Orthopedic Surgery Physician Assistant at Banner Health Center
After graduating from Carthage, Nicole Otero ’17 received a master’s degree in physician assistant (PA) studies and a doctorate degree in medical science. She is currently an orthopedic surgery PA at Banner Health Center in Gilbert, Arizona. She works in collaboration with her supervising physician to provide patient care both in the orthopedic clinic and operating room.
“Carthage shaped me in almost every way. It definitely put me onto my career path and made me a better provider.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I have enjoyed seeing patients beginning from their initial injury, to their surgery, and through to their recovery. Seeing their lives improve is the most enjoyable part.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“The Athletic Training Program helped prepare me to be a PA in ways I could have never imagined. Not only did I get hands-on experience in evaluating and treating orthopedic injuries, but I also learned about the PA profession. Prior to being in the program, I had never even heard of a PA.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“Evaluating and treating patients requires constant critical thinking to aid medical decision-making. Having had to do that for four years in the Athletic Training Program gave me a huge advantage when I started practicing as a PA. A team-based approach and the communication skills gained at Carthage also helped me provide quality patient care.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“I chose Carthage for the Athletic Training Program. I knew I would get an extremely valuable education and hands-on experience. And the lake is mesmerizing!”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“I was able to go on the Nicaragua J-Term trip, which solidified my desire to go into medicine as a PA.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“Professor Laurie Jensen was integral in teaching me about the PA profession, providing me with shadowing opportunities, and allowing me to grow into the clinician I am today. I can’t thank her enough!”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“Carthage’s whole team-based mentality has always stuck with me. When it comes to providing service to people, providing them with the best care possible, usually requires a team. I always strive to build my strengths and offer my best, while also utilizing other people’s strengths to give the best end result possible.”