Beth Carlson: How God opens doors

Andrew Gedelian 

Staff Writer 

(Photo Credit: Megan Schoeneweis)


Beth Carlson, physician assistant and director of health services, has certainly felt the Lord’s calling in her life.  Her interest in medicine from a young age has led her through multiple career opportunities, eventually leading her to Geneva in the fall of 2018.   

Growing up on a farm, Carlson began her medical career taking care of her own animals. This, and her love for science and biology, led her initially to veterinary school. However, she was persuaded by her college advisor to follow a different career path. Her interest in medicine inspired her to pursue a career as a medical technologist. From there, she was encouraged to become a physician assistant. 

Carlson said, “I had always wanted to be in the medical field… I just doctor two legged animals now instead of four!”  

A physician assistant does more than a regular nurse, with duties similar to that of a doctor. Though still operating under a doctor, they have a greater amount of freedom. PAs may diagnose and treat illnesses, are authorized to prescribe medications and many perform procedures and assist in surgeries.  

Amy Solmon, director of health and counseling services at Geneva said, “After Connie Erwin retired and also Dr. Sesito retired, administration thought long and hard about what direction we would like to take health services. . . We followed our typical job search process and happily found Beth to be an excellent fit for the position.”  

Solman continues, “[Carlson] has a heart to not only treat students/staff medically, but also to educate them on health matters. . . She has been an incredible mentor for her student workers, as a few of them are interested in the medical field. I can’t say enough nice things about Beth, and I’m very grateful she has chosen Geneva,”  

As a physician assistant must work under a doctor, the next step was finding someone to work with Carlson. Another Geneva staff member had a recommendation: Jason Rodriguez, whom Carlson had previously worked under at Heritage Valley Medical Group in Moon Township for 20 years. 

While at Heritage Valley, Carlson had many patients with whom she shared her faith even though working in the public sector and discussing one’s religion while on the job is typically discouraged. 

Carlson said, “My patients knew I was a Christian. They knew about my mission trips. My mission trips were actually my little edge, because they would ask me when I was going, and they would say, ‘Oh, I’m going to pray for you’. . . If they brought it up I could talk about it. It helped me evangelize.”  

Although saying goodbye to her previous patients was hard, Carlson loves getting to know the Geneva community and enjoys the opportunity to openly share her faith with all who step into her office.  

“I told people I had to have certain doors open for this job to come to head,” Carlson said, “I really believe the Lord opened every door I needed.”