When and why did you join the Congress of Neurological Surgeons?
I joined in 1996 after joining the Department of Neurosurgery at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville. My surgeons thought it would be a good idea to become more involved in professional organizations and also that CNS was more interested in involving Physician Assistants. I later became president of the Association of Neurosurgery Physician Assistants, and am the current immediate past president. It is thanks to the CNS that we have a Physician Assistant CME day held during the CNS Annual Meeting each year. We are so thankful!
What advice do you have for new CNS members on how they can best reap the benefits of CNS membership?
I have always enjoyed the CNS Annual Meeting and so appreciate membership’s support of Physician Assistants. It has been an excellent way to network with fellow PAs, ARNPs, and surgeons on a national level
How did you get into the field of neurosurgery?
My family and I became patients of Mayo Clinic when the Jacksonville location opened in 1986. I knew that I had wanted to become involved in a surgical specialty, and neurosurgery was hiring at the time I graduated from the University of Florida PA program in 1996. After I met with Dr. Robert Wharen, Jr. and Dr. Ronald Reimer, I knew that I would work with highly professional, skilled, and compassionate colleagues who would also train me well. I have been there ever since!
Describe your job in a tweet (i.e. 280 characters)
I take care of mostly cranial and cerebrovascular patients in a busy practice of 10 surgeons and a new residency program within a stroke center at Mayo Clinic. I help to first assist, round, take inpatient call and assist with discharge planning. I most enjoy direct patient care.
What is the biggest challenge you face on the job, and how are you managing it?
I would say that my biggest challenge is balancing the business of health care with providing the best possible care to patients and their families.
What research, science, and/or technology do you see having the biggest impact on the future of neurosurgery?
Minimally invasive and neuro-interventional procedures that decrease patient time in the hospital.
What are you proudest of in your life or career?
Knowing that I have provided the best possible care for our patients and their families.
If you could interview anyone, who would it be and why?
There are so many people that I would like to interview, but other than distant family members, they would be President George Washington, President Thomas Jefferson and Galileo. I would also interview brothers Dr. William Mayo and Dr. Charles Mayo, as they seemed to be able to handle every specialty, including surgery, due to having no other choice.