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Clint Demas, Physician Assistant at NextCare in Estrella.

28 May . 2020

Meet the Practical PA - Clint Demas

We sat down with Clint Demas – a Physician Assistant (PA) at the NextCare Urgent Care at Mountain Ranch Marketplace – to talk about his work, life, and passion for Estrella.

Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself?
A: The name which my dear parents bestowed upon me is Clinton Demas (it’s pronounced “deem-us”).
They named me after some western actor. Perhaps you’ve heard of him? Clint Eastwood? And since his last name is faaaar easier to remember than mine, I don’t mind if people just use his name to help remember. Besides, it makes me feel like I could ride off into a sunset at the end of a long, hard-fought day.

I am a Physician Assistant, or PA, not to be confused with a physician’s assistant … though I have gone on a drink runs for my physicians from time to time, soooo …

I have a wife and four wonderful children who constantly keep me on my toes. I’m a Virgo, if
you’re into that sort of thing, and I love seeing the natural beauty of this amazing world in which we are blessed to live.

While some people think of vacation as Disneyland or Europe, my perfect escape would be up in the mountains sitting on a rocking chair on a cabin deck and feeling the cool breeze on my face while I listen to the wind whisper through the pine trees.

I love seeing people smile and watching them serve and show kindness to those around them. It hits me right in the feel-goods.

Q: How long have you been working in the medical field?
A: I have worked in the medical field for over 15 years now, nearly three of which have been spent serving this fine little community called Estrella. It has – and I’m certain this is not an embellishment – some of the best people in the known universe.

I have always been drawn to the medical field. I don’t know if it was originally the appeal of surgery or the mystery of the human body or what, but for as long as I can remember, I wanted to be a doctor. Then I wised up and decided to be a PA instead ;) Lol, just kidding. I have great respect for my physician colleagues.
I can always remember being drawn to medicine not for the money or the fame, but for the unique environment in which I could impact people in a very positive and meaningful way. While I have learned that this is not actually the case, growing up I always remembered medical providers being so serious and having such a dry personality. I decided at a young age that I wanted to provide healthcare to people but at the same time try and bring a smile to their faces in some way or another.

Back during my graduate training, there were certain instructors who discouraged me from taking this jovial approach to medicine, citing a lack of professionalism and blah, blah, blah. I am SO glad that I stayed true to who I was through all that because I feel it has served me very well in my professional career. I know I’ve been able to reach and lift patients that other providers would not have been able to.

And I am confident that goes for each of us. Be true to who you are. Believe in yourself and the gifts that you have been given. Trust in your capacity to do good and to impact others in a positive way. If you will take that to heart, I promise you will be successful in all that you do. You may not win all the time, but you WILL be successful.

Q: What one thing do you wish people knew about urgent care?
A: One thing that is important to understand is that urgent care is neither a primary care provider nor an emergency room. We sometimes get patients on both ends of that spectrum and it’s an impossible situation. We want to do everything within our means to help, but sometimes things are just beyond our reach in the UC.

Urgent care providers won’t be able to cure a six-month back pain and certainly can’t treat a heart attack. As much as we may WANT to help with every problem, seasoned urgent care providers understand their scope of practice and the limitations within the field. If a patient comes in with unrealistic expectations, it is so much more challenging to maintain a positive patient experience, especially when they may not be getting what they were hoping for. Fortunately, the residents in Estrella far and beyond have a better sense of this than those in any other place I’ve worked, so we usually have very positive experiences.

Q: What’s the best thing about Estrella?
A: This one is easy – the people! There is no place in the world that can be made great by the GPS coordinates, or the type of weather, or the entertainment, or anything else like that. Don’t get me wrong, those qualities can certainly make for a great visit. But when it comes to creating a community and making a home or neighborhood meaningful, it’s the people who live there. This is where Estrella truly shines.

Living in the Phoenix valley, I had forgotten the extent to which this holds true and how much of an impact it can actually make. Once I was blessed to move over to our Estrella clinic, I was given a renewed vigor and passion for my work. I was reminded what a huge difference it makes when people come together and act neighborly to one another. The residents in this community constantly amaze me with their caring and compassion and camaraderie. The food truck nights certainly help too. 😊

Q: What’s your favorite place in the community?
A: Can I have two? First and foremost has to be the food truck nights. I have LOVED going over there and enjoying good food, listening to good music, and seeing many of the people I’ve met at the clinic.

The other place I’ve really enjoyed is the hill with the flagpole just north of the pizza place. I’m sure it has a better name, but I call it Freedom Hill. I will sometimes walk up there at the end of my shift, long after the sun has set, and just stare out over the community. The soft glow of lights from the buildings coupled with the reflections over the lakes are simply mesmerizing. There’s always a nice breeze up there too. It gives me some much-needed time to meditate or reflect or ponder or whatever you want to call it.

Q: What are you listening to?
A: I’m actually kinda lame when it comes to music these days. More often than not I find myself listening to podcasts during the drives to and from the clinic. Usually, it’s medical stuff. It’s a good opportunity to keep the ol’ noggin current and full of medical mumbo jumbo. Sometimes I’ll do self-improvement/productivity ones, but either way, it’s usually podcasts.

If I’m throwing caution to the wind and tapping into my roots, then I’m a punk rocker. Bad Religion, Green Day, and Millencolin to name a few of my favorites.

Q: Anything else, about anything, you would like to add?
A: Because I am so inconsistent about being on social media, the best way to reach me is actually through my blog. Hopefully, I can continue to be of service to all of you through this resource as well.

I also want to reiterate just how amazing it is in Estrella. I hope you all can be reminded of what a fantastic place you live in and how lucky you all are to reside within such a community. Thank you for making this place so special.

Finally, I would like to remind each and every one of you about your capacity to do good in this world. We too often find ourselves stuck in the impossible rut of comparison. We look at what we perceive to be amazing aspects of another person’s life, but fail to understand or even consider the struggles that person goes through or the price they have paid for that seemingly awesome thing. Then we become frustrated because we don’t have said awesome thing in our own lives and often self-deprecate.

It reminds me of a saying a very wise man once taught me. Comparison is the thief of joy. It’s natural to want more for our lives. In fact, I believe it is healthy and vital to our progress as human beings to self-evaluate and look where we can be doing better. But we must not stumble onto the side of comparison to others. After all, there’s only one you, so no other life will be quite like yours.

My point to all this is have confidence in your capacity to be incredible. Realize your potential, right now, just as you are, to be able to brighten someone’s day or lift a person’s spirits. Don’t wait for the “perfect opportunity” or the “right time.” Just get out there and be the amazing person I know you are.

Estrella by Newland would like to thank Clint and all of the frontline workers and first responders that go above and beyond every day to keep us safe.