Pride Month PA Highlight | Memory Dossenbach, PA-C
According to Memory Dossenbach, PA-C, Pride Month provides “an opportunity to celebrate diversity- to celebrate love and acceptance of EVERYONE.”
Memory Dossenbach (she/her) is from the small town of Siler City, NC. She attended Appalachian State University “a long time ago”, where she completed her undergrad and a Masters in Sports Medicine and Exercise Science. After graduation, Memory returned to the Triangle area, determined to apply to medical school. She began working at Duke Hospital, where she met several PAs and became impressed with their “competence, level of training, and flexibility.” She had an “ah ha moment” regarding her thoughts on medical school, deciding to become a PA instead. Memory attended and graduated from the Duke PA program in 1995.
Memory, a gay woman, believes “it is easy to forget in the Triangle area and other larger metropolitan areas in NC that LGBTQIA patients continue to be marginalized and suffer from discrimination. Add in the inherent difficulties in some of the rural areas of the state in terms of accessing care and you see a significant problem with access to care” for LGBTQIA patients. Her hope is that “OTP (optimal team practice) is not only passed but embraced by the entire medical community to further enhance PA practice.” With this, she believes that the marginalization of PAs (what she refers to as “PA-ism”) “will diminish as we continue to gain numbers while providing competent care to ALL in NC.”
Memory currently serves as the Assistant Medical Director, specializing in Medical-Legal Regulation, at the NC Medical Board. “A favorite component of (her) position is getting to travel to all the PA programs across the state discussing the NC Medical Board and licensure.” In her role at the NCMB, Memory is acutely aware of the growth of the profession in the state. As the number of practicing PAs continues to increase in North Carolina, she believes NCAPA membership becomes even more important, as “the collective voice of PAs in this state (very soon to reach 10,000!) is powerful. Now more than ever we need continued advocacy, collaboration, and effective communication. (North Carolina is) respected nationwide as a desirable place to live and practice as a PA and we all have a responsibility to uphold that reputation.”
Memory previously served as the Chair of the Health Committee and “cannot stress enough the value and importance of coming together.” She has personal experience with burn-out, finding herself as a tour guide at the Duke Lemur Center at one point while going through life and career transitions. Memory is “acutely aware of the importance of self-care and, most importantly, reaching out to those you trust when needed.” We asked her what she loves most about being a PA:
The ability to provide care to patients regardless of the setting in a compassionate, competent, and meaningful manner. I am humbled by the opportunity and responsibility and never want to take it for granted- I have not after over 25 years in practice.
Memory currently lives 12 acres on the Haw River, outside of Pittsboro, NC. She and her partner, who indulges her “eccentricities and inability to ignore an abandoned kitten on the road,” live with one dog, six cats, and abundant wildlife right outside their door.
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