Q: What's a typical workday like for you?
A: I see eight to 12 patients in a four-hour period, varying from routine physicals, chronic disease follow-up, acute care, skin lesion evaluations and minor surgical procedures. We also use an electronic medical record to record each office visit, phone message and medication refill.
Q: How does your role fit into the bigger healthcare picture?
A: Medicine these days focuses a lot on the "team approach." Physician assistants (PAs) fill this role perfectly because being a team provider is inherent in our training and mission. We work side-by-side with our physicians to make the practice more efficient, and we seek to streamline the healthcare experience whenever possible.
Q: Who do you interact with during the course of the day?
A: I work closest with my LPN (Licensed Practical Nurse) and RN (Registered Nurse), but also rely on the medical office assistants who schedule and check-in patients, as well as staff of the lab, radiology and pharmacy each day. I utilize my supervising physician and other colleagues to review patients and get their thoughts regularly as well.
Q: Why did you become a physician assistant?
A: I wanted to have an integral part in patient health, to help others become more proactive with their own health and to have a variety of workplace options within medicine. I truly wanted to work as a member of the healthcare team, and being a PA is the perfect way for me to do that.
Q: What do you like about your work?
A: One of my favorite things about working in family medicine is the on-going relationships that can develop. I have seen some patients for eight or more years, and often care for others in their family as well. It makes me a better clinician when I understand my patient's history. I also really enjoy the wide variety of things I see on a day-to-day basis, as well as the wonderful group of people who support me each clinic day.