Today we sat down with one of our PA’s, Kerry Mackey. Mr. Mackey is an enthusiastic and driven provider who pours his heart and soul into his work with patients. Read on to learn more about Mr. Mackey!
Could we get some brief biographical info from you? Hometown, previous experience, education, etc.?
I grew up on the islands of the Bahamas and resided there until I was 17 years old. I came to the USA originally to play soccer at the collegiate level. I’ve always had a knack for the sciences, so after an unfortunate ankle injury, I pursued an undergraduate study degree in Biology from my beloved HBCU Philander Smith College. Eventually I started seeking out various medical related jobs and found myself in anatomical pathology, and went on to work with the morgue and crime lab. This propelled my desire to do something more personally rewarding in the medical field, so I pursued a Master degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to do many different things in the medical field, and I am confident that this is where I belong.
What’s one thing your home country could be known for, and why?
I would say tourism and hospitality are the main things we pride ourselves on. We are a small economy and population that thrives on visitors coming to our shores, so we really make an effort to treat people with compassion and be as welcoming as possible. Proper communication has been instilled at us, even at a young age, because we learn to judge a person by their character and nothing else. Beyond that, we boast some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some of the largest salt banks in the world, and some of the most talented individuals in every field of human endeavors. I believe my countrymen shine bright on any stage, and I am proud of where I came from!
What made you want to work in this field?
My interest in psychiatry piqued at a much later stage in life. After dealing with my own personal mental health woes after a near death experience with my youngest child, I took a keen interest in mental health. After seeing the growing focus on mental health and social justice, and after witnessing mental health disparities in my own community, I felt like I could make a significant impact in this area. I set out to educate myself, and I have actively sought out knowledge related to the evaluative, diagnostic and treatment process. I believe in life-long learning, so I continue to expand my knowledge and refine my skills on a regular and consistent basis.
What do you believe makes AIM stand out in its field, and why?
Being from the islands of the Bahamas, my upbringing was enriched in some ways, but possibly deficient in relation to access to healthcare. It was due to lack of medical developments on the island and resource scarcity that made me start to venture into finding alternative means of care. Naturally, we used our environmental resources, air (breathing techniques), sea (salt water healing properties), and nature (plant remedies) to alleviate acute and chronic issues alike. Obviously, if there is access to more proven means of treatment, being able to utilize them for benefit is a good thing. AIM incorporates that holistic approach to treatment, and it is woven into our mission. The single most important thing to me about joining the team at AIM was the fact that in some form or fashion, each provider has some form of holistic approach to utilize alongside their treatment plan for patients.
What does your ideal day look like?
Let’s see… 4am to 9 pm. The early bird gets the worm, and the start of your day can easily set the pace for the rest of the day to come. I would spend 30 minutes meditating or doing some other sort of grounding practice, after which I would enjoy a gym session for about an hour. I would then enjoy breakfast and family time with positive affirmations for one another. On work days, I would do the thing I enjoy the most- making a difference in the lives of others. On an off day, the mountains might call my name for an adventure, but the beach is equally as pleasing. I would then have seafood for dinner and my heart would be content!
Can you name one role model you have, and what that person has had such an impact?
I think my biggest celebrity role model would have to be the late great Kobe Bryant. He was an amazing basketball talent, but what I took from him the most was his business prowess and his work ethic. He taught me that you don’t have to be confined to one arena or specialty. He showed me that you don’t have to be the most gifted, smartest, or athletic in the room, but if you put in the work and perfect your craft, your accolades will show for themselves. Kobe was selfless and his charitable donations shifted the paradigm for underserved populations in his areas of interest, which is something I’m passionate about. The way I approach my work and my personal goals and endeavors is with the mindset of the MAMBA mentality. I refuse to be mediocre, I refuse to underwhelm and I refuse to be outworked.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? How has that advice affected your day-to-day?
In the 9th grade I participated in a speech contest and won the 1st runner up prize. After the contest i felt disappointed because of the tireless hours I had dedicated to my speech. I felt like i wasn’t good enough and my self worth took a shot. I was upset more than anything that I had changed my speech over the competition to sound more aesthetic or pleasing to others, as opposed to writing and articulating my sincere thoughts. The head judge loved my speech and he told me that he felt like I was holding back. He shared with me the Dr. Seuss quote, “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” That is my personal conviction now- I am bold, I am honest, and I live with integrity.
What’s one message you wish our patients would always take with them?
Your journey and story ultimately ends up being what you make it. Your will to carry on, your passion for life and your desire to thrive are your greatest tools. You don’t have a testimony without a few ‘tests’. Find the things that make you happy and consume yourself with those things. Find the things that make you miserable and reduce or eradicate them from your life. The balance of those things is what will help you establish internal peace.
Favorite Movie: The Black Panther
Favorite Food(s): West Indian Curry Chicken & Stew Oxtails.
Hobbies: Playing soccer, music (specifically the saxophone), and fitness (especially amateur weightlifting)
Favorite Album: Jay-Z – The Blueprint
Favorite Musical Artist: Kane Brown
Favorite Sports Team: Los Angeles Lakers
Pets: A Cane Corso named Aria, and a mini Aussie named Phoebe
Dream Vacation: Greece
Favorite Book: The Lion and the Jewel by Wole Soyinka
Favorite Podcast: NPR 🙂
Dream Job as a Kid: Professional Soccer Player
Want to know more about Kerry’s professional background? Check out his bio!