J. Michael Jones A Kernel in the Pod

ISBN 13: 9781401054298

A Kernel in the Pod

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9781401054298: A Kernel in the Pod
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A Kernel in the Pod is a spellbinding autobiography about one man’s journey to becoming a Physician Assistant and carving out his niche in a--sometimes hostile--medical practice world. Michael Jones weaves a riveting chronicle that reads like an adventure novel carefully seasoned with hilarious anecdotes. The reader is transported from the hills of Tennessee, to the hills of Afghanistan; from a plush suburban sub-specialty clinic to a Third World slum; from the hot, dry, crowded streets of Cairo to the lonely backwoods of Michigan’s snowy Upper Peninsula and finally to a world class medical center.

What is it like to practice medicine in America--legally--without having the abbreviation "M.D." after your name? Mr. Jones takes us on a very candid trip through the inner workings of the medical practice community and gives an in-the-trenches account of what’s it like to establish himself as a clinician in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds. It is a vividly told story that will delight not only midlevel clinicians and midlevel wannabes, but to everyone--be they caregiver or patient.

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About the Author:

J.Michael Jones spent the first eighteen years of his life in the hamlet of Fall Branch, nestled in the mountains of North East Tennessee. Even as a small boy, he developed distaste for anything having to do with medicine--especially gore and the invasion of personal body space. By the time he graduated from high school, he had his heart set on working for NASA.

During his four years of college, he tried on several career hats. Due to a strange set of circumstances the last hat that he tried on was a career in medicine. Surprisingly, this one seemed to fit best of all! As he surveyed potential health care occupations, one obscure profession quickly caught his attention—the Physician Assistant (PA). However, in the 1970s, the PA profession appeared about as secretive as a case on the X Files.

In preparation for getting into PA-medical school, Mike moved to Kentucky. The path to becoming a PA was much more difficult than he ever imagined it would be. He relied on his sense of humor to navigate the serpentine corridors of becoming a PA. The first obstacle was getting past the negative attitudes (in the 1970s) that many nurses and physicians had toward this new profession. On the positive side, Mike had encouragement from practicing PAs and even the blessing of the Kentucky Patron Saint . . . Colonel Sanders himself.

With a growing interest in mission medicine, Mike took his last clinical internship of PA school abroad. He started the summer in Abu Dhabi and finished in northern Pakistan, along the Afghan boarder. Mike's summer overseas forever changed his life. In Abu Dhabi he met his wife, Denise. In northern Pakistan, he met the haunting eyes of hundreds of Afghan war refugees--for whom health care was a rare luxury. After graduation, and a torturous (and sometimes hilarious) adventure in job searching, Mike landed a good position with a world-class headache center in Michigan. The memories of the Third-World, however, continued to draw Denise and Mike back.

Finally, in 1986, while Denise was pregnant with their third son, they moved to the Middle East. Instead of spending the rest of their lives helping to rescue the poor, as they had hoped, they found themselves in a major battle for self-survival. Although they had three brushes with death, the family's greatest struggle was surviving under the thumb of their own wacky supervisor.

The remaining twenty-years of Mike's career took him form the back streets of Cairo, to the shores of Lake Superior. There he met a long line of colorful characters.

Mike and his family grew to love the beautiful north country, around the greatest of lakes, however he watched helplessly as "dream job" after "dream job" slipped through his fingers like dry sand. First it was an Air Force base closing. Then three clinics crashed and burned through a variety of factors; from mismanagement to conflicts between physicians and hospital buy-outs. He found the medical-business world's back-room politics, reminiscent of children fighting in nursery school sandbox.

Mike became disillusioned with the PA profession and was ready to throw in the towel and become a burger monkey. About this time he was offered a position as a headache consultant at world-class medical center, where he found the professional respect and stability that he had always longed for. Today, Mike, his wife Denise and their five children--Bryan, Daniel, Tyler, Amy and Ramsey--live in Spring Valley, MN.

Mike has published over twenty articles in national medical journals and has lectured across the country on topics relating to headache disorders.

Review:

"A MUST read for anyone who is or wants to be a physician assistant." -- Judi Colver, PA-C (President, Association of Family Practice PAs)

"It is a well told and an often amusing story. The audience of this type of literature should be large." -- Roderick S. Hooker, PhD, PA (author of Physician Assistants in American Medicine)

"Mike opened up his life for all of us to learn from. His journeys. . .will be understood by all PAs." -- Dave Mittman, PA (Executive vice-president, The Clinicians Group-publishers of the mostly widely read journal for PAs and NPs.)

It is a roller coaster ride about the good, bad, ugly, and funny moments in the life of a PA. -- Allan Platt PA-C (a real PA) and Neil Shulman, MD (The original Doc Hollywood) of Patient Communications Unlimited)

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9781401054304: A Kernel in the Pod: The Adventures of a Midlevel Clinician in a Top-Level World

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