Congratulations, it is an Honor to Feature Britney Emons, PA-C, MPA Physician Assistant, NowCare-Suffolk, Bayview Physicians Group
As a little girl, Britney Emons fell in love with toy stethoscopes and white doctors’ coats, as well as the idea of helping people feel better.
Emons always wanted to be a physician – until the day she realized that what she really wanted was to be a Physician Assistant.
She was a patient that day, as well as a recent college graduate feeling a bit daunted at the thought of four years of medical school. Her primary care provider didn’t have a needed appointment slot, so she went to the practice PA instead.
“It turned into me interviewing her about the job,” Emons remembers. “I went home thinking, ‘That’s it.’ She later let me shadow her for a day, and I saw the time she had to connect with her patients. It changed my life. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”
As a PA at a bustling Urgent Care center, Emons handles a wide variety of cases, from suturing lacerations and draining abscesses to treating acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and asthma. She works in close partnership with the center’s physicians.
“I love that we see a little bit of everything, which keeps me really well rounded. The days go by very quickly. It’s never boring, especially during cold and flu season,” she says.
Patient education is one of Emon’s biggest priorities. She regularly reminds herself that medicine is confusing and intimidating to many people, so she uses simple language, diagrams and handouts to help empower them. Many returning patients request to see her.
“If they understand what’s happening with their bodies and why they need to take a certain medication, they will take more responsibility for their own health,” she notes. “They’ll take better care of themselves.”
Born in Virginia Beach, Emons grew up in Chesapeake and graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Health Education and Promotion. As she studied for medical school entrance exams and looked over the curriculum, however, she began to worry that becoming a doctor wouldn’t fit well with her desire to start a family.
Emons worked as a Medical Assistant in Cardiology for two years before that appointment with her PA convinced her to enroll at Eastern Virginia Medical School for a Masters of Physician Assistant degree. By the time she started the 27-month program, she had given birth to her oldest daughter, now 9.
“She was only 6 months old, which definitely wasn’t easy,” Emons relates. “My husband and I moved in with my parents so they could help. To complete all my studying, I was at school from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. I was able to graduate with honors and develop a lot of confidence in my preparation. It was well worth the temporary sacrifice.”
After earning Board certification in 2012, Emons worked in Obstetrics and Gynecology for three years before concerns about irregular hours prompted her move into Urgent Care. Today, she works 12-hour shifts several days a week, devoting those to her patients and spending days off with her children.
Speaking of kids, Emons is now a mom of four girls, including twins born just this past January; she and her husband Jonathan, who works at Norfolk Naval Shipyard, also have two female guinea pigs. “He’s surrounded,” she laughs. In her rare spare time, Emons enjoys going to the beach, pool and gym.
Emons only sees the Physician Assistant role growing with an aging population and continuing physician shortages. “PAs can be trained more quickly and have the flexibility to move between specialties,” she says. “We can do almost everything a doctor can do, usually without being as rushed. I love my job.”
We are grateful for local Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants who serve our health care community!
Please let us know if there is an NP or PA you would like to see honored in a future edition. firstname.lastname@example.org