Please tell us which program you chose for your Physician Assistant studies? Why did this program make the top of your list?
I attended Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA for my Physician Assistant (PA) studies and due to their academic and clinical reputation, their location, student success rates, and their faculty. Although it is a relatively new program, it has a strong reputation for graduating well-rounded PAs. Boston is considered the “mecca of medicine” by some and performing my student rotations at some of the nation’s best hospitals while being taught by outstanding clinicians was an opportunity I could not pass up.
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine. What about becoming a PA was attractive?
I always knew I wanted to go into medicine. I remember watching medical shows on TV and when I was a teenager, I would watch videos of surgeries and procedures online. Growing up in Puerto Rico we didn’t have PAs / NPs. I discovered what a PA was while working EMS. I quickly realized that this is the role I desired because becoming a PA would mean working in the medical field while getting to focus on the things I value most: patient interaction and medical procedures.
How did you choose Emergency Medicine as your specialty?
Growing up I thought I wanted to work in orthopedics. While attending Syracuse University for undergrad, I joined Syracuse University Ambulance. This experience was truly life changing and I realized that it wasn’t orthopedics that I was interested in, rather the acute care side of orthopedics. However, the more I learned and worked, the more I fell in love with emergency medicine. I realized that I didn’t just like the orthopedics/trauma side of it, but also loved the acute care medical aspect of it as well.
What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day practice?
My favorite part of my day-to-day practice is never knowing what I am going to see. When I go to work, I never know if I will see 10 patients or 30. I don’t know if I will be seeing mainly colds and flus or sepsis and strokes. This keeps you on your toes and keeps the job interesting.
What led you to practice with MEMA?
I wanted an organization that values their PAs and NPs, provides excellent training, has a good relationship between the MD/DOs and PAs / NPs, and allows PAs and NPs to practice at the top of their scope of practice. I found that MEMA has all of these while also creating a working environment that has motivated providers to stay with the group for many years.
What are some of the biggest challenges of your practice, for a clinician practicing in the emergency department?
The biggest challenge is also the most exciting one. You must be able to manage anything and everything that comes in through the doors. You cannot avoid any one specialty or organ system because you don’t like it. This leads us to always be learning new things in order to keep managing our diverse patient populations.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations? Any leadership roles?
I am a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA).
What about Charlotte excites you?
Charlotte has everything I was looking for. It is perfectly situated geographically with the ocean a few hours away on the east and the mountains on the west. There are plenty of nearby lakes for recreational activities. It is a modern and expanding city with plenty to offer. There are many cities within driving distance for weekend getaways and the people are extremely nice and welcoming!
Do you have any Hobbies, interests, or secret powers that are unique to you?
I love traveling, scuba diving, skiing, watching sports, and attending sports games.