My most rewarding work is using communication skills to partner with patients, to build stronger teams and to eliminate health care disparities.
Soothing the soul
Senior physician assistant supervisor
Laura Kirk is a senior physician assistant who provides routine as well as urgent care for children and adults with conditions of the ear, nose, throat, head or neck. She has particular interests in sudden hearing loss, feeding difficulties in newborn babies and unusual presentations of migraine. She is also interested in complementary and alternative therapies for head and neck disorders. In addition to caring for patients, she oversees nurse practitioners and physician assistants as a supervisor in the Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery Clinic.
Kirk has contributed to research on herbal therapies, health disparities in treating pediatric breathing-related sleep disorders, vestibular migraine (a nervous system disorder that causes dizziness and nausea), enhanced communication skills in health care and labyrinthitis ossificans (an inner ear condition). She has served as guest editor and written on pediatric otitis media (middle ear inflammation) for the journal Physician Assistant Clinics.
Kirk earned her bachelor's degree in biology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master's degree in physician assistant studies at Arcadia University.
In addition to otolaryngology, Kirk has worked in orthopedic surgery and interventional radiology. She has also had advanced leadership training in medical relief work overseas and led a medical team to Lima, Peru.
In 2017, Kirk received UCSF's inaugural Exceptional Advanced Health Practitioner Award, and she serves on the Advanced Health Practitioners Advisory Board and Committee on Interdisciplinary Practice.
Kirk is a director-at-large in the Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. She is a member of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, American Academy of Physician Assistants, San Francisco Bay Area Physician Assistants and California Academy of Physician Assistants.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, BS, Biology, 1997
Arcadia University, MS, Physician Assistant Studies, 2000
Soothing the soul