Laura A. Kirk, MSPAS, PA-C is the Senior Physician Assistant Supervisor in the UCSF Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. She received her undergraduate training in Biology and Chemistry at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and her Master’s in PA Studies from Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania.
Laura has spent her career as a PA refining and improving her ability to communicate well within the health care professional team as well as with patients of all ages and their families. She models and teaches these skills to physician assistant (PA) and nurse practitioner (NP) students and colleagues. She has a strong interest in enhancing communication skills with patients among her surgeon-physician colleagues, advanced healthcare providers (AHPs such as PAs and NPs), medical students, and residents. Laura advocates for optimization of AHP practice broadly at UCSF and supervises her AHP colleagues in the Otolaryngology department. In these roles, she has found communication skills such as delivering difficult news, feedback and remediation coaching conversations, and conflict transformation techniques to be invaluable and well-worth cultivating in others. Her goal as a facilitator in the Center for Enhancement of Communication in Healthcare is to encourage widespread usage of patient-centered communication in order to enable better patient care, facilitate patient-provider collaboration, improve provider experience, optimize communication within the healthcare team, and ultimately advance patient health outcomes.