Felix Emond, an assistant clinical professor at the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing UC Davis, was named a distinguished fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). He earned this national recognition due to his outstanding contributions to patient care and the profession during his 30-plus years as a physician assistant. He also demonstrated significant dedication and involvement in the communities in which he has served.
“I am both shocked and honored to receive this recognition from my peers. For the past 30 years I’ve focused on the job and not stopped to think about accolades,” Emond said. “My number one goal is to focus on my one-on-one interactions with patients. This acknowledgement among academics now enables me to better influence future providers to be giving and providing awesome care to patients.”
Emond began his teaching career at UC Davis as a visiting clinical faculty in the early 1990s, teaching on a variety of musculoskeletal topics and clinical skills relating to orthopedic diagnosis and care. Drawing from his more than 30 years of experience in practice, Emond integrates his extensive specialty experience and primary care foundation to present complex topics in musculoskeletal care in a systematic approach to expedite the sharing of complex subject matter and skills. He applies an interactive teaching method using case models whenever possible.
“I am incredibly proud of Felix for this recognition, as well as his dedication to improving the quality of our students’ clinical education experiences,” said Gerald Kayingo, program director. “His dedication to professional achievement, leadership, learning and community service are needed now, more than ever. He is a true role model for our physician assistant students.”
Emond began his career in health care as a medic during the phaseout of the Vietnam War and participated in activities related to the evacuation of Saigon. In 1982, he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Education from Wayland Baptist University. He was accepted into the U.S. Air Force physician assistant program and then earned a bachelor’s degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Oklahoma.
After working for four years in a busy family practice clinic, he entered the USAF Physician Assistant Orthopedic Fellowship Training Program. He served as a senior staff physician assistant and officer in charge until his retirement in 1993 following 20 years of service. Emond's clinical experiences include work in a variety of health care delivery models, such as the staff model HMOs, multispecialty clinics and a small, private practice in Folsom, California.
“I’ve always operated under the philosophy of doing what is best for patients and not caring about who gets the credit,” Emond said. “Looking over my career, I’ve been able to accomplish a great deal that way. This award is proof that when your priorities are in order, you will get recognition in time.”
The Distinguished Fellow program was established by AAPA in 2007 in order to recognize the exceptional contributions of physician assistants to the profession through professional achievement, leadership, professional interaction, learning and community service. Distinguished Fellows of AAPA represent only 2 percent of the academy’s entire membership.
Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision in every setting and specialty. They diagnose and treat patients, order and interpret tests, assist in surgery and perform medical procedures, make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes and prescribe medications. Their role may also include patient education and research.