Antonio Reisopoulos ’19, ’22 MSPAS
After graduating from high school, Antonio Reisopoulos embarked on a winding career journey, earning an associate’s degree, starting a bachelor’s degree, and spending nearly two decades in retail and cosmetics. It wasn’t until 2017 that Reisopoulos found a way to pursue his passion for LGBTQ+ healthcare at Bryant — first by completing his undergraduate degree and then enrolling in the Physician Assistant Studies program.
How did you find your way to Bryant?
I always wanted to go into healthcare and do something with the LGBTQ+ community, but I wasn’t sure in what capacity. Through the help and support of my husband, I went back to school at Bryant, finished my undergrad degree in biology at 36 years old, and then worked very hard to get into the PA program.
How did you adjust to Bryant’s PA program?
I think it’s really valuable to have patient experience prior to PA school, whereas I don’t know if that’s always required for med school. I worked as an EMT to get my patient hours while finishing my undergrad degree, so I felt really comfortable. I was well-prepared for the clinical environments and had great rotation sites and preceptors. The clinical sites are well-curated.
Tell us about your position at Open Door Health.
Open Door Health is an initiative of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute. I would say about 70 to 80 percent of our patients identify with the LGBTQ+ population. A lot of the work I do is gender-affirming care. I really fell in love with it when I did my second rotation at Open Door.
Within a month of being hired, mpox was becoming a national crisis. We tested, diagnosed, and treated a third of all the state’s cases, and we did some vaccination clinics. We were one of the limited places that offered the vaccination, and we had an amazing turnout. It stressed the importance of queer-focused healthcare.
What do you enjoy most about your role as a PA?
My life and career balance feels pretty good. I was able to get into a career that I really wanted to do in a shorter period. We get to work at the top of our license in Rhode Island — we have some of the most progressive legislation nationwide for PAs. I get to work in an environment where I’m constantly learning and feel like a peer to other medical providers.
What value do you think PAs add to the healthcare system?
There’s such a huge need for medical providers. PAs help fill in the gap, but not just for the sake of filling the gap. PAs bring a lot of quality care to healthcare administration and delivery. I think advanced practice providers are the future of healthcare delivery.
What advice would you give someone considering Bryant’s PA program?
It’s a marathon, but at a sprinting pace. Make sure that you have a good support system in place. I think it’s invaluable to get to know the program and the people. Reach out to the faculty. They’re there to help you succeed. It’s an emotional process, and if you get turned down, it can be demotivating. But persistence is key. If you are authentic, that will only help you. You can show that there is a niche for what you want to do.
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