Black History Month Student Spotlight: Thomas Kamumo, Physician Assistant program
Friday, February 4, 2022
Media Contact: Sara Plummer | Communications Coordinator | 918-561-1282 | email@example.com
In honor of Black History Month, we will spotlighting Black students attending Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences.
Thomas Kamumo, Physican Assistant program
Where are you from?
I’m from Miami, Oklahoma, but originally born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya.
Why do you want to be a Physician Assistant?
I want to be a Physician Assistant because of the unique opportunity it will allow me to have. I’ve had some experience working in health care and I felt that this will give me an opportunity to improve, gain a whole new knowledge base, and be able to use my skills to assist people. I feel like becoming a Physician Assistant will help me be a vital part in meeting the health care needs of my family and my community.
Did you see many health care providers and physicians that looked like you growing up? Did that impact your decision to go into health care?
Growing up In Kenya there were a lot of providers that looked like me and it wasn’t something that I paid attention to. But when I came to northeast Oklahoma after high school, that hasn’t been the case. There are a few providers but not in the rural area where I’m from. Although this didn’t go into my decision to become a Physician Assistant, I do feel that representation can be a factor that affects someone else in the future. I hopefully can be an example and representative for my children and other individuals that may identify with me in the community. Hopefully I can inspire them to maximize their potential and reach for their dreams, whatever those may be.
What has the experience been like so far at OSU-CHS?
My experience at OSU-CHS has been great. Even with the tough course work I feel that I have had a lot of encouragement from the faculty and fellow students alike. I continually enjoy participating in different learning experiences that allow me to grow in my knowledge and confidence. OSU-CHS truly does feel like a family, there isn’t a shortage of people willing to help in times of need.
Why do you think it’s important to have diversity in health care and medicine?
Diversity in health care and medicine is increasingly important to be able to meet the needs of a very diverse population. Different people go through different experiences throughout their lives and can introduce different perspectives toward a similar goal. This can help us meet the needs of different individuals, rather than have the individual conform to the system. I feel patients who know part of their health care team has had similar experiences and backgrounds they can identify with helps them feel more at ease. They know their needs culturally and as an individual will be addressed.
Anything you would like to mention or add?
I consider it an honor to have been chosen to be among the first cohort of the OSU-CHS Physician Assistant program.