James "Rick" Kilgore, PhD, PA-C


To everyone who knows Dr. Kilgore, he is “Rick”, and he is well known for his contributions to the PA profession over the past 34 years. He graduated in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and is a 1981 graduate of the Emory University Physician Associate Program. His first work as a PA was in nephrology. He then moved to primary care with an opportunity for clinical research at the Simon-Williamson Clinic in Birmingham, AL. His love of research led to his work at Clinical Research Consultants, Inc. where he was President and CEO for 13 years. His firm conducted clinical trials in collaboration with over 60 major pharmaceutical companies from around the world. He continued clinical practice there while maintaining his administrative roles. One of his proudest achievements was in 2009 when his firm was one of 15 chosen to begin work on the swine flu vaccine.

Dr. Kilgore has a long history of lecturing PA students at Emory University and University of South Alabama. He finds it very rewarding to pass along to the next generation of PAs not only clinical knowledge, but also knowledge about the business of medicine. In 2013 Dr. Kilgore moved into academia full time when he became Program Director at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant program. He is responsible for overseeing the growth of the program from its current class size of 60.

His involvement in the Alabama Society of Physician Assistants began shortly after graduation and continues today. While serving as President he led the overhaul of the rules and regulations which resulted in prescriptive privileges, remote site privileges, creation of an advisory board to the State board of Medical Examiners and mandated third party reimbursement for PAs. He was a member of the State Board of Medical Examiners Liaison Committee and its PA Advisory Committee.

His service in AAPA activities spanned many years as well. He has served on committees, the Board of Directors and as a member and chair of the Political Action Committee. He was named a Distinguished Fellow of the AAPA in 2007. He is perhaps best remembered for his 9 years of service to the PA Foundation, being a member of the Board of Trustees in the 1990s and again from 2009-2015 when he completed terms as President, Past President and Treasurer. The Foundation supports PA student scholarships, PA led community based grants and international humanitarian outreach programs.

He is an avid pilot and is currently a Search/Rescue pilot with the Civil Air Patrol-US Air Force Auxiliary at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery Alabama where he is also the Chief of Staff.

Dr. Kilgore has been married to Twila for 42 years. They have 2 sons, John and Mark. The Kilgores love to cruise and travel and hope to continue doing this for many years to come.

Acknowledgments: This Biographical Sketch was prepared by Deborah Atherton Gerbert, MS, PA-C, and submitted to the PA History Society in June 2015. The photograph is courtesy of JAAPA, June 2007 “A Day in the Life of Rick Kilgore”. The banner photograph is courtesy of UAB.

When using information from this biography, please provide the proper citation as described within the PA History Society Terms of Use

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