Radiology alumna finds calling as physician assistant at Mayo Clinic
Casey Fazer was part of the first class to graduate from Bellin College with a bachelor’s degree in radiologic sciences in 2013. After her time at Bellin College, she went on to receive her master’s in Physician’s Assistant Studies degree in 2015 from University of Wisconsin-Madison. She now works at the Mayo Clinic in Medical Oncology where she treats patients with head and neck cancers.
Casey knew she wanted to help others and, growing up, she wanted to be a teacher, but that plan shifted when her grandmother passed away from breast cancer.
“Being a physician assistant, I get the best of both worlds where I get to play a vital role in healthcare and be involved in teaching,” she said. “I educate my patients and their families every day. I feel that it’s important to take the time with each and every patient to make sure they fully understand what is happening with them and what we can do next.”
Casey credits being in the hospital and clinical settings all four years at Bellin College as being paramount to her education. The technologists, instructors, physicians and radiologists at her clinical sites went the extra step to prepare her for the future, especially after learning of her acceptance at UW-Madison.
“One of the best things about Bellin College was the clinical experience. Right from the beginning we were exposed to patients and learned to communicate. We had experienced technologist helping us every day. They were there to guide us, but also push us.”
As a physician assistant in oncology, she gets to experience the best and, unfortunately, the worst of times with her patients.
“Working in oncology can be very difficult as you become very close with your patients during the most difficult time in their life,” she said. “It’s easy to become attached. I have cried with patients when I have had to give them difficult news, but I also get to celebrate with patients when we have successfully treated their cancer.”
While Casey is not a practicing radiologist, she used the opportunities she had at Bellin College to find her true passion in her career.
“I pride myself in my work and see myself as a leader,” she said. “I am involved in many committees throughout the division of Medical Oncology at Mayo Clinic. I learn from my patients and colleagues about how to be a better provider every day. While I do not practice as a radiologic technologist, I was able to use my degree from Bellin College to advance my career and be in a position I absolutely love.”