From the clinical side of his current Physician Assistant (PA) program to his administrative healthcare internship experience, Malek is crafting his vision for leading and serving in a future healthcare profession.

malek seay

Mount St. Joseph University’s Physician Assistant program prepares students to become outstanding clinicians fully prepared to deliver quality health care in an ever-changing environment.

At the age of 14, Malek began exploring his career options before he graduated high school. From here, he was introduced to the profession by his grandfather Dr. James Vaughn and he introduced Malek to his mentor, Dr. Uwe R. Pontius. “I spent significant time learning the clinical side of healthcare with Dr. Pontius and the PA role resonated with me the most,” he says. “I have always been multifaceted in my skillsets—this profession allows that side of my persona to flourish.”

A biology major with a concentration in pre-physician assistant studies with a master’s degree in healthcare administration, Malek’s journey to the Mount was definitely a non-conventional one. Originally from Texas, Malek visited Ohio in 2022 for the first time. Here, he began an internship at TriHealth where he first became aware of the Mount’s PA program.

After returning to Texas, he decided to take a chance to move to Ohio after his acceptance into the Mount.

“Since I have arrived in the city, I have received unyielding support,” says Malek. “[The year 2022] was the first time I have ever been to Ohio. I have now moved away from everything I know to take advantage of this opportunity.”

When Opportunity Knocks

Malek had the opportunity to meet the former PA program director, Patrick Cafferty, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA in summer of 2022. The support that he and the professors offered after a brief introduction was unlike anything he had ever experienced.

After several applications to other schools, Malek felt confident in applying to the Mount’s PA program that had opened its doors to him, offering ongoing communication and support before he even submitted an application.

“The whole process happened very quickly,” he reflects. “I applied two weeks before the deadline and was interviewed less than a month later. I got a phone call from Cafferty a week after I interviewed, and I was overwhelmed with a sense of relief.  I have applied to PA school four different [application] cycles and after I got the phone call, I was endued with so much confidence in my decision to apply to the program, and choose this amazing profession.”

Luckily, the transition was not arduous for Malek since he had experience with Cincinnati from the previous summer, enabling him to adjust well to a new and unique city atmosphere that was close to the Mount’s campus. 

“Once I moved here, it was evident that Cincinnati has a rich heritage that is preserved in different sections of the city,” he emphasizes.

Gaining Momentum

During his time at the Mount, Malek is currently serving as treasurer for SOPASS, a student organization for the PA program where he volunteers in a community that he will provide care for in the near future.

“This season of my life has been dedicated to learning and serving,” he adds. “This will increase my awareness so that I can be of service to others in the future. Being able to volunteer and serve has allowed me to increase my network exponentially while I have lived in the city.”

Once Malek completes his program, he can’t wait to explore opportunities that lie ahead. He is particularly drawn to surgical specialties and interventional radiology, but plans to keep his options open throughout the process.

“I want to further my career in an administrative role, like ambulatory strategy” [the planning and implementation of healthcare services that are provided on an outpatient basis, rather than in a hospital or other inpatient setting]. “This will combine my experience in real-estate and healthcare into the same role,” he says.

Thus, he further notes the growth in the artificial intelligence space, and its important implications in the healthcare industry.  During the last step of his career, Malek wishes to utilize his vast experience in healthcare and business to work in venture capital, where he can combine his interests in tech, healthcare and business. “I have a passion for healthcare but love the innovation that is occurring in the tech space and look forward how I can help integrate the two.

 After a year in the PA program, he recalls a special milestone during his spring semester that solidified his hard work:

“It was our first semester on campus for the program and we were thrown into the deep end.  After a long day on campus we were handed all of our medical equipment that we would need for the duration of the program. It was so surreal because it was the first time I had equipment that was mine. My stethoscope has my initials monogramed on the bell.  Receiving those materials is a stepping stone in my career that I will never forget.”

Overall, Malek credits his success thus far in the program to the supportive expert faculty and staff who eagerly stood by to help him Climb Higher.

“This program is the most challenging academic endeavor I have ever experienced,” he says. “I would not be successful in any capacity if I did not have the support of the faculty at this program. Every single member of the faculty has been supportive and wants me to succeed.”

About our PA Program: Interested in Learning More?

Mount St. Joseph University’s Physician Assistant program prepares students to become outstanding clinicians fully prepared to deliver quality health care in an ever-changing environment.

Join us for a Virtual Information Session to learn all about Mount St. Joseph University's PA program! You will get the opportunity to hear from PA faculty, current students, and admissions staff and ask them questions. Register for our PA Virtual Information Session here.