Photo of Lan Crofton

Spartan Showcase: Lan Crofton

Photo of Lan Crofton

Program: Physician Assistant Program (School of Medicine) – Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) 
Year: Second year 

When Lan Crofton worked as a high school teacher, he regularly advised his students to pursue their passions. Today, he can be found following his own advice. Crofton left teaching to go after a career as a physician assistant (PA), ultimately enrolling in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Case Western Reserve University. 

“While I loved teaching, I realized I wanted my relationship with science to change and decided to pursue a career in medicine,” he explained. 

Now a second-year student in the program, Crofton has discovered another passion: providing culturally competent care. He recently was the recipient of the Diversity Scholarship from the Ohio Association of Physician Assistants, a scholarship awarded annually to one PA student in Ohio who “recognizes the diverse qualities of medical providers and the individuals for whom they care.” According to the awarding body, Crofton exemplified the ideals of this scholarship through his work with nonprofits, research on bias and microaggressions in medical education, and background in diversity facilitation.

“Diversity is highly celebrated within the profession and seen as a strength,” said Crofton, reflecting on his decision to pursue a career as a PA in the first place. While his path toward medicine wasn’t linear—and continues to evolve as he debates different healthcare specialties—Crofton credits his field’s emphasis on patient-centered care and collaborative approaches for shaping his decision.

The collaborative atmosphere and connections to local hospitals at Case Western Reserve’s medical school led the former chemistry and biology educator to pursue his PA degree here—and now, as a student, the school’s emphasis on developing leaders assures him he found a good fit.

In addition to enjoying opportunities to work with interprofessional settings, Crofton has become a leader at CWRU as a student scholar in the Interprofessional Scholars Collaboration in Teaching and Learning and as a chair on PA program committees. On a national level, he is a member of the PA Student Advisory Group for Aquifer, a nonprofit that develops learning tools for students in health fields.

“My experience at CWRU has taught me so much more than just becoming an excellent PA,” he said. “I’ve learned about the community and ways to become involved in the community, various methods of leadership, and advocacy for patients, colleagues, and our profession.”

Looking ahead, Crofton is unsure exactly what the future holds, but he does hope to be at the front of the classroom again someday.

“One thing I know for certain is that I would like to teach again, and I hope to become a faculty member at some point at a PA program,” he said.

Discover more about Case Western Reserve University’s physician assistant program.