Women in Healthcare: Margaret Allen, PA-C

  As a PA-founded company, Medelita has a special place in its heart for Physician Assistants.  As we prepare to attend the Annual AAPA Conference in Las Vegas, I'd like to take a moment to honor a very special PA who has dedicated her life to helping the underserved. It was at her father's side that Margaret Allen learned how compassionate care can make a tremendous difference in the lives of people who need it most. Along with her father's compassion and sense of humor, Margaret inherited a healthy dose of bravery from her mother, who served as a nurse in a London hospital during the Blitz of WWII. With a touch of humor, she recalls the life-changing moment she recognized her calling to become a Physician Assistant. "I turned 40, digging in a bed of collard greens in Chiapas, and realized that I needed more qualifications if I was going to help people in need," Margaret says. "Becoming a PA was the natural route." Twenty years later, Margaret certainly has the qualifications to care for the health of people who have fallen through the cracks. She earned her PA certification from the Stanford University Medical Center Primary Care Associate Program, where she had the unique privilege of meeting Dr. Patch Adams. "His integrity, humor, and take-no-prisoners attitude to the hobbling time constraints placed on medical practitioners was quite inspirational," Margaret recalls of the encounter. She's carried those lessons into her work as a PA and leader in her profession. For the past 17 years, she has been treating the homeless and poverty-stricken with equal parts respect, dignity, and compassion. As the lead clinician at Ravenswood Belle Haven Clinic in East Palo Alto, she has become the only source of regular medical care for people whose lives are in constant flux. "Like so many other health care providers, I sometimes work long hours trying to get services to patients. But in the end, it’s a good feeling to go home at the end of a long day knowing that someone feels better, even happier, as a result of what you have done." In 2009, Margaret was awarded by the AAPA for her Service to the Underserved. We were thrilled to send Margaret a personalized set of Medelita scrubs, which made quite an impression in her clinic. "When working with the underserved, I need to be respectful and unassuming," Margaret says of her Medelita scrub set. "They're perfect for my work as they feel great, wear well, fit nicely, and effortlessly make it look like I have made an effort!"