Physician Assistant Cara Peters: ‘I’ve always cared about community service and helping people’
Physician Assistant Cara Peters is committed to providing first-rate, quality health care to patients.
It’s what she experienced firsthand from her mother – and her first internship.
“I’ve always cared about community service and helping people who need it the most,” says Peters, whose first internship was at a Federally Qualified Health Center in Redding, where her mother was a licensed vocational nurse. “She always liked her job and loved her patients.”
Peters begins her health care career with the same passion.
Peters, who earned a Master of Physician Studies at the University of the Pacific in Stockton in April, joined Western Sierra in summer 2022.
She treats patients as a primary-care provider and also works in Urgent Care in Auburn.
Her clinical experience through the University of the Pacific program included about a dozen focus areas – from emergency medicine and primary care to women’s health. She also elected to complete training in pulmonology and urgent care.
“I got a little taste of everything,” says Peters, who would spend about a month with providers learning firsthand about a specific area. She crisscrossed the state, from Auburn to Newport Beach, as part of the hands-on training. “It really helped me focus on community.”
From allergies and diabetes to minor injuries and illnesses, Peters just wants to help patients.
The challenges for patients could be a chronic condition – such as arthritis or asthma – or mental health issues or sleep apnea.
“I want to care for people and make them feel better,” says Peters, who appreciates Western Sierra’s treat-the-whole-person approach and the ability to have numerous services under one roof. “I have a lot in my toolbox.”
Peters has an interest in allergy and asthma, and helping patients struggling with sleep apnea.
But she also realizes that allergies and sleep apnea are often minor concerns compared to more serious health challenges, including patients faced with mental health issues.
“In general, it’s been an increasing need,” she says. “We don’t want anyone to suffer in silence.”
She wants to connect with and learn about patients, obviously with their health issues but also other problems. For example, a financial hardship can lead to other issues, from a hunger to housing instability.
“I’m not going to judge, I’ve seen it all,” says Peters, who grew up in the Redding area and earned a bachelor’s in science degree in Human Development from the University of California, Davis. “It’s OK for patients to tell me the lows. But we’ll also celebrate the highs.”
Away from work, Peters and her fiancé live in Foresthill with their Labrador. The couple enjoy mountain biking and snowboarding.