PA Spotlight – Edward Walker MMS, PA

PA Spotlight – Edward Walker MMS, PA

This year, in celebration of our PA professions 50th anniversary, Certified Medical Educators would like to honor 50 exceptional PAs for their professional accomplishments, passion, and dedication. It is with great excitement that we spotlight Edward Walker, MMS, PA, retired Cardiothoracic Surgery Physician Assistant.

Ed Walker, Retired  Cardiothoracic Surgery PA

Edward Walker,
Retired Cardiothoracic Surgery PA

Ed Walker was a Navy Corpsman who worked as a surgical technician for one year before attending the PA program at Duke University.  He immediately fell in love with Cardiothoracic Surgery and knew that would be his life long specialty.  After graduating, Ed’s first job was in Milwaukee, WI and then one year later he moved his family to Danville, PA to work at Geisinger Medical Center.  While there he also earned a Masters of Medical Science degree from the PA Program at Saint Francis University in Loretto, PA.  Seventeen years later he moved his family one last time to work at Gundersen Lutheran Hospital in LaCrosse, WI where he continued to work in Cardiothoracic Surgery for ~10 years before retiring in 2008.  Over his many years as a surgical PA he helped thousands of patients in the ICU, step down floor, clinic and operating room.  Ed always enjoyed training new PAs and nurses.  Today, Ed is enjoying all the joys of retirement including traveling with his lovely wife Kathy, fishing, building furniture, cooking, and spending lots of time with his 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters and 1 grandson.


Birthplace: Buffalo, NY

PA Program graduated from: Duke University PA Program

Favorite Sports Team: Green Bay Packers

Mentors who had an influence on you: Cardiac Surgeons Fred Pharr M.D., and Blair Keagy M.D.

Interesting fact: Medical – Ed received the 1989 AAPA Humanitarian of the Year Award.  Non-medical – As a teenager Ed would sneak out of the house by pushing his 1st vehicle (a little volkswagen) down the driveway and street before starting it quietly (thank you to Ed’s wife Kathy for this info).

PA Interview Questions:

What are you most proud of from you career: “Working as part of a great team at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville PA.  It was amazing to be able to accomplish so much as a PA and to be able to help so many patients.”

What advice would you give current PA students: “Be persistent, stay determined and follow your dream!.  I feel for each student out there as I remember how difficult didactic year was.  For me I REALLY fell in love with medicine/surgery on my clinical rotations.”

Where do you see our PA profession in another 50 years: “I see our PA profession growing more and more.  Today, many high school and college students have heard about the PA profession and are interested.  PAs will continue to fill the national shortage of physicians.”


“Ed taught me how to be a strong and confident leader while caring about the people you lead.  He always said that you can work with any surgeon in the world by “using the basic surgical technique of traction and countertraction”.  That advice is true to this day”    - Michael Doll, MPAS, PA-C

“Ed Walker is an accomplished teacher and pioneer Physician Assistant.  I am PROUD to be his friend”    - Dr. Christopher Leach, Cardiac Surgeon

“Ed was an EXCELLENT mentor and was right there the first time I inserted a subclavian central line.  When it came to procedures, Ed always had a funny saying “Any body cavity can be reached with a 14 gauge needle and a strong arm”      – Chuck Marsters, PA-C


Ed Walker was nominated for PA Spotlight by Michael Doll, MPAS, PA-C

Certified Medical Educators salutes Ed Walker for being an incredible leader, teacher, and PA.


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