Osmosis News

How Osmosis Scholarship Winner Shqiponja Kuka “Opens Her Arms”

Osmosis Team
Published on Jun 13, 2020. Updated on Sep 15, 2020.

Applications for the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship are now open! We’re giving away $10,000 USD in prizes—one $5,000 prize and five $1,000 prizes—to six US-based students to put towards their education in the health professions. As part of the application process, we’re asking students to send in videos telling us how they plan to embody one of the six Osmosis values in their daily lives.

Today we’re featuring an interview with Shqiponja Kuka, a second-year PA student in Yale University’s online PA program. In her video, she explained how she plans to “open her arms” to future patients and make use of Osmosis videos as educational tools in the clinic. Read our interview with Shqiponja below, and scroll down to the bottom of this article to watch her winning video!

How did you hear about the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship?

I happened to come across the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship while I was on the website studying for my upcoming finals. I was excited to see a scholarship opportunity that I was eligible for and that was offered by a service that I use so often.

What advice do you have for students looking to make their Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship application stand out?

Let your passion drive your words. Make the reader see the world from your perspective by painting a picture with those words. If you feel strongly enough about something, your application will stand out.

Osmosis illustration of a PA student who's out for a run.

You chose “Open Your Arms” as the Osmosis value you identify with most strongly. If you had to choose another Osmosis Value, which one would you pick, and why?

Reach Further” is another Osmosis value that resonates with me because of how much it says about the impact we can have in the world. Osmosis achieves this value on a global scale by providing an easily accessible platform for health education that reaches students wherever they may be. I have attempted to reach further by promoting health literacy within my own circle of friends and family. The more someone knows about anatomy and pathophysiology, the more likely they are to actively participate in their own health. Knowledge is powerful and the further we reach, the greater impact we can have.

In your video, you spoke about the PA’s role as a patient educator. Do you have any tips to share with future PAs on how they might incorporate Osmosis into their clinical practice?

Osmosis is a phenomenal tool for patient education because it presents information in a digestible format and there is a tremendous reservoir of topics. Osmosis can be used as a supplemental resource to provide patients in the office and outside the office. 

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in PA school, and how did you overcome it? 

The biggest challenge I faced in PA school, aside from the current impact of COVID-19, was gauging which resources I should use to supplement my studies. There are so many books, question banks, and other online resources that are available and it can get overwhelming especially in a fast-paced program. It took me time to find an all-encompassing and efficient study routine that worked for me, and Osmosis has been a part of it. I have stuck to the same resources throughout didactic and clinical year, and it has made all the difference. 

Osmosis illustration of a PA student feeling overwhelmed by the number of study resources she has to choose from.

If you could do one thing different on your journey to PA school, what would you change?

When I think back on my journey to PA school, I can recall how much pressure I put on myself. Now I realize that I was already on the path to the career that I wanted and if I could do it all over again, I would try to put less stress on myself. 

How does it feel to have won the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship? Anyone you want to shout-out or say thanks to?

Winning the Osmosis Health Education Impact feels encouraging and exciting. Having my application stand out because of the ideas that I presented, gives me motive to continue pursuing those very ideas. For that, I’d like to send thanks to the Osmosis team. I’d also like to shout-out to everyone involved in revolutionizing health education in the current world.

Osmosis illustration of a quote indicating the lessons we can learn from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How has COVID-19 impacted your studies, and what advice do you have for students navigating these circumstances?

COVID-19 has significantly impacted my clinical year in that it has changed the clinical setting, and it has changed how medicine is practiced to an extent. My advice is to make the most out of the situation and to use it as an opportunity to learn to become flexible as a provider in order to meet your patient’s needs. Although it can be discouraging at times, it is important to realize how much there is to learn from a profoundly impactful situation such as this global pandemic.  

About Shqiponja

Shqiponja Kuka is a second-year Physician Assistant student at Yale University's Online PA Program. She is originally from Albania, but has lived in Derby, Connecticut for most of her life. Shqiponja is interested in working with underserved populations and has a special interest in public health. She loves to spend time reading, running, and having long and fun conversations with her four-year-old daughter.


Applications for the Osmosis Health Education Impact Scholarship are open until August 17, 2020. As part of the process, we ask for a video telling us how you plan to embody one of the six Osmosis values in your clinical practice. You just might win one of six scholarships on offer: one $5,000 prize and five $1,000 scholarships are available. Apply today!

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