P. Eugene “Gene” Jones, PhD, PA-C, professor emeritus, delivered remarks as the distinguished commencement speaker at the Dec. 10 graduation of the Physician Assistant Class of 2021.
Dr. Jones, who was named a professor emeritus of physician assistant studies at UT Southwestern in 2017, delivered an inspirational address, with a focus on how graduates can be great PAs.
“I ask you to remember that the patient always comes first,” he said. “You must place your personal agendas aside. It’s never about you and what you want or need or where you’d rather be instead. It’s always about the patient. Please remember this.”
Dr. Jones began his career in health care after enlisting in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a hospital corpsman with the U.S. Marine Corps. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant studies from the University of Nebraska and a Master of Arts in health services management from Webster University. Following his military career, he earned Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in education from Claremont Graduate University in California.
Dr. Jones went on to serve on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to Dallas to become department chairman and director of the PA program at UT Southwestern. His academic achievements include more than 70 peer-reviewed publications, designation by The University of Texas Board of Regents as a distinguished teaching professor, election into The University of Texas Academy of Health Science Education, selection as a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor, and receipt of a Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award for his accomplishments in PA education.
Under his leadership, the UT Southwestern PA Program won the 2017 Excellence Through Diversity Award from the Physician Assistant Education Association.