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Wes Johnson, a 2013 alumnus, is a Physician Assistant working in Trauma and Emergency Medicine and the Regional Director of Clinical Education for the Island Medical Management Emergency Group in North Alabama.

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We asked Wes a handful of questions about his time in the UAB PA program including which instructor he never wants to see again and why he continues to serve UAB as a member of the SHP Dean's Junior Advisory Board.

Q: Favorite part of the PA program?

A: I really enjoyed pig lab. It taught me some extremely valuable skills and gave me an advantage during rotations.

Q: Toughest part of the PA program?

A: I think that the toughest part for me was juggling school and being a new father. We had my daughter at the end of first year and that definitely made things more difficult (but also great because my kid is awesome).

Q: Who or what impacted you the most at UAB? And why?

A: I really think that Kris Maday impacted me the most while I was in school. His class was tough but it really made me think about the disease processes and not just look for buzzwords. He also helped me to find my other passion, which is teaching.

Q: Advice for future PA students?

A: Honestly, enjoy it. It is a stressful time but I made life-long friends during school. Learn some good time management skills and remember that being a PA isn't just a job, it's a calling to serve others.

Q: Where will we see you in 20 years?

A: I see myself moving out of clinical work and into teaching full-time. I'm really passionate about teaching the students in the ER and more and more I see myself migrating towards the academic setting.

Q: Why do you love your job?

A: I love the excitement of the ER. There's always something new to do. It has allowed me to get more advanced training like Advanced Trauma and Advanced Wilderness life support. I also serve as Director of Clinical Education at my site and this has allowed me to interact with students on a daily basis, which I really enjoy.

Q: Who are your key Mentors since graduation?

A: I had the privilege of working with some great emergency physicians at SAMC in Dothan, Alabama, my first year out of school and they really helped me to advance my career and teach me how to think like an ER clinician.

Q: Why you are involved with the Junior Advisory Board and interested in giving back the program & School?

A: UAB is my school. I went to undergrad and graduate school here and I felt like this was a good way to give back to the school that gave me so much.

Learn more about Wes and other Physician Assistant program alumni here.