Growing up in a small town on an island in Southeast Alaska, where medical services were often limited and provided by a complex rotation of traveling doctors, I experienced firsthand the unique challenges that occur in medically underserved communities. However, my journey toward the PA profession was not a straightforward one. It took me from a small Alaskan island, to the city of Seattle, on toward the center of the midwest, and then back to Pacific Northwest once again, which I am now grateful to call home.
I received my bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington in 2002. My husband’s first job after college brought us to the midwest, and so my PA career was born at St Louis University. After graduating in 2005, I spent a year working in orthopedics, taking a weekend job in primary care to keep up my skills in medicine. Both jobs were rewarding and exciting, but my husband and I were anxious to return to the Pacific Northwest, and so I transitioned to emergency medicine as part of Washington Permanente Medical Group, where I’ve worked ever since.
Throughout my years as a PA, I have always loved to teach and mentor students on rotations. Seeing the excitement dawn as new skills are mastered, and coaching them to expand their skillset and knowledge base has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career. After a few years of guest lecturing for MEDEX, I was invited to join the didactic faculty, and I have been grateful for the opportunity to support MEDEX’s mission and values in cultivating providers who are excited to give back and serve the same sort of communities that I grew up in.