Student Spotlight: Q&A with Erin Rohlfing, Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2023

We're getting to know students from every program at the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Submit your own details for Student Spotlight consideration by filling out our brief form.

PAS student Erin Rohlfing
Erin Rohlfing

Q: What are three words that best describe you?

A: Confident, compassionate, determined.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? 

A: I’m a mom of two and a wife, so lots of my free time is dedicated to others. But, I’m basically a modern Martha Stewart. There’s hardly a task around the house that I cannot accomplish. I’ve taught myself to knit, sew, cook, papercraft. I love all things outdoors, especially hiking and paddleboarding. I’m also a bibliophile — a person who collects or has a great love of books.

Q: Why did you choose Wayne State University?

A: WSU is close to home and has the No. 1 physician assistant program in Michigan.

Q: Why did you choose the Physician Assistant Studies program? 

A: I’ve been through many iterations of careers that have been unfulfilling. I was interested in a career where I could help women worldwide live healthier lives and have a fiduciary relationship doing so.

Q: Tell us about a classroom, lab or clinical experience that you enjoyed. 

A: I really love that we have exposure at the Kado Family Clinical Skills Center for testing our patient examination skills. We have standardized patients that help give us a real-world feeling.

Q: If you had 24 hours free from work and school obligations, how would you spend your day?

the Rohlfing family
Jeff, Eloise, Quinton and Erin Rohlfing

A: I’d sleep in as long as I could! Then I would make an amazing omelette for breakfast. Depending on the season, I’d hit the hiking trail or the lake to go paddleboarding. To top it off, I would cuddle my two dogs while reading a fun novel.

Q: Share a recent accomplishment that made you proud of yourself.

A: I received a Rose Award at Troy Beaumont for excellence in nurse aid work. I accomplished this while spending 80-90 hours a week on school.

Q: What are your career aspirations?

A: My ultimate goal is outreach medicine, helping women find safe and affordable birth control in countries where it’s hard to find. It helps create better outcomes for children to live into adulthood and mothers to space apart their pregnancies.

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: I started off in the broadcast advertising world 20 years ago, then took time to raise my family. Following that, I started my own personal training business, which had exponential annual growth. I wanted to be able to serve people in health more than provide exercise plans, so I sought out becoming a PA. It’s been my honor and privilege to work in health care during this pandemic. It’s taught me that my midlife career path brings me oodles of joy.

About us

PAS program director Mary Jo Pilat with Erin Rohlfing
Erin (right) featured PAS Program Director Mary Jo Pilat during a student takeover of the program's Instagram account in March.

The Physician Assistant Studies master of science degree program at the Wayne State University Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is focused on the development of highly competent and passionate physician assistants who are deeply committed to practicing in urban and underserved health care settings. The admission cycle runs from May 1-Sept. 1 for classes beginning the following May. Prospective students can get started by attending a WSU Applebaum information meeting the first Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. 

An anchor in urban health care

The Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is built on more than 100 years of tradition and innovation in the heart of Detroit. We have grown deep roots in our city, harnessing its powerhouse hospital systems and community service organizations as vibrant, real-world training grounds for students, with an ongoing focus on social justice in health care. And our research at all levels – from undergraduates to veteran faculty members – translates into creative solutions for healthier communities.

Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering approximately 350 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to more than 25,000 students.

Return to news