Desire for Clinic, ER Medicine Attracts New PA
Posted on Friday, June 10th, 2011
Manuel Flores, P.A. (Physician Assistant)
In his job at Mercy Health/Love County in Marietta, Manuel Flores, physician assistant, may have found the best of all worlds.
Days in the clinic, nights in the emergency room – the mix of medical settings satisfies the new P.A.’s background and interests.
“I was at a clinic in Marshall County for 15-plus years, but I like the ER a lot and wanted to get back into it. This place offered me both and I really like being here,” he said.
Raised as a “military brat” by a U.S. serviceman and Spanish mother, Flores also brings the adaptability and understanding of one who has lived and traveled abroad.
Born in Spain, he continues to be fluent in Spanish.
Growing up, he also lived in Germany and Turkey, as well as Oklahoma and Texas. He graduated from high school in Wichita Falls. His parents are retired in Oklahoma City.
Flores works under the supervision of Dr. J.T. O’Connor, Jr. This has provided continuity for patients who were part of the physician’s caseload prior to his move from clinic to nursing home care in January.
“He’s a fantastic physician and very supportive,” Flores said.
Flores also is seeing a number of familiar faces, as long-time patients of his former practice travel from Madill and Kingston to retain their relationship with him.
Right out of high school, Flores enrolled in paramedic school in Oklahoma City, then joined the ambulance service of an El Reno hospital.
After six years, he said, “I decided this will be harder to do when I get older, maybe I better go back to school.”
While continuing to work fulltime, Flores took two years of preparatory courses, followed by 2.5 years of classroom and clinical training in the Physician Assistant Program of the OU College of Medicine.
He graduated in 1993 and, a few years later, moved with his family to Kingston. His wife, Kristina, is a nurse in Durant. Their 20-year old son, Nicholas, is an oil field worker.
Flores’ workweek consists of days in the clinic Wednesday-Friday and varying shifts in the emergency room.
The ER, with its unpredictable presentation of routine illness and life-on-the-line urgency, recalls his youthful experiences as a paramedic.
“You do get that adrenaline kind of feeling in the ER. There’s the aspect of the unknown. You don’t know what’s going to come through that door at anytime. That’s the thing that’s most attractive to me. You’re in there making decisions. I feel comfortable doing that. Some people don’t like it. It’s not for everybody. I enjoy doing it,” Flores said.
Flores expressed appreciation to coworkers. “Connie Barker (clinic director) and everyone give you the sense they appreciate you being here. You feel the sense of gratefulness. They’re all very supportive,” he said.
In the clinic, he treats patients of all ages.
When not working, he enjoys fishing and hunting.