the societal impact that I’ve longed for.

The Physician Assistant Program incorporates anti-racism into the curriculum. We learn about the faultiness of not using certain blood pressure medications on Black Americans in our cardiology block and the need to eliminate race as a contributor to eGFR during nephrology. I not only feel supported as a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color), but I feel like I am getting the resources that I need to help the community as a practicing PA. We have PAs speak to us from the community who work with the houseless, persons with disabilities, and mobile clinics, just to name a few.

I am a student representative with the OHSU Center of Diversity and Inclusion and have the pleasure of speaking with incoming students about my experience with the hopes of increasing the number of underrepresented minorities at OHSU. I am also one of the class representatives for American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA) to stay abreast of policies and changes that are affecting the PA profession. Ultimately, treating the patient directly in front of me is not enough. I would love to take my PA knowledge from OHSU along with patient experiences to make legislative change  in order to disrupt healthcare disparities for all disenfranchised communities.