Published on July 26, 2022 by June Mathews  
courtney webb

Courtney Webb ’17, M.S.P.A.S. ’21 is living the life. A Southern girl with North Carolina roots and a Samford University education, she’s making her way in New York City as a physician assistant at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. And so far, the going is good, if a bit overwhelming.

“My job is in general surgery, which involves a wide variety of subspecialities. So, on any given day, you never know what you’re going to see,” said Webb. “It’s exciting, but it’s a lot to take in and try to learn.”

But as a member of the inaugural class of Samford’s Physician Assistant Studies program, Webb is well-prepared for whatever comes her way.

Started in 2019 in response to the increasing demand for physician assistants, the program is centered around small class sizes and a low student-to-faculty ratio. Graduates earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies.

Webb first became acquainted with Samford when her older sister scheduled a college tour and invited her along. The sisters liked what they saw, and both ended up attending Samford. Webb earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and planned to become a speech pathologist or an audiologist. But neither path seemed a good fit.

“I knew I wanted to go into something medical, but did I want to be a nurse? Did I want to go to med school?” she said. “But after a lot of prayer and a lot of soul-searching, I knew that being a PA was the right call.”

So Webb applied to Samford and one other program. But knowing from experience how Samford invests in its students, not only educationally but personally, her hope was to return to her alma mater.

“Thankfully, it worked out that way,” she said, “and I cannot speak highly enough about the program. The faculty was great, and there was something special about our cohort. There were 36 of us, and we got along so well.  We were more encouraging to one another than competitive, which I think is unusual for PA school.”

Webb now pays forward the care she experienced at Samford in the way she relates to her patients. And co-workers often note the extra effort she applies to her work.

“How the faculty cared about us in the classroom affects how I practice here,” she said. “It’s cool to think about how many people in all kinds of places are being impacted by the seeds of care they’re planting. I hope they know they’re accomplishing that goal.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.