AASPA Scholarships

The AASPA is proud to offer scholarships to deserving PA students who are interested in a career in surgery. It is one of just many benefits that we offer to our student members.

Susan and Tom Lusty Memorial Scholarship

AASPA awards at least one scholarship yearly to a student in either the didactic or clinical year. Winners receive the following:

  • $1,000 award
  • Scholarship certificate that is suitable for framing
  • Complimentary registration to the annual AASPA CME Meeting & Surgical Update
  • Ability to list "AASPA Student Scholarship Winner" on your resume
  • Recognition in Sutureline and on our website
  • AASPA's famous lapel pin

To qualify, the physician assistant student must:

  • Be enrolled in an ARC-PA accredited PA program
  • Demonstrate a financial need
  • Be in good academic standing
  • Be a student member of AASPA in good standing (membership application may be submitted with scholarship application)
  • Demonstrate an interest in surgical practice
  • Submit a completed AASPA Scholarship Application

To be considered, interested students should submit:

  • A letter from their PA program verifying student status, GPA and a transcript copy
  • Financial need information in essay format
  • A letter of recommendation from their PA program faculty member, surgical PA, surgeon or preceptor
  • A short (500 word) narrative explaining their desire to practice in surgery and career goals
  • List of completed/expected clinical rotations
  • If necessary, an application for AASPA student membership and appropriate dues.

Download a Scholarship Application

All information must be postmarked by July 1, 2018 and submitted to:

Chair, Student Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 781688
Sebastian, FL 32978

Please Note:

  • Applications will not be considered complete until all the above information is received.
  • For the 2018 application window (November 15, 2017 through July 1, 2018), all application information must be postmarked by July 1, 2018. Recipients will be notified by August 15, 2018.
  • All awards will be announced and distributed at the AASPA annual CME Meeting.
  • The decision of the Scholarship Committee is final.

Congratulations to our 2017 Student Scholarship Winner Tanya Bunch!

Tanya Bunch

Tanya's Essay:

"I watched as the OB/GYN made an incision low on the woman’s abdomen. A variety of tools and equipment was used, ultimately leading to the delivery of a healthy baby girl. I stood in awe the entire time, observing from a distance how much trauma a human body can be put through in a surgery. Many things have changed in the five years since watching my first surgery. But what has NOT changed is the awe and amazement I have continued to feel, in every surgery, watching a surgeon cut into another human, to remove defective parts, sew things back together, or fix something that is malfunctioning. Moments from some of those surgeries stand out where I still pause in wonder, such as holding someone’s colon in my hands during a resection, sewing closed the incision on a partial mastectomy, the complications in revising an ileostomy because of severe ulcerative colitis, and watching what can only be described as a well-choreographed dance, as two surgeons worked together on an antrectomy/vagotomy.

These moments are a small fraction of the surgeries I have had the privilege to be a part. Not everything went according to plan in each case, but each patient was given 110% effort by every member of the surgical team to provide the best outcome possible. It is that dedication which inspires me, and drives me, to want to be a surgical PA. It is in the OR that time seems to stop, and everything I have learned comes together in a way to best help that one patient.

With encouragement from my surgical preceptor, and agreement from my OB/GYN preceptor, I received permission to do a special combined General Surgery – OB/GYN elective. This will allow me to follow patients for a longer time period. Because these preceptors will already know me and my abilities, I can take a larger role in their patients’ care, starting with their initial consult, then assisting in the development of a treatment plan, participating in that treatment or surgery, providing any inpatient care, and seeing them into their follow-up care.

My ideal job after graduation is that of General Surgery PA, either with a private practice, or in a hospital-based PA surgery group. I developed my surgery elective to help me build and solidify my surgical skills. With the knowledge and experience I am gaining in my other rotations, I am building the best foundation I can to be a great surgical PA in whichever venue I work in.

Before PA school I had the privilege of teaching. One reason I chose to pursue the PA profession specifically is its reputation for communicating well with patients. In essence, PAs are teachers. Once established in my career, I intend to become a PA preceptor, allowing me to merge my passion for surgery with my love of teaching."