BV Derm Medical Assistant Success Story

Congratulations to Cara Ascarrunz, who has served BV Derm as a Medical Assistant for the past two years. Cara has been accepted into the Child Health Associate/Physician Assistant program at the University of Colorado’s Anschutz Medical Campus. She will start in July as a member of the class of 2020. The CU Anschutz PA program is highly competitive. We are proud of Cara, and asked her a few questions about her time with BV Derm, to share with our patients. Read our interview with Cara here.

1) What is the most important thing you learned during your time as a MA?
During my time as a medical assistant at BVCD, I gained so much invaluable experience in not only dermatology knowledge but patient care experience. Seeing how the providers diagnose, educate, and treat patients has certainly been valuable in my time as a MA.

2) What made you want to go back to school at this point in your life?
After gaining some “real-world” work experience throughout the past six years  and gaining sufficient medical and patient care experience, I knew it was the right time for me to go back to school. I graduated from my university with a biology degree in 2013…I can’t believe it has already been six years! Even though it would have been nice to be completed with additional education by this time in my life, I am grateful for all the various work experiences I have gained throughout these past six years. I know that all the various jobs and skills I have learned from each one will help me become the provider I hope to be in the future.

3) Have you always wanted to be a PA, or did this career path evolve over time?
Before entering the medical field as a medical assistant, I worked in the natural resource realm (City of Boulder Open Space, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, and a small environmental nonprofit – Environment for the Americas) after graduating with my Bachelors in Biology (with minors in Spanish and International Studies) from Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. I certainly did not know that I wanted to be a PA before gaining more experience in the medial realm. Prior to working as a MA at BVCD, my most direct patient care experience was working as a Vision Therapist at Boulder Valley Vision Therapy where I worked mainly with kids and vision therapy skills. After working as a vision therapist, I knew that I liked working with patients and searched for medical assistant jobs. After shadowing various PAs throughout the Boulder area and working with the physicians and physician assistants at BVCD I knew I wanted to become a PA and started the grueling application process to PA school last year.

4) Do you have any memories you’d like to share about your time with BV Derm?
One of the best parts of working as MA at BVCD are the relationships that you gain with the other medical assistants and fellow staff members. All of the MAs are working towards starting additional schooling in the medical field – medical school, physician assistant school, and some to nursing school. Having the camaraderie and support of the other MAs has been immensely important throughout the application and interview process.

5) What inspires you?
Besides an internal drive that motivates me, I am inspired to contribute to creating a better community and I feel that I can do that through working in healthcare. I’m looking forward to working towards that goal as a PA in the future!

6) What did you learn from Dr Gallagher and Dr Leddon?
From Dr. Gallagher, Dr. Leddon and Physician Assistants Ryan Bird and Madison Amos, I have learned so, so much…it is somewhat difficult to put into words. Overall, I have learned patient and compassionate care towards patients, how to gain insightful background information to piece together for what the cause of potential diagnosis has been, and effective teamwork between a physician and a physician assistant.

7) What challenges do you think you will face in the next few years?
A big challenge for me will be undertaking the full load of rigorous coursework for PA school after not being in school for the past six years. Wish me luck!

8) What are your hobbies and passions, outside of school and work?
Music is very important to me and you can often find me at live music concerts, singing at home, or practicing my guitar! I also have been learning Spanish throughout my life and will be traveling to Peru for three weeks prior to starting at CU Anschutz in July.

Join us in wishing Cara the best in her medical career!


Medical Assistants at BV Derm

Many of our Medical Assistants have used their experience at BV Derm to launch successfully into medical school, physician assistant programs and nursing school. If you’re a college graduate with a degree in science, you can gain valuable experience as a Medical Assistant in our thriving medical practice. Consider the benefits of working here:
  • Leading Dermatology Practice in Lafayette, Boulder & Brighton
  • Board-Certified Dermatologists
  • Medical, Surgical and Cosmetic Clinics
  • Treating Patients of Every Age
  • Innovative and Principled
  • Competitive Compensation & Scheduling
If you’re interested in our practice, please contact our Practice Manager Jeanette Marquess at 303-604-1444.