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Marie Gilbert, PA-C Emeritus

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Marie Gilbert, PA-C Emeritus, has been an exceptional representative of the PA profession, maintaining her sphere of influence in the specialty of Otorhinolaryngology. As an early member of the Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (SPAO-HNS), Gilbert contributed thousands of hours in service to the PA profession and to PAs practicing in otorhinolaryngology.

Gilbert was born in northeastern Pennsylvania, one of eight children born to a high school teacher and a musician. Gilbert was initially enrolled in a pre-medical program but grew disillusioned by the fierce competitive nature. A friend arranged for her to speak with their mother, who was a PA program director. This experience guided her to her career in PA medicine. She transferred in 1978  from the University of Pittsburgh  to attend the Hahnemann University PA Program, graduating in 1980.

In clinical practice for nearly 40 years, Gilbert provided care to thousands of patients in private otorhinolaryngology practices in New Hampshire. While providing patient-centered care, she also served as the practice manager for her physician colleagues. This involvement ignited her interest in billing, coding, and auditing. As a result, Gilbert became a certified Professional Medical Auditor and Certified ENT (ear, nose, and throat) Coder. These professional certifications, as well as her continued certification as a PA, enabled her to take part in valuable liaison relationships with the American Academy of Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF). She noted that she shared that knowledge with colleagues in the specialty to help them be able to code ethically and thoroughly.

Gilbert served the profession as president of SPAO-HNS for two terms  and for eight years served as AAPA’s Liaison to the AAO-HNSF, where she was invited to serve on the Advanced Practice Provider Education Task Force. Her experience as a clinician and practice manager/coder enabled her to advocate for the profession. While serving as a leader in SPAO-HNS, Gilbert led the group in developing a phenomenally successful CME course: “ENT for the PA-C.” This event began as a social and educational day for ENT PAs and was held in conjunction with the annual AAO-HNSF physicians’ meeting. The program expanded and evolved to offer lectures and hands-on training in ENT procedures. This event offered PAs a venue to present lectures, posters and served as an entry point to academia for ENT PAs who practiced in academic medical centers. As word of the excellent experiences offered by the SPAO-HNS group spread, the annual ENT for the PA-C has grown to be a premier CME meeting and now is held as part of the annual SPAO-HNS meeting. The event continues to train PAs and other non-physician providers from across the country. In addition to these roles, Gilbert represented SPAO-HNS in the AAPA House of Delegates for several years and was an adjunct lecturer for several PA programs.

Gilbert is happily retired and enjoying PA-C Emeritus status. She and her spouse, Paul, have a home and an apple orchard in New Hampshire. She enjoys gardening and baking apple pies. Proceeds from her annual orchard sales are donated to St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Her hands are never empty; she sews mittens, hats, and blankets for homeless shelters in her community.

Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by Deb Munsell, DHSc, DFAAPA, PA-C with the assistance of Marie Gilbert. It was submitted to the Society in March 2024. Photographs are courtesy of Ms. Gilbert.

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