LAURINBURG — Before Lumberton Fire Chief Mike Cox retired from the Fire Department in 2010, he explored options for his next career. With the medical field in mind, he realized that he already had the minimum requirements needed to start physician assistant training.
Upon acceptance at the New York Institute of Technology Mike packed his bags and headed to New York.
“That first semester was very difficult for me,” Mike says. “Learning to study again on that level was harder than I anticipated. Plus, I was away from my family.” This past spring he earned a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies.
This Lumberton High School graduate joined the U.S. Navy immediately after high school graduation. Upon discharge in 1984 he joined the Lumberton Fire Department, where he worked for 26 years, climbing the ranks from fireman recruit to fire chief. Along the way he earned an associate’s degree from Fayetteville Technical College in Emergency Medical Science and a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Carolina University in Emergency Medical Care.
“I had a great life as a fire fighter but I’m ready now for my new role as a physician assistant,” Mike said. “I am delighted to be joining the Maxton Family Practice Center, a practice so close to my home in Lumberton.”
Although his plans were to specialize in emergency medicine, Mike discovered during clinical rotations that he really loves working in family medicine. “I love talking with and getting to know patients. It is a great fit for me.”
Dr. Jonathan Rowson of the Maxton practice says, “It’s great to have an additional provider at the practice. Mike’s experience as a firefighter is an asset in his role as a physician assistant. Even though the two roles have a different focus, it is all about serving the population at large and meeting their needs… .
Many people know Mike. We’re delighted to increase our ability to get patients in and see and treat them quickly and to decrease wait times. Providing them the ability to be seen in a more timely manner is a win-win for everyone.”
Mike is married to Audrey Cox, a registered nurse working as a clinical application analyst at Southeastern Health. The couple has three sons and one grandson. Mike says his grandson Gabe is his buddy and he loves spending time with him. He also enjoys sporting events and traveling with his wife.
“I find medicine exciting and that stimulates me,” Mike states. “I put as much as I can into something and I get as much as I can out of it. I want to expand my horizons. I look forward to helping care for the residents of Maxton and our surrounding communities.”
Appointments can be made with Physician Assistant Mike Cox at Maxton Family Practice Center by calling 910-844-4077.