Faces of Cedars-Sinai: Physician Assistant Laye Akinloye
Oct 04, 2019 Agata Smieciuszewski
Meet Laye Akinloye!
She's a physician assistant (PA) in cardiothoracic surgery and was in the first round of PAs that started at Cedars-Sinai in 1991.
We chatted with her to learn more about the history of PAs at Cedars-Sinai and how she spends her workdays and free time.
"Treat people like you want to be treated and treat all your patients like a loved family member."
Tell me about your journey to Cedars-Sinai.
Laye Akinloye: In 1981, I came to Cedars-Sinai to work in phlebotomy and I went to PA school a couple years later.
After I finished the program, I sent a letter to the administrators that I'd like to stay, but they didn’t hire PAs at the time. I had no choice but to leave and find another job.
Five years later, I got word that Cedars-Sinai was hiring their first-ever group of PAs, and I came back to interview. 6 of us started a few months later.
What was it like being part of this new group?
LA: When we first started, people didn't understand our role—it was all new.
Over the next few decades, the program grew to support many different departments, including transplant, mechanical device support, and the ER.
We currently work for 7 surgeons along with nurse practitioners—together we're known as allied health professionals.
What's a typical day in the life of a physician assistant?
LA: Our shift starts at 6:30am. We have different assignments for the day—operating room, floor duty, clinical consult, post-op.
If you're in the OR, you're assisting with opening and closing the patients.
If you're on the floor, then your job is to assess the patients and perform physical exams.
You're also in charge of prescriptions and discharge. You interact with other staff, like infectious disease physicians or neurologists, to care for a specific patient.
What drew you to being a PA?
LA: I really like helping people.
Initially, I wanted to be a physician, but after being married and having kids, that didn't work out. So the next thing for me was being a PA—I could have my life and my kids and my husband and I could still help people.
What are you most proud of from your time here?
LA: I started the postgraduate program for PAs in cardiothoracic surgery and I directed that for 10 years. I also love to mentor the PAs coming through and rotating in our unit.
Are you from LA originally?
LA: Born and raised!
What do you like to do outside of work?
LA: We love to travel a lot—I like the Caribbean, and we also do Europe or go on cruises. Our next cruise is to Alaska!
I have 5 kids and 10 grandkids spread out across the country, so that keeps us pretty busy!
My oldest daughter is a physician and she also directs the PA program at The University of Alabama at Birmingham.
What is the best advice you've ever received?
LA: Treat people like you want to be treated and treat all your patients like a loved family member.