Variety, Learning Essential in Career Satisfaction

By Danielle Richmond, PA-C, Director of Clinical Services

PA Danielle Richmond is a lifelong learner, which she says makes AP Health a great place for her to practice.

“AP Health is unique because I can do a variety of surgical procedures, which allows me to continue to learn different facets of surgery and develop my skills,” she explains. “I feel like my surgical exposure is more comprehensive with AP health and it’s not just about the variety of procedures, but working with different surgeons, I assist in orthopedic surgeries, OB/GYN, general, plastics, and neurosurgery. Each surgery is unique  as well as the technical approach  of each surgeon.”

Before Danielle joined AP Health, she was a PA with an orthopedics and sports medicine practice in Buffalo, NY., She participated in a high-volume practice that serviced both the local community and professional sports teams of Buffalo NY, The Buffalo Bills and the Buffalo Sabres.

“In my previous role, I ran my own clinic, performed in office procedures, and first assisted in surgery,” I was only in the OR 1-2 days a week.”

“I was working mainly under one doctor, and even though I was part of a team, it was isolating,” she continues. I wanted to work with a variety of surgeons and have more time in the OR.”

Working with her hands and continually seeking more responsibility have been driving forces of Danielle’s career path. After graduating from the University of Colorado Boulder with a double major in art and pre-med, she was not sure what she wanted to do. After traveling and searching, she met a mentor who was running the Children’s Hospital Colorado and ended up being a mental health counselor there.

“I loved the hospital and working with the patient population,” she says. “It was a wonderful experience, but I knew that I wanted more responsibility, which is what led me to enter PA school.

Taking on more responsibility has been Danielle’s experience at AP Health. While she joined the company a year ago as a PA, she was quickly promoted to Director of Clinical Services. In that role, she runs the surgical operations at Holy Cross Hospital, as well as several ambulatory surgery centers.

“This is a new experience for me,” Danielle says. “I’m new to managing a team, doing payroll and all the surgical scheduling. It’s been a learning process, and while it’s not easy, it’s been fun and rewarding.”

Danielle has also played an important role in AP Health’s effort to foster stronger relationships with affiliated and new surgeons. Called surgeon relationship management, the initiative seeks to identify surgeon preferences, satisfaction and plans for the future.

“I helped develop a feedback system so we can identify the best working relationship with our surgeons and the AP Health team,” Danielle says. “I enjoy figuring out what motivates everybody and how they like to work. To be successful, it has to work for everyone.”

“I take the same approach when people ask me about working for AP Health,” she continues. “I tell them, ‘If you want to be in an office setting and see patients that way, AP Health is probably not right for you. However, if you want to work with your hands, work in the OR and learn from a variety of surgeons, AP Health is a great opportunity.’ It’s a place where I’ve been able to dream big, produce ideas and figure out ways to make them work-I am so thankful to be a part of helping to build something while honing my skills as a PA and a leader.”