North Carolina PAs leading the way.
Justin Gambini, DMSc, MSPASc, PA-C, DFAAPA, is the Chair of the NCAPA Student Affairs Committee. Hailing from the mountains of West Virginia, Justin grew up in the town of New Creek, down the road from the Lost River. He attended West Virginia University, where he graduated with a Bachelors in Science, majoring in Biology with minors in Anthropology, Sociology, and Music Theory. Justin has always been fascinated with the human body and believes “there is no higher calling than to serve and care for your fellowman through learned reason and the application of compassion.” This belief led Justin to Shenandoah University, where he earned his Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Studies, graduating in 2009. More recently, Justin received his Doctor of Medical Science degree in Physician Assistant Education from the University of Lynchburg in 2021.
When Justin moved to North Carolina eight years ago, he began researching practice laws and quickly realized that NCAPA could provide the support and resources he would need to help with his transition. Justin joined NCAPA and has been a member ever since. He believes NCAPA provides PAs a “collective voice of representation at the highest levels of power in the state ” and that members are provided many ways to participate in advocacy and leadership. Through Justin’s time and experience, as a member and as a volunteer, it has become clear to him “that the work of the NCAPA continues to improve practice for both PAs and the patients they serve throughout the state.”
Justin is involved in a variety of NCAPA committees. He is not only the Chair of the Student Affairs Committee, but also Chair of the Pre-PA Taskforce, Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I) CME Sub-Committee, and member of the Education Development Panel. With regards to taking on these roles, he shares: “I have had several mentors in my life who have molded me into the clinician and educator I am today. I have a strong desire to “pay it forward” and give to the future generations of our profession. I find the NCAPA enables me to do this important work.” He hopes that other PAs throughout the state will join and get involved in NCAPA, particularly helping with the work of the DE&I Committee so that “NCAPA continues to be a beacon of inclusivity for all PAs, current and future.”
Justin is one of the founding members and current Director of Curriculum and Fellowships at George Fox University’s Doctor of Medical Science Program. He also serves as a Commissioner for the American Academy of Physician Assistants, and is on the Board of Directors for The Society of Point of Care Ultrasound (SPOCUS). Before transitioning into academia, Justin practiced Emergency, Critical Care, Hospitalist, and Tactical medicine, serving as a Deputy Police Surgeon for the county of Halifax, VA, and the town of South Boston, VA from 2010 – 2014.
Justin currently lives in Holly Springs, NC and, besides his work in PA and graduate medical education, he also provides consulting work “focused on assisting PA programs throughout the country implement point of care ultrasound pedagogy into their curriculum.” And recently, Justin traveled to Africa and Central America in partnership with various non-governmental organizations and his DMSc program to provide care to traditionally underserved and/or resource poor regions. When asked what he loves most about being a PA he shares:
As a PA, I continue to seek out new opportunities that allow me to provide care that fulfills our neighbor’s needs. By serving in in this role, I will prioritize work that ensures PAs can continue to provide high-quality health care that is both equitable and inclusive. I believe that as clinicians, we have been called to share our wisdom and knowledge with both those entering the medical profession and those who are actively practicing. As we work to impart complex pathophysiology, we must also remember to provide education that, above all else, transcends all barriers– social, ethnic, religious, or otherwise. In this role, I plan to use these beliefs to help guide the profession to even greater success.