PA Alumni Connection—Winter 2017
Alyssa Nishihira ’16
Alyssa Nishihira ’16, a native of Hawaii, not only used her time in the Butler PA Program to learn how to be a great PA, she also used her time to discern what her postgraduate life would look like. She utilized her rotations to help her prioritize elements that best fit her vision for her future. Nishihira found her niche in a busy, private neurosurgical practice in Reno, Nevada.
Nishihira’s days in the neurosurgical practice are full and varied. She enjoys the responsibility of being the first assist in all cases in her practice, which has a mixture of ER/trauma and spine cases. In addition to surgical responsibilities, Nishihira rounds, has clinic days, and answers trauma calls. She also mentors students who rotate into her practice. It takes flexibility and teamwork to take care of the range of diagnoses her practice sees. She credits her training at Butler for boosting her confidence in the surgical setting, as well as staffing patients and developing a differential diagnosis.
In addition to finding a good fit in her working life, Nishihira has bought a home in Reno and hosted her family, who still lives in Hawaii, for Thanksgiving. In her free time, Nishihira enjoys the proximity to Tahoe for snowboarding, walking trails, camping, and the beach. Wine country is a destination as well.
Nishihira’s soul searching and research before she began her job search led her to enjoy the challenging work life and active personal life that she envisioned when PA school was just a dream.