Skilled Trades Articles


Early career spotlight: One student's journey to become a physician's assistant

Makenzie Haensel is no stranger to challenging, new adventures, and she’s about to embark upon one such opportunity yet again.

This fall, Haensel, 23, is one of 26 students who will pursue a physician assistant, or PA, degree at the University of South Dakota, a highly competitive program that routinely admits approximately 26 students per year, which amounts to accepting just 2.5 percent of applicants. With a 16.9 percent population increase in Sioux Falls since 2010, Makenzie’s chosen career path is also critical to the area’s growth, as hospitals are increasing care for more patients.


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