As part of the 2023 PA Week Celebration from Oct. 6 through Oct. 12, the NCAPA is highlighting NCAPA Members and North Carolina PAs Going Beyond at *every stage* of their PA career, from being a Pre-PA, to PA student, to Early Career PA, to having been a practicing PA for over 20 years – and everything in between.
Our practicing PA member highlight for today is Christopher Norman, MS, MBA, PA-C, who is currently the Medical Director of the Transfer Center for ECU Health. PA Norman has been a practicing PA for 18 years, and is a graduate of the ECU PA Program.
What is a day in the life like for you as a Medical Director?
“My role involves patient logistics. Often, a patient’s diagnosis or acuity exceed the capabilities of their local hospital. The providers caring for that patient then call to transfer their patient to another hospital. My role is to talk to those referring providers and connect them with the appropriate accepting hospital that has both the capability and capacity to care for that patient.
I also identify trends in transfer patterns and lead system level initiatives for process improvement. I am involved in multiple committees including: Bylaws, Credentialing, Mortality, Utilization Management, Transfer Review, Capacity & Throughput Steering.”
When did you realize you wanted to become a PA?
“I have always known that I wanted to be in healthcare but was unsure in which role. My mom worked with a PA and introduced us. I talked with that PA and shadowed her. I was hooked!”
What is your absolute favorite thing about being a PA?
“It’s the patients. So often, I encounter patients during some of the most difficult times in their life. Even if I never to get to meet them in my administrative role, I get to enter into this difficult time and help provide the definitive care they need. I also have the privilege of assisting other providers when they have reached the resource limits of their local hospital.”
What encouraged you to become a member of the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants?
“It was the invitation of a current member. She had an infectious enthusiasm when talking about her involvement. I couldn’t help but get interested. NCAPA is a valuable way to get involved in furthering our profession. It is a national leader in how well it cares for and supports its members. It is our resource for a unified voice of the PA profession when advocating for legislative change. It is also an excellent resource for professional community and education.”
How do you want the PA profession to change and evolve over the next 5 or 10 years?
“I would like to see our profession continue to be flexible with the continuous changes occurring in the healthcare industry. As long as we keep our patients in the forefront of our decisions, we will always do the right thing.”
What are some of your passions and interests aside from being a PA?
“I enjoy being with my family, date nights with my wife, watching my son play baseball, and watching my daughter in her various dance classes. We visit the beaches of NC often. That’s our happy place! I also have really enjoyed getting into the saltwater aquarium hobby. The beautiful colors and variety of fish and corals are amazing. Retirement plan maybe?!”
If you weren’t a PA, what would you be doing instead?
“I can’t image doing anything else!”