Please tell us why you chose the Duke University Medical Center for their Physician Assistant program?
I grew up in the Northeast and for undergrad, attended Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut. While I was accepted to another university you may have heard of in New Haven, CT, I wanted to explore other areas of the country and had a few friends in North Carolina. Duke was the birthplace of the PA profession with an inaugural class in 1965, and, that history and their program were primary reasons for choosing their PA program.
Tell us more about how you came to choose the field of medicine?
All through high school, I had a keen interest in biology and zoology. This persisted and I found myself dabbling with pre-med while at Wesleyan. I took a semester off and traveled to Hyden, Kentucky to volunteer with the Frontier Nursing Service, which afforded me an immersion in medicine that I never before had experienced. I became aware of the PA career opportunity through fellow students who went on to those programs, so I was led down that path through the referral of others.
What about becoming a PA was attractive?
Becoming a PA offered a pathway to medical practice that required less of the commitment of traditional medical school and residency. After graduation from Duke, I was splitting my medical practice between family medicine & emergency medicine. I found the cadence of emergency medicine always challenging but rewarding with great satisfaction.
What do you enjoy most about your day-to-day practice?
I enjoy that every day we are challenged to practice evidence-based medical care
What led you to practice with MEMA?
After graduation, I moved back to the Northeast and practiced in Connecticut for a few years. An opportunity to work for (what was then) Mercy South in Pineville presented itself and I moved back to North Carolina. While there, MEMA recruited me to begin their PA & NP program, so I was MEMA’s very first PA and it has been exceptionally rewarding to watch our program grow to what it is today.
Please tell us about being MEMA’s Director of Advance Practice Clinicians:
I am a member of MEMA’s executive team and act as a liaison between our medical directors and our Advanced Practice Clinicians. I work with our NPs and PAs on many human resource aspects. It has been a pleasure to make myself available as a resource for other Advance Practice Clinicians in this role.
Has there been one patient, staff member, or caregiver story that has stuck with you during your MEMA tenure?
There is a CNA that I am lucky to work with. She has an enormous moral compass and working with her is always enlightening. It has been helpful to have someone available and on your team, who has that kind of capacity.
Are you a member of any associations, societies, or organizations? Any leadership roles?
I am a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the NC Academy of Physician Assistants, and the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants.
Have you received any awards or been recognized by your peers?
I was voted the Emergency Room’s Employee of the Month. This was a true honor because it typically goes to other team members, however, it showed respect for the team as a whole and spotlights how well we work together.
What about Charlotte excites you?
I first came to Charlotte in ’82 while on a cardiology rotation and, at that time, Charlotte was very different — the dramatic growth of the city and the changes in the area over the course of almost three decades has been exciting to watch.
Do you have any hobbies, interests, secret powers that are unique to you?
My passion is gardening, and I really enjoy growing vegetables.