“Getting to know your patients allows you to make the best recommendations for their health.”
Lora McHale knew early on that she was going into healthcare. Her grandmother was an herbalist, and her mother was a registered nurse. Lora loved science and grew up watching NOVA programs about medical procedures with her father. Those pivotal experiences inspired her to pursue a career in medicine, and Lora credits an astute college counselor who steered her toward the physician assistant program.
“It was a relatively new degree at the time, and as I researched it in greater depth, I knew this was the career path that I wanted to take,” she said. She received a scholarship to an accelerated physician assistant program at Saint Francis University and attended year-round for four years to complete six years’ worth of coursework. She was offered a job during the last rotation of her senior year, in the Yale Surgical Program at Bridgeport Hospital. Following that position, she was a physician assistant in general surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
In addition to working in surgery and trauma, Lora has done laboratory research in laparoscopic surgery. She also worked for 24 years in a clinical setting in the ear, nose, and throat specialty, treating patients of all ages with ear infections, thyroid conditions, and other ENT issues. Lora prefers an outpatient setting to a hospital because she gets to know her patients.
“The continuity of care is what I love best,” she said. “I chose Changebridge because of the philosophy of treating the whole patient and treating every patient as a family member.” She cites education and communication as priorities in her patient interactions. “I talk with them, find out their concerns, and discuss the options. I want my patients to fully understand their diagnosis and treatment plan, and the reasoning behind it.”
When she is not working, Lora spends her free time with her husband, their four sons, and their English bulldog, Mugsy. She is an avid sports fan and a college football enthusiast who devotedly follows the Clemson Tigers.