PA Spotlight – Rick Hillegas, EdD, MPH, PA-C

PA Spotlight – Rick Hillegas, EdD, MPH, PA-C


Rick Hillegas III

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 “Rick” George F. Hillegas, III, EdD, MPH, PA-C.

Dr. Rick Hillegas is currently the Dean of the South College PA Program in Knoxville, TN.  He first started as a medical corpsman in the Navy before graduating as part of the first PA class from George Washington University in 1974.  From there he joined the Coast Guard (serving in many wonderful places like Antarctica & Hawaii), helped in numerous PA organizations and started his PA teaching career at Quinnipiac University in 1994.  Rick has a gift for politics and in 2000 nearly became Connecticut’s 34th district Senator with over 40% of the vote.  He is extremely passionate about life-long learning and enjoys the teaching method of “Read, Write, and Recite” which he learned form his catholic grammar school nuns.  Rick truly loves life and enjoys family time with his lovely wife Carolyn, 4 children and 4 grandchildren.


Birthplace: Philadelphia, PA

PA Program graduated from: George Washington University

Favorite Sports Team: Philadelphia Eagles & Washington Redskins

Mentors who had an influence on you: MY PARENTS and the 1st African American Navy Corpsman Master Chief Charles Percy Cobbs

Interesting fact: Rick has a duel citizenship, U.S. as well as Ireland.  He also hosted a weekly radio show for many years called “Health Talk with Hillegas”.

PA Interview Questions:

What are you most proud of from you career: “To have been a PA for over 40 years, it is only profession I know that is so extremely rewarding for being able to help so many (patients and students)”.

What advice would you give current PA students: “Your educational experience is only the beginning of a wonderful career”

Where do you see our PA profession in another 50 years: “I believe in 5 years (not 50), PAs (and NPs) will take over providing the majority of primary care services in our country”




Dr. Rick Hillegas was nominated for PA Spotlight by Katie Bean, MHS, PA-C

Certified Medical Educators salutes Rick Hillegas for being an incredible leader, teacher, and PA.


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