Becoming a teacher was a goal for Carl Garrubba since grade school, and his career in PA education has proven a natural fit. PA Garrubba enrolled in the DMSc due to the relevance of the curriculum for both his present job and also for the future. He is currently program director for the PA program at Dominican University of California in San Francisco. “The DMSc is exactly what I was looking for. It gives me so much that I can use in my current program, but it has also given me so much that I can use for the future. That is exactly what I was hoping for, and never thought I would find it. I tell everyone that I talk with that this is the program that you need to do,” he says.
He has been drawn to both medicine and teaching his whole life, although he began his professional career as a CPA, “I worked in public accounting, but I also worked in a university health center in the budgeting office. I made a lot of connections with the school of medicine there, and really enjoyed the conversations. At some point, I realized that being a CPA was not my true calling.”
He had an enthusiastic PA friend who encouraged him to pursue the profession. “I knew that I could hit the ground running after a few years of hard work, so that’s what I did.” He began his career in medicine at the height of the HIV crisis, “I did an 8-week rotation in HIV medicine, and knew I had to get involved.” He practiced in an HIV clinical research facility, when the HIV cocktail was new. He eventually worked in HIV primary care and managed a clinic for 8 years.
Because he never gave up his dream of becoming a teacher and had an interest in PA education, he connected with a former professor from PA school when a job became available at Chatham University. He applied and then eventually was promoted to program director there. “I love teaching. I love watching students learn. I love the a-ha moments when they get it. I love to see them applying what they have learned, and the best part is seeing them in practice. I have run into students in medical settings, and that has been so rewarding. I love being a part of that process,” he reflects.