“Doctors Need Heroes too.” Meet our Medical Assistant Instructor, Liliana Pettis.

Before Liliana was an SCI medical assistant instructor, or MA, she was a young mama and an SCI student herself. Here she tells her story.*

Being 17was not only scary but hard.

You see, I have been in many of my students’ place. I was blessed to have my family and friends to help me with my son and encourage me to go to school as a medical assistant where I could “do something meaningful” with my life.

I remember walking into the school building at SCI and signing up for the medical assistant program knowing that I had made a decision that would change my life. What I could not have known about then were all the lives of others that I would later impact as a medical assistant instructor at Southern Careers Institute.

When I walked through those doors 15 years ago, I did not know that I would be leading, teaching, and showing others what I was once taught. It didn’t cross my mind as I trained on-the-job that I would soon be training future medical assistants in the local and surrounding areas of Corpus Christi. It is a rewarding job to help place, inspire, motivate, and work with those that will soon be doing what I have done. When I see a smile spread across my students’ faces as I share some of my most memorable stories in the field, that’s exciting to me. I enjoy giving them something to look forward to, knowing that they too will feel as rewarded as I was in a career that makes a difference as medical assistants.

What I also could not have anticipated, was working alongside someone else who also is a medical assistant instructor and SCI graduate, my coworker, Guadalupe Hernandez. She finished school in 2005 and now years later, she, too, is preparing, leading, and teaching others to be wonderful medical personnel within our community.

When I am asked “Why be a Medical Assistant?” I simply respond with “Because doctors need heroes too.” To be a part of molding, shaping and creating a diamond-in-the-rough is beyond pleasing. To have a student return from externship with a “thank you” only reminds me that I am helping–one smile at a time.


Lilana–far right in the navy–celebrates with her students.

About the Author

Meet Liliana Pettis

Liliana is a graduate from Southern Careers Institute where she received certification 15 years ago. After graduation, Liliana launched her career working for Almouie Pediatrics and later became a member of Driscoll Children’s Hospital where she was a prominent part of the Craniofacial and Reconstructive Team under Dr. Kevin Hopkins for over 7 years. Liliana is now a full-time medical assistant instructor at SCI Corpus Christi.

*edited for content and brevity.

Be someone’s hero and enroll as a medical assistant with SCI today.