Placerville resident Rosalee Shorter, 36, has been appointed to the California Physician Assistant Board by Gov. Jerry Brown.
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A physician assistant for eight years, Shorter previously worked at George Washington University, Department of Surgery and now is employed at Mercy Medical Group, Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
She has a Master of Public Health/Physician Assistant degree from George Washington University. Prior to becoming a physician assistant she was a dancer who toured with a modern dance company for almost five years while she earned an undergraduate degree in exercise physiology.
Brown’s new appointee said she switched from dance to medicine because she had always wanted to work in the medical field. “You can see patients and have relationships, but you don’t have to go to medical school and I could start a family,” she said.
Shorter is married and has four children, all under the age of 8. Her husband, who has a master’s in Waldorf education, is home schooling their children.
Shorter said she started out in trauma care and loved it, but when she moved to California she began working in the area of plastic and reconstructive surgery.
“Sixty percent of the work we do is breast reconstruction largely due to cancer. You can really change someone’s psyche by reconstructing their breasts. Another 10 percent of work is breast reduction, 20 percent is cosmetic, and 10 percent are other kinds of reconstruction, such as facial or lower extremity wounds.”
Shorter found out about the Physician Assistant Board when a patient of hers asked if she was interested. “When I attended George Washington University it had a focus on healthcare policy. So I thought this was a good way to use what I know,” she said.
Her first board meeting was on Feb. 11. “It’s our responsibility to review disciplinary procedures against other physician assistants, oversee licensing, and review legislation and educational programs for physician assistants,” she said.
One of biggest issues facing the medical profession is the potential shortage in providers and whether that shortage can be filled with physician assistants, she noted.
“We also have to ensure that programs in the state are rigorous enough to turn out excellent physician assistants. With Obamacare, a lot more people will be in need of care but there are not enough providers,” she said.
In addition to a busy professional career, Shorter also volunteers with an organization called Women for World Health. It provides surgical assistance to children in impoverished countries and in particular children with burns or cleft lips and palates. She just returned from a 10-day mission to Sierra Leone in November and in May she will travel to Romania to do similar work.
Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or [email protected] Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.