Skip to main content
ad info

 
CNN.com   career > a day on the job archive archive_icon
    Editions | myCNN | Video | Audio | Headline News Brief | Feedback  

 

  Search
 
 

 
CAREER
TOP STORIES

MTV at Super Bowl: Fielding a half time

(MORE)

TOP STORIES

Super Bowl Sunday: It's finally here

India tends to quake survivors

Contact with OSU aircraft was lost before it went down, investigator says

Sharon calls peace talks a campaign ploy by Barak

(MORE)

MARKETS
4:30pm ET, 4/16
144.70
8257.60
3.71
1394.72
10.90
879.91
 


WORLD

U.S.

POLITICS

LAW

TECHNOLOGY

ENTERTAINMENT

HEALTH

TRAVEL

FOOD

ARTS & STYLE



(MORE HEADLINES)
*
 
CNN Websites
Networks image

 

Physician assistant / clinical coordinator:
'One life at a time'

graphic
Mike Moore  

Name

Mike Moore


Position

Clinical coordinator, Physician Assistant Program at the University of St. Francis, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

We're training 25 students this year to become physician assistants, primarily to meet the needs of the many areas in New Mexico underserved by health care providers. Physician assistants are licensed health care providers who work in collaboration with a physician, providing most of the services that primary care physicians provide, but at a fraction of the cost. This is our first year in operation, we just received our accreditation this past October.

  QUICK VOTE
graphic The program in which Mike Moore is clinical coordinator is a 27-month course of study, culminating in a Master of Science (MS) degree in physician assistant studies. Have you been aware of this career option before now?

No, this is the first I've heard of physician assistants.
Possibly -- I think I thought this was a form of nursing, but now I realize it's a specific field.
Yes, I've been aware of physician assistants as a growing line of work in health care.
View Results


Years in position

Since June of this year. As I mentioned, this is a new program. I've done some work in education before, but this is my first long-term, full-time teaching position.


Age

38


Education

I have two bachelors' degrees and I'm finishing my master's degree this spring. The first bachelor's degree was from Troy State University in social science, 1988. The second was in medical science from Alderson-Broaddus College in West Virginia, 1997. That was my physician assistant training.

Right now, I'm working on a master's degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska, which I should complete at the end of February 2001. I have also done quite a bit of other graduate work along the way from various institutions, to enhance my information technology and professional skills.


How did you get your current job?

My wife is an active-duty U.S. Air Force physician and was being transferred here to Kirtland Air Force Base. I found out about this opportunity by chance and it seemed like a natural fit. I'd worked with my boss while I was in physician assistant training, so he recruited me to come work for him.

"I personally think that instilling into future health care providers a sense of mission and a knowledge of the essential spirituality of the work that we do helps as well. Not to get too mystical, but what healers do is a blend of art and science. And the more health care providers who realize that and treat the whole person -- not just the illness -- the better off we'll all be as a society."

How many hours do you work per week?

Right now, it's about 50 to 55 hours per week. When classes are in session, I expect the hours will stay the same, except that some nights will have to be covered for student tutorial and study sessions.

I also have to travel some to visit training sites throughout the state, usually about once a week. Along with all this, I try to fit in 8 to 10 hours per week of clinical practice, either in the local emergency departments or at a clinic for the homeless.


What's the first thing you do when you get to work in the morning?

Start the computer and make the coffee. Then it's e-mail, review the "to-do" list and finally review the current medical news and journal summaries on MD Consult.


What time do you have lunch? What do you usually eat?

It's variable -- 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. -- and usually I have a nutrition shake like MET-Rx for lunch. About once every couple of weeks I'll have a burrito with green chili (a New Mexico thing) if I have the time. Occasionally I get to meet my wife for lunch and I'll take her something we can eat together in her clinic.


What time do things get tense around the office? What makes it that way?

As we're a new program, most of the tense times revolve around our "growing pains," the details that go into any new program or service. Putting the finishing touches on the facility and the curriculum creates stress, but not an unbearable amount.

  PHYSICIANS' ASSISTANCE
The University of St. Francis' Physician Assistant Studies program -- located in the Nob Hill district of Albuquerque, New Mexico -- reports that there are some 38,000 practicing physician assistants in the United States. Called PAs in medicine, they're qualified to carry out some 80 percent of the duties usually performed by primary care physicians. A 1999 survey of the American Academy of Physician Assistants is quoted by the university as indicating that the average starting salary for a PA graduate is $57,648. The average salary among PAs who have been in the field for a time is $68,164. And we met Mike Moore when he used our submission form here at "A Day on the Job." If you'd like your day to be considered for a profile here at CNN.com/career, let us hear from you as Moore did.
 

If you're having a good day at work, what is it that makes it good?

Having students around and watching them get excited about learning. That makes every day a "good day." to some extent. It may sound simplistic, but a day is what you bring to it. I've been in the military for about 18 years (11 active and seven in the reserves) and over the course of that time I've had to endure some hardship. And I've found that if I bring a positive attitude to the situation, it generally makes it better.


How much work, if any, do you take home?

I always bring a little bit of work home, but it is usually just to get better organized for the next day and to be more efficient. Nothing substantial.


What does your work contribute to society?

We increase access to quality primary health care. This is important because although we live in a time where we can do amazing things with medical technology when people are sick, we really still don't do a very good job of keeping people well and helping them prevent illness. Physician assistants and other primary health care providers are the keys to accomplishing this.

Also, I personally think that instilling into future health care providers a sense of mission and a knowledge of the essential spirituality of the work that we do helps as well. Not to get too mystical, but what healers do is a blend of art and science. And the more health care providers who realize that and treat the whole person -- not just the illness -- the better off we'll all be as a society.


Do you expect to finish your working life in this career?

One way or the other, I expect to be teaching for the rest of my life, even if it's only part-time. Probably more than anything else I've done, it's my calling.


If you could have two more careers, what would they be?

Honestly, politics or governmental service, if I could stomach it.

One thing I've noticed in the "boomers" and in my generation is that somehow we've fallen into a system where people are groomed for governmental service very young -- sometimes starting in high school -- with the consequence of having decision-makers in place who don't really know how to do anything but survive in a political system. And yet they have an incredible impact on our daily lives.

Somehow this needs to change. Maybe it needs to start with midlifers like me.


What's an unforgivable trait in a colleague?

Lack of integrity. An offshoot of this is not putting students first. They're the reason we teach. Putting our personalities or institutional politics before their needs is wrong and inconsistent with the profession of teaching.

"I have an image in my mind of the sick, scared child I saw in a small, rural West Virginia clinic. She had to ride two hours and then wait two hours to be seen by a provider. She deserves better. Every day, I try to work to fix that. One life at a time."

What do you do to relieve stress?

Read medical literature. Never fails to work. Sometimes it will even put me straight to sleep, especially if it's neurology or endocrinology.


What have you been reading lately?

I've been re-reading "Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584-2069" by William Strauss and Neil Howe (William Morrow & Co., 1992) and "Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies" by Jared Diamond (Econo-Clad, 1999).

Also, I try to have a short spiritual reading in the morning. I just finished "Ethics for the New Millennium" by the Dalai Lama (Riverhead, 1999). And I'm now working on the book of Romans in the New Testament. I'm also reading "The Courage to Teach" by Parker Palmer (Jossey-Bass, 1997).


When you have one of those days on which you don't think you can face the job again, what is it that gets you out the door in the morning and off to work?

I have an image in my mind of the sick, scared child I saw in a small, rural West Virginia clinic. She had to ride two hours and then wait two hours to be seen by a provider. She deserves better. Every day, I try to work to fix that. One life at a time.

graphic


 

RELATED STORIES:
IT systems engineer: 'Unofficial ambassador'
December 19, 2000
Hospital biomed director: 'They want it now'
December 12, 2000
Software support engineer: 'Clients' satisfaction'
December 5, 2000
Director of golf: Vietnam Golf & Country Club
November 28, 2000
Launch crew commander: 'A safe future'
November 21, 2000
Pharmacist: The customer doesn't feel well
November 14, 2000
Radio frequency engineer: Wireless in Dallas
November 7, 2000
Church music director: 'Building communities of faith'
November 1, 2000
Real estate attorney: 'Competitive people by nature'
October 24, 2000
U.S. Air Force squadron intelligence director: 'Feeling of accomplishment'
October 24, 2000
Funeral home director: 'A very high-stress job'
October 10, 2000
Public information officer: Light at the end of it
September 29, 2000

RELATED SITES:
Alderson-Broaddus College
Kirtland Air Force Base
MD Consult
MET-Rx
Troy State University
University of Nebraska
University of St. Francis, the Physician Assistant Program


Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
 Search   


Back to the top   © 2001 Cable News Network. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.