“You’re Helping People Through the Struggles They Face”
Former Teacher Asher Millman Sees Parallels Between Teaching and Providing Medical Care
Asher Millman, a former student at Lander College for Men, led a successful career as a Judaic studies teacher (rebbe) at a school in New Jersey. “I felt like I was making a difference,” said Millman, a father of six who worked in the same school for several years. Despite how much he enjoyed teaching, an illness led him to reconsider his career.
I was in so many medical offices and hospitals, I found myself being drawn to the field, almost, no pun intended, like osmosis,” Millman said. “I realized I wanted to flip the table, so to speak, and be a practitioner instead of a patient.”
While it might seem like an unusual career switch, Millman sees parallels in both careers. “I’ve always liked helping those who were struggling—whether it was strangers or the students who were having more difficulty in my class.” he said. “Being a PA is similar to teaching, albeit in a different way you’re helping people through the struggles they face.”
Leaving a successful career wasn’t an easy decision and before Millman applied to PA school he became an EMT. “I wanted to see if I liked it,” recalled Millman. He worked as an EMT for 18 months with the Passaic Hatzolah, a volunteer ambulance corp. “I really enjoyed it,” he said. “You get to help someone in need. If there’s a call in the middle of the night, you know you have to take it since they might not get help otherwise.” Millman dealt with a range of calls during his time as an EMT, including strokes, heart attacks and car accidents. In one case, an elderly friend of his suffered a stroke. “Seeing someone you are close with during their time of need was very challenging,” said Millman. “But we were lucky and got him effective care.” Millman did his pre-requisite science classes at Touro’s New York School of Career and Applied Studies and Lander College of Arts and Sciences.
Millman considered becoming a physician but realized that becoming a PA was a faster route to his end-goal. “I realized I wasn’t interested in becoming a specialist and I knew I was very interested in primary care and becoming a PA would allow me to begin practicing that much sooner,” he said. As for his future post-graduation, Millman hopes to work in a primary care practice. He recalled his own experience visiting his pediatrician as a child. “I want to form a relationship with my patients,” said Millman.
He is looking forward to every part of PA school. “The human body is fascinating and it’s a clear indication that a higher being was involved,” Millman explained. “I love learning physiology; our bodies work better than any supercomputer.”