A New PArspective
He already had an undergraduate degree in psychology. He had been a producer for ABC Television. He had lived in Manhattan and Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until he was a volunteer at a community HIV clinic in Ghana, West Africa, in 2004 that Travis Sherer realized he had found his true calling. Halfway through his five-month position abroad, counseling and testing many patients, he said the words aloud: “This is what I want to do.”
But in his 30s, starting from scratch wasn’t appealing. “I felt it was too late for me to go to medical school, and I didn’t want to be a nurse,” Travis recalls. The physician at the Ghana clinic suggested he become a physician assistant. “I learned more about what that was and thought, ‘wow, this is exactly for me,’” he continues. From an Internet café more than 5,000 miles to the east, Travis researched Pace University’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program.
“Pace’s program provided the best of everything I was hoping for: a focus on primary care, opportunity to study overseas, and a chance to work with underserved populations in the United States,” he says.
He was also deeply impressed with the experience of the faculty. In no time, Travis overnighted his application to Pace and was soon invited to interview. In 2008, he earned his PA degree from Pace.
Today, Travis is a certified PA in the HIV/AIDS Retroviral Disease Center at Lenox Hill Hospital and an adjunct professor at Pace. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association.
“I love what I do,” Travis reflects. “I care about my patients, I’m doing meaningful work, and I feel like I’m making a difference in the world—every single day.”