Living Life to its Fullest

“Health is precious, and it’s not something to take for granted.”

May 15, 2014
RACHEL FARAHAN: Patients need to know that their health care practitioners care. They have no reason to apologize for having questions and for needing help. You know, you're helping to try to save patients' lives. And knowing that I can take a part in saving someone's life is a really incredible thing.

I had a life-threatening illness at the age of 20, my illness changed my life in a million different ways. I got a life lesson at the age of 20 that most people up until their 60s or 70s. I learned that health is a precious thing, and it's not something to take for granted. Life is short, and nothing is guaranteed.

I want every one of my patients had feel safe and taken care of, because when I was a patient, the PA that took care of me did the same thing for me. I was just really inspired by her. Something that I've learned is that we don't save everyone's lives.

A lot of our patients don't make it. A lot of people don't think about that as an important part of medicine. Everyone just wants to save lives, but helping a person die with dignity is one of the biggest gifts that a person can be given. And it gives you a different perspective on life when every day you work with patients that are on the brink of life and death.

Living life to its fullest is to be grateful of every moment that you have and to appreciate the people in your life. My job has brought me back to that. And every day, I'm taught that lesson again. That's special, and it's humbling. That's why we go into medicine.

It was her own interaction with a Physician Assistant (PA) that inspired Rachel Farahan, a 2013 graduate of the School of Health Sciences’ PA Program. At the age of 20, she battled a serious illness, and remains grateful for the care she received. Now, as she begins tending to others, Farahan is determined to make anyone who visits her for treatment or consultation feel comfortable.

"Patients have no reason to apologize for having questions and needing help," she says, and it’s a philosophy that may just help her save lives.