Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

Visits to the Stead Center are by appointment only. Please call the NCAPA office for more information. Read More »

The Pulse

  • Pride Month PA Highlight | Lea Kram, PA-C

    According to Lea Kram, PA-C, Pride Month is “a celebration of my journey, found happiness, and gratefulness towards those that paved the way for me to be comfortable and confident in this world. It’s also a reminder of those that may not have had — or will have — as positive an experience, and a reflection on what I can do moving forward.” She shares:

    “Pride month has always been a special time for me. It took me a while to come out – mostly because I was afraid how my community would respond. I graduated college in 2012 and moved to Washington DC where I found a great community of friends who encouraged me to figure myself out and created a sense of openness that I craved. Within my first year, I got my first [and last] girlfriend (she’s now my wife), attended my first PRIDE festival, and proudly came out to my family and friends – and was lucky to receive mostly support in return. I’ve seen great strides taken in LGBTQ+ policy and, unfortunately, just as many disappointments.”

    Lea Kram (she/her/hers) is from Miami, Florida and attended undergrad at the University of Central Florida. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport and Exercise Science in 2012. Having always looked up to her older brother, a pediatric neuro-oncologist, Lea wanted to follow in his footsteps and began exploring her options at the age of 25. She considered medical school, but also realized that by becoming a PA, she could have a meaningful educational experience without waiting until her late thirties to begin her career. Overall, she found that she “aligned best with the PA profession both because of the focus on team-based medicine and the flexibility of medical specialties” throughout her career. Lea attended Wake Forest University’s Physician Assistant Studies Program and just graduated this year, in 2022.

    Lea believes that it’s important and ultimately rewarding to maintain membership with NCAPA. She shares that becoming a PA and attending PA school “in North Carolina, specifically, was a wonderful experience. Through my clinical rotation experience, I worked with incredible providers in all kinds of specialties all over the state. As the home of the first few PA schools in the country, NC is a very progressive state with regards to the development and advocacy of the profession. It was amazing to see the level of dedication PAs have in North Carolina to their patients and maintaining membership in NCAPA allows new PA graduates to be a part of this exceptional community.”

    Lea, a cis female lesbian, realizes that the “Trans community is unfortunately facing significant discrimination politically, and that is bleeding into how the medical community can support them. It is paramount that PAs listen and respond empathetically to their trans patients about their needs, specifically around gender affirming care. For many patients, we are the first medical providers our patients see. This inclusivity needs to start with us so patients feel comfortable and trusting of their providing team.” She also recognizes that “North Carolina is a wonderfully diverse state–politically, racially, socioeconomically, and our patient panels reflect that!” Her hope for PA practice in North Carolina is “that the many NC medical training programs (including PA programs) enact curriculums and admission goals based around the focus of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This includes admitting more underrepresented minorities in medicine and LGBTQ+ people, teaching inclusive curriculums, and creating more diverse providers. This effort will have a major impact on the culture of medical institutions.”

    Now that Lea has graduated, she and her wife and their puppy, Greg, have recently reunited in Washington, DC, after spending the last year apart. Lea is beginning her career as a Critical Care PA at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, DC. She already loves being a PA, sharing that:

    “My favorite part of being a provider is the opportunity to help empower my patients to be their own medical manager. We have the unique honor of being a translator and interpreter for our patients and their condition. This starts with us understanding our patient’s medical literacy and goals of care at every step. Then, it is our duty to explain their conditions in approachable and palatable ways so that they have autonomy to make their own decisions.”

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