Jodi Flynn’s schedule is a balancing act between her roles as a full-time assistant professor at Missouri State University, and a part-time physician assistant in inpatient services at CoxHealth.
Flynn, who earned her master’s degree in physician assistant studies in 2002 from MSU, was hired in 2003 as a cardiology physician assistant for the CoxHealth Ferrell-Duncan Clinic, where she worked full time until October 2009.
A month later, she joined MSU as a full-time assistant professor in the Physician Assistant Studies program. She started working part-time as a hospitalist PA at CoxHealth in April of this year.
Although Flynn has scaled down her patient work, she sees her two jobs as complimentary.
“It’s fun to help someone and then be able to share that,” she says. “The experiences I have working prepared me to be a better educator.”
Getting to know patients as individuals through her work as a PA is fulfilling for Flynn, who says the patient-provider relationship is an important factor in successful treatment.
“I look at it as more of a two-way street,” Flynn says. “I’m here to help provide the knowledge, the information and the tools to help the patient get better.”
Even when talking about health reform, Flynn retains her focus on patients.
“Like they say, there’s only two things guaranteed in life – death and taxes. Change, I guess, would be the third thing. I think you have to be flexible to a point,” she says, adding, “I don’t think the patient should have to pay the price. That’s where I put my foot down.”
Flynn occasionally pitches in at an outpatient cardiology clinic in Carthage that is led by Dr. Warford B. Johnson II, who was her supervising physician at Ferrell-Duncan until he retired.
“She takes a very strong interest in preventive health care and has gone out of her way to provide information for patients and community groups about various aspects of health care and disease prevention,” he says. “She’s got an enormous amount of energy, knowledge and enthusiasm.”
Flynn is happy to share those attributes with her students.
“Something that kind of surprised me is to see how much I’ve learned and grown (in) the past eight to 10 years when I was in their shoes,” Flynn says.
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