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Karen Newell, MMSc

Academic Coordinator
Emory Physician Assistant Program

Mailing Address:
Emory Physician Assistant Program
1462 Clifton Rd
Suite 280
Atlanta, GA 30322


I was born and raised in Golden, Colorado.  I knew from an early age that I was very interested in a career in medicine.  It wasn’t until I was nearly through my undergraduate studies that I discovered the PA profession.  I was thrilled to learn that this was the perfect solution to my dilemma of being able to balance a successful medical career with my passion for music.  I graduated from Colorado State University in 1986 with a double major in biology and zoology and a double minor in anatomy and music. I completed the Emory PA Program in 1989 and then the Norwalk Hospital/ Yale University School of Medicine Post-Graduate PA Surgical Residency Program in 1990. My first professional position was in cardiothoracic surgery.  I quickly discovered this defeated my purposes of becoming a PA in that I was unable to devote much time to other aspects of my life.  Next, I accepted a position in emergency medicine at Grady Memorial Hospital where I worked either full or part-time for 11 years.  I also have experience as an orthopedic surgery PA where I worked in several Atlanta area hospitals either full or part-time for 9 years.  In 1995, I accepted a faculty position at the Emory PA Program where I have been able to combine and integrate all of these interests and work with some of the brightest, most motivated, enthusiastic graduate students in the nation.

In addition to being a PA, I remain an active musician (percussion/drums).   Please visit  my website: 

I teach private lessons and have performed extensively in a variety of genres/settings including:  orchestral, theater, marching, night clubs, conferences and weddings .   I am an avid contemporary jazz listener as well as a former member and frequent follower of the drum and bugle corps activity and indoor drum line competitions.  I also follow Cirque Du Soleil and have been to nearly every show, both touring and stationary, in the US to date. 

I especially enjoy spending time with my two sons whose interests are competitive rock climbing.