Michael B. Sheldon, PA, received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Emory University in 1972. He worked as a nursing aide and orthopedic technician from 1971-1972 and then as a certified operating room technician from 1972-1973 at Emory University Hospital. His goal had always leaned toward healthcare. Initially he was interested in dentistry, but he then encountered the “PA” concept in the Emory Hospital OR. Because he would take calls, he had to learn how to take patients on and off the pump in an open-heart case. Emory had a Masters in Anesthesia program; their first “PA” program. He considered it, but surgery was the stronger pull which led him toward other PA programs. In 1975, Mr. Sheldon received his Post-Graduate Certificate in Medicine from Yale University’s Physician Associate Program. He worked as a PA at a private practice in Florida (1975-1976), in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the Maine Medical Center (1976-1982), and at a private practice in Portland, Maine as a PA in Orthopedics (1982-1988). From 1979-1982, he also held the position of didactic coordinator for the Post Graduate PA Residency Program in ER Medicine at the Maine Medical Center.
Mr. Sheldon had been active in the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) from his days as a PA student. He was a member of the Student AAPA Advisory Committee and Judiciary Affairs Committee and was the student appointee to the AAPA Advisory Committee to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). When he moved to Maine, he took part in creating the Down East Association for PAs (DEAPA), which represented the PAs working in Maine. He was the DEAPA delegate to the AAPA Membership Committee (1976-1978), the acting president (1977), and president elect (1977-1978), president (1979), and the Delegate at Large to the AAPA House of Delegates (1981-1983). Mr. Sheldon was a member of numerous AAPA committees: Public Education (1977-1978), Professional Practices and Relations (1977-1979), House of Delegates Reference Committee on Certification and Education (1978), and Professional Certification (1981-1988). He was Secretary to the AAPA House of Delegates (1979-1980) and then Secretary and Acting Vice Speaker and Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee on Regionalization (1980-1981).
Mr. Sheldon started his involvement with the NCCPA Board of Directors in 1981 as an AAPA Commissioner and held this position until 1988. He was a member of the NCCPA Finance Committee (1981-1982), Eligibility Committee (1981-1982), Chairman of the Finance Committee (1982-1983), and the Executive Committee (1983-1988). On the NCCPA Board, he held the positions of Secretary (1983-1984), President (1985), Chair (1986), and Past Chair (1987-1988). Mr. Sheldon was the first PA to be President/Chair of the NCCPA Board.
Mr. Sheldon’s education, training and experiences as a PA helped him transfer from his clinical career into medical device design, development and marketing. He worked with various medical technology companies from 1986 until his retirement in 2014.
He has been awarded the DEAPA Outstanding Service Award (1986) and the AAPA President’s Award for Service to the Profession (1989). Mr. Sheldon has also authored numerous articles and has several medical device patents.
As he looks back on his career, Mr. Sheldon is grateful for the experiences he has had. The PAs, doctors, nurses, engineers and marketers from all over the world that he has met translated into a fulfilling career helping provide needed care and improve people’s lives; the essence of being a PA. In retirement he pursues an interest in genealogy and family history.
Acknowledgments: This biography was written by Michelle Schabowski with assistance from Michael Sheldon. It was submitted to the Society on August 2020. The photograph was provided by Mr. Sheldon.