Lynne O'Mara— Alumni Profile | Franciscan University of Steubenville
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    Lynne O'Mara

    Class of 2010

    Majors: Biology

    A career in medicine often comes with a high price — long years of study, high debt and delaying the start of family.  But at the age of 26, Lynne O’Mara is a general surgery physician assistant in Boston’s prestigious Brigham and Women’s Hospital, earns a good salary, and just had her first baby with husband Patrick ’09 — all without investing four years in medical school and a residency.  

    While studying biology at Franciscan University, Lynne shadowed physicians and PAs and chose to pursue the accelerated 23-month Physician Assistant Program after graduation. She loves the autonomy to diagnose and treat her own patients, prescribe meds, and assist in surgery. 

    “The Franciscan Biology Program gave me all the prerequisites I needed for the PA program, so I saved time and money in grad school,” Lynne explains.  “And though I didn’t realize it at the time, the independent research I did with Dr. Perozich in Bioinformatics really impressed every grad school where I applied.” Looking back, she values knowing professors personally and receiving their help and advice on a career path.

    After graduating from Franciscan, Lynne was hired as a research assistant in Dartmouth College’s Testicular Cancer Research Lab where she published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.  She then earned her master’s in physician assistant studies at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences.  

    It was the Austria Program that really sold Lynne on choosing Franciscan as an undergrad. “In biology, a lot of schools don’t allow you the option to study abroad — but Franciscan helped me save all my core classes such as humanities to take in Austria.  I took classes four days a week, then traveled three days a week to Rome, Assisi, and 15 countries.” 

    Lynne met her future husband Patrick, also a biology student, during her last week at Franciscan.  He is currently pursuing his master’s degree at Harvard University and working for a biomedical research company. She smiles and says with passion, “I love Franciscan — and I hope our kids go there!”

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