Fenway Health’s Family Medicine providers and staff provide care for your whole family including infants, toddlers, school-age children, teens, pregnant women, and adults. Our family practitioners complete advanced training in pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, and other specialties so they can care for patients of all ages. We’re excited to welcome our new Family Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Joseph English. We chatted with Joe about his new role, his background, and why he loves working in health care.
Fenway Health: What inspired you to become a Physician Assistant (PA) in family medicine?
Joe: I started out my career doing inpatient medicine. I spent 10 years working in the Medical ICU of a large teaching hospital. After a decade or so of being in that specialty I decided to explore other medical specialties. I spent some time working in a clinic in rural Uganda, and when I came back to the U.S. I investigated family medicine. Prior to joining Fenway Health I worked in Family Medicine in the Cambridge Health Alliance for about five years.
Can you tell us briefly what the educational and training requirements for becoming a PA?
The requirements for becoming a PA vary from state to state. However, the general education process is to obtain a Master’s Degree from a college or university with a Physician Assistant program. That requires a year of didactic training followed by a year of clinical rotations. As a student, you rotate through all of the medical and surgical specialties such as emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine—to name a few.
What brought you to Fenway Health?
I decided to join Fenway Health because I wanted to continue working in a Patient Centered Medical Home. I was also interested in diversifying my scope of practice to include working with the LGBTQ population that Fenway Health serves
What do you like most about being a Physician Assistant here?
I’ve only been at Fenway for a couple weeks, but I am enjoying seeing a diverse population of patients, and I’m impressed at how welcoming and helpful everyone has been.
What do you most like about working with children and their families?
I chose family medicine because I enjoy seeing patients of all ages. It’s a great opportunity to get to know families very well when you have the chance to be involved in the care of multiple generations of a family. The variety of conditions that I get the chance to see and treat by seeing patients of all ages keeps my job interesting and challenging.
Are there any clinical interests or specializations that you’re most interested in?
Because of my background in Pulmonary and Critical Care, I have an interest in pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions, especially preventing people from being hospitalized for chronic illness related to those systems. I’m also interested in learning more about HIV and transgender healthcare.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
I think the most challenging part of being a medical provider is keeping up with the parts of the job that don’t include face-to-face time with patients including paperwork and things like that.
What is your favorite part of the day?
I really enjoy seeing patients and getting to know them. I would say that the time I spend with patients is my favorite.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I have two retired racing greyhounds that I spend a lot of time with. I’m an avid Celtics fan so I spend a lot of time yelling at the TV during basketball season. I like to stay fit, and try to make it to the gym five times a week whenever I possible.
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