Emily “Bo” LaFountaine is a successful physician assistant who got her start as a medical assistant at Valley Medical and Wellness. Her story illustrates how working at Valley Medical can help individuals get a head start on a successful career in healthcare.
As a child, Bo dreamed of being in the healthcare profession. After graduating from college, she became a personal care assistant. Knowing that she needed hands-on experience before getting her Physician Assistant degree, she sought out the medical assistant job at Valley Medical.
Bo started working as a medical assistant at Valley Medical in 2016. At the time, Valley Medical only had three providers (Dr. George, Dr. Zaydman, and Lindsay Bergstreser) and Bo got the opportunity to assist them all, which provided invaluable experience.
As Bo quickly realized, medical assistants at Valley Medical fulfill a unique role with considerably more autonomy than at some other clinics. During her time as a medical assistant, Bo learned a number of skills that proved useful in her path to becoming a provider.
“Working as a medical assistant at Valley Medical was challenging but rewarding,” Bo reflects. “I had to learn a lot of different protocols, as well as how to deal with difficult patients. I learned how to be patient and empathetic, and how to really listen to patients and be compassionate.”
Those skills helped Bo gain acceptance into the Physician Assistant Studies program at Augsburg University, where she received a Masters of Physician Assistant Studies. She says working at Valley Medical gave her a unique perspective during interviews that helped her gain acceptance into Augsburg’s program.
Since graduating from Augsburg in 2020, Bo has been working as a physician assistant in the emergency rooms at Abbott Northwestern, United Hospital, and Regina Hastings. She notes that working in an emergency room can be extremely stressful, but her experience with Valley Medical’s sometimes-challenging patient base has been good preparation for the hectic ER environment.
In addition to her current work in the Abbott ERs, Bo also continues to work part-time as a provider at Valley Medical.
“Valley Medical is a really great community,” Bo says, “a great group of people. I value the relationships I built here and the investment that Valley made in me.”