“I was always the guy who volunteered to handle the Baker Act or Marchman Act calls, who de-escalated the situation and was the last to go hands-on,” he says. “I felt I was making a connection with people with mental illnesses, but I wasn’t able to help — instead, I was dropping them off at jail or a facility. I decided to switch to medicine, so I could try to help them before they got involved with law enforcement.”
As a new graduate of the UF School of PA Studies, McVey plans to dedicate himself to treating those with mental illnesses through a career in psychiatry. He says his law enforcement background will come in handy as he enters the health care arena.
“The most important skill I learned from my law enforcement training is the ability to stay calm and collected in stressful situations,” he says. “As a PA, you might see someone as just another patient. As a sheriff, you might see the person as just another suspect, victim or traffic stop. But in both fields, it’s important to keep in mind that this person will likely remember how you act, what you say and the outcome of your actions for the rest of their life.”
This story originally ran in the Summer 2018 issue of the Doctor Gator newsletter.