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 Ginger Sims, PA-C, DFAAPA, who has been a certified PA for 33 years and a graduate of the Wake Forest PA Program. The NCAPA had the honor of getting to know PA Sims and reflected on her PA journey.
What areas have you practiced in, and what does a day-in-the-life look like for you?
“During my career, I have worked in internal medicine, public health, emergency medicine, occupational medicine and primary care. I currently split my time between primary care and administrative medicine. In my administrative role, I serve as director of provider growth and development. It is gratifying working every day creating connections, a sense of belonging and support for the physicians and APPs as they join my health system. I am grateful every day I chose this path and feel very lucky I can work on the legacy that I will leave as it relates to a sustainable practice environment for providers.”
“I currently work in a split role in primary care and administrative medicine. Clinically I work at Novant Health Pfafftown Family Medicine. In addition, I serve as our health system’s director for provider growth and development.”
“A day in the life? I work with a supportive team and system leaders, as we create an onboarding experience for our new physicians and APPs. This is our first level of medical team leadership development. In addition, I lead a nationally recognized transition to practice experience for new graduate APPs that combines didactic content with system connections and development.”
What inspired you to become a PA? What encouraged you to apply to PA school?
“My grandmother was a nurse. She was an inspiration for me to explore a career in medicine. From the time I was very young I was fascinated by the body and how it worked. As I explored options for a career in medicine, I looked at physical therapy, medical school and PA School. The path of becoming a PA seemed to be the best fit. I was drawn to the ability to truly take care of the whole patient and a collaborative practice model that also had a lot of autonomy. The flexibility of practice areas as a PA was also important for me.”
What is your favorite thing about being a PA?
“My favorite thing about being a PA is being present with the patient and walking alongside them on their health journey. It is amazing the impact that can occur when a patient and a PA partner together. As I am at the end of my career, I also have great joy in supporting our new generation of PAs as they start practice.”
What made you want to become a member of the NCAPA? Why do you think NCAPA membership is valuable?
“I have been a member of NCAPA since I graduated PA school. Initially, I joined because as a new grad it seemed like the right thing to do to stay up to date on PA practice. I remained a member through the years because there has been a lot of change in PA practice. The NCAPA has been integral in leading change for PA practice in a positive way and communicating these changes. I feel like the NCAPA is the best resource for information around PA practice, advocacy of PA practice and support for PA practice.”
How do you want the PA profession to change in the next 5 or 10 years?
“I am excited for what is on the horizon. I would love to see an optimal team practice model that allows top of license practice and collaborative care models to best deliver care for our communities.”
What are some of your passions/interests aside from being a PA?
“Personally, I love to be outdoors enjoying a walk or a hike. I live in Winston Salem, NC. We have called Winston Salem our home for 29 years. I am married to my high school sweetheart and have 2 grown daughters that I am very proud of. I love to serve on our communities by actively working with my health system’s community engagement teams, health equity teams and our philanthropic foundation. I also am an active member of my women’s circle though my church. Any chance I get, I enjoy travel with my family, especially visiting national parks. I also enjoy spending time at the New River in West Jefferson, NC.”
If you weren’t a PA, what would you be doing instead?
“I don’t know what I would do if I had not chosen the path of being a PA. So far into my career, it is hard to imagine doing anything else!”