QA Journey into Leadership

Francine Phillips, PA-C, MPAS

Francine Phillips, PA-C, MPAS

Florida Medical Clinic
Land O' Lakes, FL

As a new PA (many moons ago), I was studying for my boards, looking for employment opportunities and planning a wedding.  A few months later, I landed a job in dermatology. Nervous and excited for my new career, I bought multiple books about skin disorders/diseases, stayed up late studying and soaked up as much knowledge as I could. I went to journal clubs, grand rounds, and dinners after hours to meet other colleagues and discuss different cases, new treatments, and to learn all I could. I was exhausted but I was loving my new career.  After treading water as a newbie, I came up for air and wanted to get more involved in my profession. I started attending my state meeting and started going to national dermatology conferences. I loved meeting the leaders and hearing the passion in their voices, but I was intimidated and scared to get my feet wet. I wanted to be part of this, but I did not know where to start or what I wanted to do. I had a lot of fears about getting involved with leadership. I decided to talk to one of the board members who said there were many opportunities and a place for everyone. A short time later, I became a volunteer. I joined a committee and helped with small projects. After some time, I became a committee chair and slowly moved up to director at large and then vice president. I never imagined myself being part of a board where I got to vote and see change happen. I still can’t believe it. Anyone can be a leader if they choose to, but I realized, for me, I had to get uncomfortable to move forward. I always wanted to give back to my profession and now that have, I can wholeheartedly say, it has been one of the greatest highlights of my career.