Home > Blog > May 2016 > Denver Student Follows in her Mother’s Pima Medical Footsteps

Denver Student Follows in her Mother’s Pima Medical Footsteps

Posted: May 4, 2016 by Elizabeth Baker

Sometimes they get a funny look, or maybe a confused glance. Why is that instructor hugging that student, passersby wonder.

But it’s perfectly natural. The instructor, Kari McCabe, and the student, Leah Elswick, are mother and daughter. They both lead really busy lives, and sometimes the quick hello and hug in the hallway is the only time they have to connect.
Kari McCabe, left, and her daughter, Leah Elswick pose for a photo together. Instructor, Kari McCabe, left, and her daughter, Leah Elswick.

Kari is a radiography instructor at Pima Medical’s Denver campus. Her daughter is a surgical technology student, also at Denver. When she’s not in class, Leah is usually at her job at a local spa.

“Leah still lives at home, but she’s not there a lot,” Kari said with a laugh. “Sometimes she will stop by my office. It’s nice to see her face.”

After graduating from Bear Creek High School in 2015, Leah thought about studying forensic science, but years of school didn’t really appeal to her at the time. She wanted to get started on a career right away. Her mother had often told her about all the great things going on a Pima Medical—and how instructors truly invested in their students.

“In some ways, it was a no-brainer for her,” Kari said. “She already knew about the quality of programs, and I stressed to her that she’d have a career soon.”

Pima Medical became the natural choice for Leah, and having her mother around to show her the ropes has been an extra bonus. At times, Kari has been able to help her with things like using the Blackboard program or quizzing her in anatomy.

Leah will graduate in June of 2017. So far, the surgical technology program is proving to be as interesting and challenging as she’d hoped.

“I ended up choosing the surgical tech program because I wanted to do something really hands-on,” Leah said. “It’s a great program. After I graduate, I hope to get a job at my clinical externship site and possibly work in pediatrics.”

“Having my mom around has been really helpful,” she continued. “I like being able to go to her for help.”
Just like her mother, Leah will soon be a Pima Medical alumna. Kari graduated from the Denver campus in 2003. She joined Pima Medical as an instructor nearly 12 years ago.

“Leah is really following in my footsteps,” Kari said proudly.

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