In honor of National PA Week, Clinical Advisor is featuring PAs who are making a difference in the field. Today, we are highlighting Lamont Hunter, MPH, PA-C, who is director of Emergency Medicine Advanced Practice Providers at Cottage Health, Santa Barbara, CA, and president of the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA). He has been in practice for over 15 years and treats patients at the level 1 trauma center Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Q: Who is your mentor?

PA Hunter: My friend Marc Hudock, PA-C, is one of my PA mentors and role models. When Marc was the chief advanced practice officer for VEP Healthcare, he gave me my first job as an emergency medicine PA and later promoted me into PA management. He is now an accomplished PA executive who has been a great support through every step of my PA career.

Q: What aspects of your profession are most rewarding?

PA Hunter: I really enjoy the team-oriented care that emergency medicine provides. Every team member, from clinicians and nurses to case managers and environmental services, plays an important part in making the department successful. I think my colleagues are all superheroes!

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Q: What aspects of your profession are most challenging?

PA Hunter: Our profession is growing and evolving in incredible ways, so I think there will always be challenges in defining our place in the medical workforce landscape. Clear communication and collaboration with our physician and nursing partners are crucial to minimize any division between the professions.

Q: Who is your most memorable patient?

PA Hunter: I don’t have one most memorable, but I love caring for little kids with minor complaints. There are few things more enjoyable than quickly reducing a nursemaid’s elbow on a shy 4-year-old child or repairing a laceration on a rambunctious middle schooler. I always remember the satisfied looks on the faces of children and their parents after a successful visit.

Q: How do you avoid burnout?

PA Hunter: I have a wonderful family and great friends who help me to decompress and get my mind off of work at every conceivable opportunity. I think I do a good job of managing my expectations of what I can accomplish as an individual clinician as well as what my colleagues and I can provide. Lastly, I think it is important to develop other interests outside of clinical work. My time spent on the SEMPA board as well as other business and consulting opportunities have helped me achieve great work-life synergy.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to tell Clinical Advisor readers?

PA Hunter: The last 2 years during this pandemic have been extremely challenging for all of us, so I’d like to say thank you for your commitment to your communities and for the care you provide to all of your patients. I appreciate all of you!!!