AAPA News Central
A Day in the Life of a PA in Outpatient Obstetrics and Gynecology
Melissa Rodriguez, DMSc, PA-C
PA Melissa Rodriguez is Passionate About OBGYN and All Aspects of Women’s Health
December 6, 2021
By Melissa Rodriguez, DMSc, PA-C
President of the Association of Physician Assistants in OB-GYN, APAOG, Melissa Rodriguez, DMSc, PA-C, encourages PAs to consider specializing in obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN). Here she describes her passion for obstetrics, gynecology, and women’s health, and what a day in her practice looks like.
Obstetrics has been my passion since I can remember. Caring for women during their pregnancies and bringing life to this world was the only career I ever considered seriously. My initial goal was to go to medical school and become an obstetrician and so my college track was pre-medicine. Then, while working as a medical assistant in urology, I met PA Elizabeth Rothstein. She was smart, well-rounded, practiced in different medical specialties, and had a breadth of knowledge. It was refreshing to see a competent and humble provider who connected so easily with patients of all backgrounds. It was a different breed of medical provider with pure compassion and versatility.
I immediately researched all things PA related, joined the AAPA, and began my transition. I remember being asked about my career goals before graduation from Hunter College (CUNY) and I was excited to share that I was going to be a PA and, one day, be president of the AAPA. My faculty advisor had no idea what a PA was, and I could feel the condescension. I vowed then to advocate for this profession full force so that everyone can see how fantastic these PA providers can be.
The day I received my acceptance letter to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers University), I was ecstatic and called my mother first. I remember her voicing her congratulations and then sharing the news that my aunt had brain cancer. In that moment of shock, I was devastated but had a newfound resolution to become a PA and be trained as a generalist that allows me to be knowledgeable and transition into any specialty. Within three grueling and amazing years, I earned my master’s in science degree and began my first job as an OBGYN PA.