fbpx

PA Leadership Series: Jason Berger, PA-C

Physician Assistant Leadership Series Jason Berger

Today is the last post for our PA week celebrations! We hope you have enjoyed our series of amazing PA interviews! Jason is another awesome Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA) regional director and when he’s not teaching suture workshops, taking leadership courses, or spending time on the water, he also practices in emergency medicine! Jason is dedicated to helping the PAs in Florida succeed, as he continues to be involved in awesome events like the Annual West Central Region Back to School CME conference! He’s been kind enough to answer our questions for the PA Leadership series

Florida Academy of PAs, Jason Berger
Area reps Ashley Johnson and Christina Tanaka with regional director Jason Berger Photo credit: Florida Academy of PAs

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.

Hi, my name is Jason Berger and I’m a PA in Emergency Medicine. I started my medical career as an Athletic Trainer at USF. I loved working with athletes and loved helping people. It wasn’t long after I met a PA and was very intrigued by the profession. I started shadowing this PA and knew it was how I wanted to advance my career. I started working in an orthopedic office at USF and got my experience working for that very same PA. I applied for CASPA that next year and every day I would check my email awaiting a chance to start my future. I soon became disappointed that I hadn’t heard anything from any of the PA schools. Finally, the day arrived and I got my chance. It was a Thursday afternoon when I got a call from Barry university for an interview which they wanted the very next day… I was at work when this happened so my boss said … “well figure it out and go.” I had my interview and didn’t think it went well. Two days later I found out I was accepted. This is when everything changed for the better of my future.

What is your role as a leader? (entrepreneurial, administrative, academic, political, etc.)

My role as a leader started while I was in school. I became the school’s FAPA representative. That year I started going to the conferences and meeting people that made me extremely passionate about the PA profession. After graduating I became the area representative for Pinellas County. I did this for two years. I would schedule all the monthly meetings in the area. From there I got involved in legislative and started attending the legislative days with FAPA to help bring a voice to the PA community. I knew at that point I wanted to grow more in my leadership, so I ran for the West Central Regional Director. I obtained the position and haven’t looked back.

In my career I have recently completed an “Emerging Leadership program” an  8 month class with my company I work for. I look forward to merging my love for FAPA with my work life and create a form of balance.

What does your typical day look like?

A typical day for me in the ED is a 12-hour shift. We work 4 options (6a-6p), (8a-8p), (10a-10p) or (6p-6a). All my clinical practice is in emergency medicine. I work with a great group of professionals and enjoy it every day. Our usual patient load is between 15-25 patients a day and we have a max capacity of 42 beds in the ED.

If you are clinical, how is your practice set up? What is the structure and what is your relationship with your supervising physician like?

In the department, we have 4 PA’s and 6 doctors a day. Our structure is very simple, we work efficiently and if we need help then we ask. The doctors are supportive in working collaboratively with us and assisting in areas of need when necessary. We have over 15 physicians in our group so you need to learn what each doctor prefers in their day to day workup of patients. Our relationship with them has become amazing.

Suture Workshop Photo credit: Florida Academy of PAs

Do you divide your time into clinical and administrative tasks?

Most of my workflow is 75% clinical and 25% administrative for FAPA

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

I pursued a leadership role in FAPA and then was offered it in my clinical practice.

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

FAPA has taught me that you can do anything you set your mind too. Most of the learning was on the job training. I have taken leadership courses with both FAPA and my ED company.

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

Absolutely, every day.

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

I wouldn’t change it for the world. We work 15 shifts a month and enjoy every day.

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?

PA education is much more clinical. I recommend taking leadership courses and find a mentor.

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

Find a mentor, reach out and see if they will help you get to where you want to go with your career and future leadership. It can be a very difficult process to navigate yourself.

Find a mentor, reach out and see if they will help you get to where you want to go with your career and future leadership.

Jason Berger, PA-C

Anything else you’d like to add?

Although I love my career, I also enjoy my free days. I have many different hobbies and enjoy spending time out on the water, diving, spearfishing, surfing, and stand up paddleboarding. The water is where I feel most at home and it is key to stay humble by enjoying your free time as well

Contact Info:

Jberger9359@gmail.com


Thanks to Jason for all his hard work and for answering our questions for the PA Leadership series and all the work he has done with FAPA!

This year, I have been so impressed with the PA love for PA Week! The involvement on social media like Facebook and Instagram has been historical, to say the least! I love seeing all the Empowered PAs posting and raising awareness of the profession, getting involved and connecting with other PA colleagues! It’s been awesome and I’m so proud of our profession and thankful for our PA leaders!

And last, but not least, I want to remind our awesome profession that getting involved is the ONLY WAY we will survive. You do NOT have to agree with your PA colleagues but you do HAVE to get involved. Speak up, let your voice be heard about your experiences, concerns, and struggles. Talk to AAPA or state leadership about what your challenges have been… but whatever you do, don’t fall asleep at the wheel or assume it’s “being handled”. I’ve spoken about PA Apathy and how it’s truly a cancer within our profession and have also mentioned that it’s time for a change for PAs.. Show up to meetings and conferences within your hospital or clinic and then in your state and national conferences. If you can’t go, send money to support the associations and the Political Action Committee (PAC) instead! Get involved, know the issues PAs are facing. Then, mentor PA students (and Pre-PAs) to get involved early! Grassroots efforts are not easy (and not always fun) but they will be worth it in the end!

Happy PA Week from Empowered PAs to you! Remember we still have FOUR GIVEAWAYS going on until Monday October 14th.. they are the first FOUR posts of PA Week! Good Luck!

-Courtney

AAPA A Day in the Life of a PA Series Burnout Dermatology Emergency Medicine EmpoweredPAs.com Podcast ENT Evidence-Based Practice FAPA International PAs Interventional Radiology Leadership Men's Health Mission and Vision Statements Neurology PA-S PA Advocacy PA Associations PA Education PA Entrepreneurs PA Goals PA Innovators PA Leadership Series PA Life PA Mentors PA New Grads PA Podcasts PA School PA Students PA Week PA Wellness Pediatrics Plastic Surgery Practicing PAs Pre-PA Life Primary Care Quality Improvement Robotic Surgery Supervising Physicians Urgent Care Urology Virtual Medicine & Telemedicine

If you have enjoyed content on EmpoweredPAs.com, and want to support the site, consider joining our Patreon team or make a donation. Please note that posts may contain affiliate links and any sales made through such links will provide a small commission – at no extra cost for you

Courtney
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.