That’s me on the right. And no my wife normally doesn’t repel down buildings, at least not that I’m aware of, but when it comes to charity she’s pretty willing to do what it takes.
Those little guys are my boys, ages 9 and 6 and if you are ever bored go find two boys that age and watch boredom disappear quicker than you can say, “Dad! Where are my shoes?”
I grew up in Ohio, and moved to the South when I was in middle school. In 1989 I moved to Memphis for college and graduated a few times from the University of Memphis. I have bachelor degrees in psychology and journalism, wrote for the school newspaper and was involved in SGA as well as walk-on soccer player. I also have a master degree in counseling psychology and to round it off, I’m getting my Ed.D in instructional design and technology. In between I went to Bethel College and was a member of their charter physician assistant class. I graduated with my MSPAS in 2003.
Clinically I worked in pediatrics for 7 years and I have some experience in adult medicine, psychiatry, cardiology and gastroenterology. Before I went to PA school I worked as a therapist focusing mainly in adolescent psychology and substance abuse but also did some adult counseling as well.
I find that my degrees, while varied, tell a story about who I am. Psychology and Journalism are not as disparate as you first might think. The essence in each focuses on listening, reframing, summarizing in a succinct and clear manner the details laid out before you and providing insight and direction. These same skills are the foundations in which my physician assistant career was built on. As a patient centered provider I was able to develop rapport, trust, and a genuine connection with my patients that I still enjoy today, even though I am not practicing clinically as I’m a full-time educator. I was also able to process multiple details and organize these in a meaningful and effective manner. I think it’s the same approach I have with my students. I believe whole heartedly in the PA profession and I feel certain I am able to contribute my 17 years of clinical experience, both as a PA and therapist and my almost 3 years of being a medical educator as well as doctoral student, in such a way to motivate and engage the modern PA student.
As you know if you are involved in PA education, the typical student is not originally what the field intended, but times and needs change. Today’s student is young with limited health care experience, but they possess confidence and a drive to succeed and to help the world. They live in a world where technology is not word but a way of life. Some would argue they have limited attention, I would rather suggest, and research confirms, that traditional styles of teaching need to be evaluated and it’s time to reach out to the students of today and tomorrow in a way that they understand. This is why I have chosen the doctoral degree that I’m studying. I believe that technology used correctly with a firm understanding of the principles of learning can help us take PA education in the direction that it needs to go.
Some other info about me. I love photography, cooking, fly fishing, cycling, just about anything Apple related and/or technology, coming home and building the most awesome lego creations with my dudes, and still playing soccer (that sound you hear is my knee creaking and cracking). I’ve been happily married for 12 years and I am not at all very good when it comes to keeping plants alive. I hate running but am trying to jog 6 miles a week because I need to exercise to try to keep up with the kids and as you know the AMA just confirmed that 6 miles is the right amount!
At the end of the day I’m a pretty honest person who cares deeply about what I do and doing it the best I can. I am not afraid to say, “I don’t know” when I don’t know, and I’m not afraid to ask questions. I’m willing to be there for students when they need me and I know how much time it takes to be a good educator and colleague. I also know how much it means to watch a person walk across the stage two years after beginning a new program and knowing that he or she is competent, ready, and excited to be the next generation of PAs.