Lecturer, Didactic Faculty
My journey into the medical field was quite accidental. When I was a crewmember on the Coast Guard HC-130 airframe, I enrolled in a Florida EMT program, hoping to be selected for MEDEVAC missions, all as a means of seeing the world. While in the EMT program, I found myself perusing the bookstore’s medical reference section more often than studying. During a visit to the clinic on base, I became aware of the physician assistant career path, and, excited to pursue such an impactful career, I completed my prerequisites and was accepted into the Interservice Physician Assistant Program in 2005.
PA school was one of the most challenging times of my life, and I loved every minute of it. After graduating in 2007, I completed the second half of my 20-year career with the Coast Guard in the medical field. In 2010, I deployed with healthcare providers from all over the world in a humanitarian and hurricane response mission where we saw the effects of prolonged lapses in access to healthcare. My last two years were spent assigned to our northbound icebreaker, the HEALY, where a large part of my job consisted of planning for medical emergencies we hoped would never happen while traveling to remote regions of the Arctic.
There is little that brings as much joy as being able to positively impact someone’s life. As a PA student, I was privileged to have truly dedicated instructors who prepared me to go out with compassion and enthusiasm to impact the lives of my patients. Between deployments, I had the opportunity to assist MEDEX with lectures and proctoring, and found that being able to draw on my experience to guide these up-and-coming physician assistants was incredibly rewarding. In this time of healthcare provider shortages, I cannot think of a better way to give back to the nation that put me through PA school than becoming part of the MEDEX team and mission of producing PAs of the highest caliber to fill the voids in access to care. It is truly an honor to be a part of this great program.