Certified PAs provide high-quality medical care in every specialty. For Jackie Edwards, PA-C, the flexibility in practice specialty that the profession offers is her favorite part of being a Certified PA.
Edwards has worked in several different specialties across the fields of neurosurgery, emergency medicine, urology, urgent care and occupational medicine. She feels that PA certification has enabled her to specialize in different areas, while still providing the most appropriate care in a generalized setting.
“My varied experience keeps me on my toes, and over time it has provided me with skills to better serve my patients,” Edwards said. “Maintaining certification validates my ability to remain laterally mobile and shows how seriously I take what I do. Medicine is always evolving, and we must stay on top of it.”
To maintain certification, Certified PAs periodically pass a high-stakes, comprehensive exam and complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years. The certification process is one example of how the profession requires dedication and endurance.
“Be patient with the process, because it is a process,” Edwards said. “If this is what you really want, do not give up.”
Edwards feels that although a career as a Certified PA can be challenging at times, it is equally as fulfilling. She appreciates when patients trust her enough to share their personal stories with her and to rely on her expert opinion.
“When I worked in the emergency department in the inner city close to my home, patients who I knew well would state how proud they were of me,” Edwards said. “I would see patients at the grocery store or at a restaurant, and they’d tell me that they appreciate my work and that they are doing what I recommended.”
If you want to learn more about becoming a Certified PA, visit PAsDoThat.net.