Alexandra Godfrey, BSc PT, MS PA-C

Alexandra Godfrey, BSc PT, MS PA-C

I grew up in a small mining town in Northern England where I was known as the “doctor’s daughter.” I lived up to my moniker by giving my sisters’ dolls measles and operating on their teddy bears. After my mother hid the markers, I turned my attention to books — not only my dad’s medical tomes, but also a great number of English literature books. Tucked away in the British literature, I found a quintessentially American writer, Mark Twain, who taught me that if you must eat a frog, you should eat it early. That is, get undesirable tasks done first. These important life lessons (and literary ways) carried over into my medical education; first as a physical therapist in the British National Health Service, where we encouraged ailing patients to be fighters, and later in Detroit, where my physician assistant training was likened to drinking from a fire hydrant and cancer was a battle (to be fought and won). I learned that the words we use to describe our lives, education, and work matter. Really matter. Thus, I have been writing for most of my 20 years in medicine, and have done so in all forms (author, editor, speaker, professor, poet) and published in all manner of journals (Pulse, The Clinical Advisor, Confluence, The Yale Journal, Cell2Soul). I volunteered for the last 6 years on the editorial board of the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, editing everything and anything along with writing for the “Art of Medicine”, “Emergency Medicine Notes”, and the “Musings” blog. After completing an emergency medicine fellowship in Michigan, I moved to western North Carolina where I continue to practice emergency medicine and also find space to write.

All posts by Alexandra Godfrey, BSc PT, MS PA-C


March 1st, 2017

Listening to Bowel Sounds: An Outdated Practice?

Medical programs teach us that listening to bowel sounds is an essential part of the physical examination of the abdomen, especially when the differential includes ileus, small bowel obstruction, diarrhea or constipation. Woe betide the student who fails to auscultate the abdomen of patients with these presentations. Yet firstly there’s little supporting evidence for this maneuver, […]

January 26th, 2017

Can Medical Professionals Ask Patients About Guns?

A student recently asked me if clinicians can talk to patients about gun ownership and safety. Her question triggered my month-long search for data to provide a solid evidence-based response. Alas, my research did not unearth such an answer. But I did find endless writing that discussed this increasingly contentious question in terms of rights, ideology, […]

NP/PA Bloggers

NP/PA Bloggers

Bianca Belcher, MPH, PA‑C
Elizabeth Donahue, RN, MSN, NP‑C
Alexandra Godfrey, BSc PT, MS PA‑C
Emily F. Moore, RN, MSN, CPNP‑PC, CCRN
Harrison Reed, PA‑C

Advanced practice clinicians treating patients in a variety of settings and specialties

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