Dr. Taisha McIntyre ‘21 DMSc, PA-C practices in psychiatry in Florida, and prior to that worked in pain management. “I realized there are so many cases of unmanaged mental health issues in pain management, which led me to psychiatry,” she says. Dr. McIntyre works primarily in an outpatient setting; she sees children through geriatric patients. She also practices in an inpatient substance abuse rehab facility a few mornings a week.
Dr. McIntyre graduated from Duke University’s PA program in 2005 and received her DMSc from the University of Lynchburg in May 2021.
Of her practice, she says: “My patients often open up to me about care they have received in the past, and I have unfortunately seen a lot of disparities in healthcare. I try my best to empower my patients to speak up, and I also advocate for them whenever I can. PAs can fill a huge gap in advocating for patients and ultimately improving outcomes in underserved populations.”
“I am first-generation born in the United States, my parents being from Jamaica. And as I grew up, my family placed a huge emphasis on higher education — my very wise Dad had a great quote that has stayed with me all these years: ‘There is nothing worse than getting up every day to go to a job that you hate.’ And although I was drawn to medicine, the thought of going through years of medical school did not seem realistic to me. It was a big transition going to undergrad. So when I learned about the PA career path, I knew that was for me. I love the flexibility and the innovative nature of this profession.”
Dr. McIntyre believes there’s a lot of work to be done in advocacy. “I am a huge advocate for PAs; I have seen the difference we make as medical providers. However, there is so much more we can do! PAs in general are very innovative and open-minded to hearing patients’ input on their route of care, which leads to better healthcare outcomes.”
She continues “Even now, at times PAs tend to be closed in boxes by other medical professionals who may not be accustomed to working with our profession. But time and time again, once they see what we can do, they realize our value and how much we offer to healthcare. This is why the DMSc is important to me — it allows the PA profession to have a voice at the table. We need to be able to practice to the full extent of our training and education.”
Dr. McIntyre’s interest in yoga has sparked another idea: “I am considering creating a trauma-focused yoga training. The young patients I see in rehab could benefit from this and I believe it could be a tool in helping stop the cycle of substance use disorder,” she says.
She also has an evident passion for empowering a new generation of PAs. “I absolutely love working with first generation students and students from underserved backgrounds,” she says. “I am also interested in somehow being a part of introducing our profession overseas in Jamaica. I have seen firsthand the need there, and the huge gaps in healthcare. And if I could collaborate to help start a program there, that would be a dream come true.”