Like many people, Matt Williams had a childhood dream of becoming a firefighter. Unlike many, he did something about it. At age 16, he joined his hometown volunteer fire department in Binghamton, N.Y. But when the department’s understaffed medical first response team asked Matt to join, he soon realized his future was in medicine.
“From the first call I went on, the feeling of serving the people in our community was amazing,” he says. “I found the impact we had on people rewarding and stuck with the medical team.”
Matt eventually would get his EMT certification, work on an ambulance, and become a flight paramedic – as his career path led him to clinical medicine.
“I moved to Florida and got a job as a paramedic at Broward Health North hospital,” he says. “As I learned about the different professions in the hospital, I saw the level of care physician assistants were able to provide and decided that was the career I wanted to pursue.”
While attending Nova Southeastern University, Matt attended a talk by AP Health CEO and founder Toby Gray, who discussed the company and the variety of specialties available to its PAs. After graduating in 2019, Matt joined the company.
Diversity of Duties Drives Job Satisfaction
“I wasn’t exactly sure what type of surgery I wanted to do, and AP Health gives me the opportunity to explore and get trained in multiple types of surgeries,” he says. “I get to continue to learn from a variety of doctors and about different disciplines.
“I can do a C-section and help deliver a baby and then work in orthopedic surgery to help fix somebody’s shoulder,” he continues. “It’s completely different every day, and every week is always changing.”
Such variety is perfect for a new PA graduate trying to decide where he wants to specialize. Or if he wants to specialize.
Matt works primarily at two hospitals – Holy Cross Health and Memorial Regional Hospital – and two surgical centers, assisting with orthopedic, vascular and general surgery. He likes the variety and the ability to learn different doctors’ preferences for how they like to work.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s also good to see the way everybody does things,” Matt says. “It doesn’t get routine because you are always learning.”
Besides variety, Matt also appreciates the control and efficiencies AP Health provides its PAs. If he prefers particular surgeons or surgeries, schedulers accommodate him.
He works two days a week with Dr. Erol Yoldas, one of the top orthopedic sports medicine doctors in Florida, who has become a mentor.
Matt’s clinical skills are beneficial to his patients, Dr. Yoldas says. “Having Matt on the surgical staff enables me to efficiently and effectively help our patients get back to the level of function that they expect,” he says. “He is a valuable member of our team.”
AP Health’s proprietary mobile application, LogistiSx 2.0, streamlines Matt’s job by capturing and reporting all case information and keeping his schedule – all without mountains of paperwork. “It’s one easy resource to get all the information you need,” he says. “It saves me time reporting and allows me to spend more time with patients.”
But the best part of being a PA is what drew him to the medical profession as a teenager: helping people through a difficult time.
“It might be a patient’s first surgery, and, even if it’s not, it’s a scary time,” he says. “To be someone who is calm and reassuring and see the positive impact you have is extremely rewarding. Once you experience what it’s like to help someone like that, it’s all you want to do.”