PA Leadership Series: Kris Pyles-Sweet, PA-C

Kris is a fantastic example of a leader within the PA profession. She wears many hats, including being the owner of a home-based medical care company, and is also the Director-at-Large for a PA advocacy group called PAs For Tomorrow. She has been very gracious and taken time out of her schedule to answer some questions to give PAs some insight into her work and her different roles. If you are interested in owning your own business as a PA, you’ll definitely want to hear what she has to say!

Tell us a little about yourself? Name, how long you’ve been a PA, where you went to school, and anything else you’d like to add.

My name is Kris Pyles-Sweet, MS, PA-C. I graduated in 1999 with an Associate’s degree with a PA certificate from Kettering College in Kettering, Ohio. After graduation, I went straight to work as I had two young daughters who said they missed me while I studied. I later received my Master’s from A. T. Still University in PA studies with emphasis on Education and Leadership.

I have a background in dermatology and endocrine, which has served me well. But, first love is rural, indigent, and under-served areas. I have worked in Arizona on the Navajo reservation, traveled the US to various Military Processing Stations (MEPS), as well as physical health assessments (PHAs) and post-deployment health reassessments (PDHRAs).

I have lived and practiced in Iowa, North Carolina, Nevada, and Texas. It would hard to choose a favorite because each state has its pluses. But, in Texas, I founded Modern Medical House Calls, a home-based medical care company five years ago. We see home-bound patients that are unable to get a medical office for treatment. The patients are urban and rural with multiple comorbidities, and mostly geriatrics.

Currently, I am starting my second term as Director-at-Large for PAs for Tomorrow, a progressive advocacy group.

What is your role as a leader (owner)? What does your typical day look like?

As the owner, I do whatever needs to be done, including scheduling patients, taking out the trash, answering phones, and seeing patients. This is no typical day other than phones ringing.

How is your practice set up? What is the structure and what is your relationship with your supervising physician like?

We have an office manager and two other staff that follow written protocols to help decrease confusion for the patients. This is an amazing technique that has helped not only patients, but family members and home health nurses.
Several PAs and Nurse Practitioner see anywhere from 2-10 patients daily throughout the area. Our collaborative physician is an employee of the practice.

Do you divide your time into clinical and administrative tasks?

I used to divide my time equally between seeing patients and administrative tasks, but the past couple of years, I needed to be in the office more. When a home health nurse calls with concerns of a patient with a cough and shortness of breath, you want to take action immediately.

3. Did you pursue a leadership role or was it offered to you?

I held a few leadership roles personally and professionally. Some positions came with the job, some acquired through mutual interests. I do not shy away from them, and in fact, have created positions to get things done. I have always felt it was my duty to give back to the profession. Service work was instilled me young, and I volunteered throughout my life. I have been active in community service within my town growing up. I was the Sergeant-at-Arms for my PA class, and became involved in states chapters wherever I lived. Owning my practice gave me a bird’s eye view of issues that face PAs on daily basis.

How did you prepare for your role? Did you take any leadership courses?

See #3

5. Do you have room or opportunities to grow in your current leadership position?

I feel everyone can always learn more. I read, look for leadership classes, and I have a mentor. Within my company, I grow daily because I try to remain teachable.

Are you satisfied with your position? If you could do it all over again, would you?

I would definitely start my own practice again. I would encourage any PA who may be considering opening one, as it offers a different view of daily workings.

Do you think PAs are adequately educated about how to be a leader? If not, do you have any suggestions on what should be taught?

In the past, not much emphasis was placed on leadership training in any field, and PA’s were not any different. You either had it, or you faked it. More is being done to remedy this with Leadership classes through the AAPA. Classes are good, but one cannot beat experience. Just do it.

Do you have any suggestions for newly graduated PAs interested in becoming leaders in their community?

Start by joining your state organization as a student, and stay on after you graduate. Get involved in your children’s school, your community, or volunteer. Start small, learn as much as you can from those experienced others. Step out of your comfort zone. Takes risks, and remember, the bigger the risk, the greater the reward.


Thanks again to Kris! She was kind enough to take time out of her schedule to answer some questions, and I hope she gave you some insight into other leadership roles PAs can take.


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Physician Assistant, Owner and Blogger at EmpoweredPAs.com. Currently practicing in a Pediatric Emergency Department, overseeing and developing evidence-based clinical practice guidelines with teams of amazing people, supporting and mentoring Pre-PA and PA Students, with a hope to advance our profession and give PAs the tools and resouces they need to advance their careers.