Biology and Spanish Double Major to Attend PA School

Rebecca O'Rourke

Rebecca O'Rourke, RWU Class of 2020

Majors:  Biology + Modern Languages
Minor:  Public Health

Rebecca O’Rourke ‘20 of Eaton, Mass. will attend the Tufts University School of Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) program after studying Biology at RWU.  

“I always knew I wanted to go into the medical field, and I knew Roger Williams had an awesome science program with a lot of opportunities. It just made sense for me to study biology at Roger,” said O’Rourke.  

O’Rourke was supported by RWU’s Health Professions Advising track, which offers pre-professional preparation for health science fields.  

“I worked with two pre-health advisors who made sure I was on the right track with prerequisite classes and grades,” said O’Rourke. “They told me what I needed to do outside of academics to get accepted. Even after I graduated, I was in contact with my advisors. They read my personal statement before I applied to PA school and one of them wrote a letter of recommendation.” 

Opportunities outside the classroom allowed O’Rourke to broaden her skillsets and gain essential hands-on experience. She joined the Foundation for the International Medical Relief of Children club on campus and participated in a medical service trip to Peru with other RWU students. There, she took part in public health initiatives and worked with patients.  

“It was a life changing experience,” said O’Rourke.  

By double-majoring in Spanish as well as biology, O’Rourke is prepared to communicate with Spanish-speaking patients as a PA. She originally was minoring in Spanish, but worked closely with a professor to boost her minor into a second major.  

“My professors did everything they could to help me,” said O’Rourke. “They gave me  all the help that I needed outside of class to excel and become a good candidate for PA school.”