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Concord, North Carolina, and I work with the most awesome surgeon, Dr. James Hendrix.
How many years have you been a PA?
27 years plus as a PA.
How many years have you been a PA with OrthoCarolina?
My first job as a new graduate in 1991 was with Gaul Orthopedics which later became Charlotte Orthopedic Specialist after a merger and then became OrthoCarolina as we know it today. My first original job was with John Gaul III (hand ninja) and then served on the total joint team with Dr. Tom Fehring, Dr. Bill Griffin, Dr. Bo Mason, and Dr. McCoy. I also worked with the pediatric team with Dr. William Moorefield and Dr. Dickerson and later did a rotation in spine with Dr. Ken Wood, Dr. Darden, and Dr. Rhyne. I also worked in foot and ankle with Dr. Sebold.
In 2008, OrthoCarolina merged with Northeast Orthopedics where I served eight or so years working with various general orthopedic surgeons, hand surgeons and total joints.
All in all it has been 27 years plus, practically with the same group considering the merger.
What made you decide to become a PA?
I decided to be a PA after I finished my BSN degree in nursing. I worked in the burn center at Chapel Hill and met a really awesome PA who got me hooked. Ever since then, I’ve wanted to become a PA. He had been the PA taking care of a small two-year-old boy who had 99% 3rd° burns across his body who somehow managed to survive with no fingers, no toes, no ears, no nose and multiple skin grafts and countless operations and he was still the happiest toddler I’ve ever seen. That’s when it clicked. When it comes to kids, I am a softie.
What is a big challenge in your job?
My biggest challenge in orthopedics is having to deal with the insurance companies who don’t understand that my intentions are to help the patients who I consider my family, diagnose, treat and make them happy. I have found that insurance companies want nothing more than to hold onto your money and make you jump through hurdles and will do everything in their power to deny everything. They are definitely a human roadblock. I will fight you peer to peer reviews! I am no pushover.
What do you enjoy about your job?
It would be easier to ask me what I don’t enjoy, which is a very short list. My biggest enjoyment is probably when a patient tells me that no one has ever spent this much time explaining all of their options with them while drawing detailed pictures on the bed paper. Then at the end, I let the patient pick the best option for them. If the patient needs surgery, I will typically try to talk them out of having it. I think patients really respect the fact that you try to avoid surgery at all costs. It’s an absolute last resort. I tell my patients I am the absolute worst car salesman ever. I haven’t sold a single total joint replacement this year.
A close second, is when a patient comes in and tells me that they were referred by another patient who loved me.
When you were younger what did you want to be when you grew up?
I knew I wanted to be in the medical field so I looked up in the dictionary the longest word I could think of: Otolaryngologist (the branch of medicine concerned with the treatment and diagnosis of diseases of the ear, nose, and throat).
My road to get there consisted of going to nursing school at Chapel Hill where I received my BSN degree. After that, I got sidetracked and worked at the burn center as a nursing extern where I met a great PA who convinced me to be one. So I went to Wake Forest School of Medicine PA program at Bowman Gray and graduated valedictorian. There I meet my college sweetheart Lisa. Boom. Here I am. I have two awesome boys. Cameron is a chemical engineer working in Alabama, and Jacob is a civil/environmental engineer student at UNCC. Can you believe that neither of them wanted to go into medicine? Yeah, me neither!
Tell us a fun fact about yourself or something that people might not know about you:
Anything else you want us to know about you or your job:
I just adore working with kids from toddlers, boys, girls, to teenagers, especially since I grew up in an orphanage. Please take extra time with kids, they are very impressionable. The best feeling ever is when a young kid who has been coming to see you for years for different problems tells me, “I am applying to PA school. Can I shadow you sometime? I want to be like you one day.” Or, “I am going to college. Tell me what I have to do to increase my odds to get into PA school.” That will put a big fat lump in your throat.
Timothy Boyd, PA-C is a physician assistant at OrthoCarolina Concord location.
Watch for a new Meet the PA each month and get to know our physician assistants.