Watson credits her success in part to time at ACTC | ACTC

Watson credits her success in part to time at ACTC

May 30, 2023


ASHLAND, Ky. – Anyone who has visited the main campus of Ashland Community and Technical College has likely seen the Goodpaster building. As the granddaughter or Robert Goodpaster, the man that the building was named for, Emily Mays Watson says ACTC holds a special place in her heart. 

A 1998 graduate of the Associate of Arts program at ACTC, Watson went on to become a Physician Assistant, a career she has had for over twenty years. 

She currently practices Endocrinology alongside Dr. George Boast at Regional Endocrine Diabetes Associates in Ashland. 

“I was interested in a helping profession that would allow for some flexibility,” says Watson. While attending HSE 101, I heard a PA speak about their career and knew immediately that’s what I wanted to do. Things have come full circle, as Dr. Flath has had me as a guest speaker over the years for this very same class at ACTC.”

She added, “Thanks to the foundation laid by and recommendation provided by Dr. Mary Cat Flath, I was accepted into and graduated from UK’s Physician Assistant Class of 2000. I have enjoyed a fulfilling career, initially in Gastroenterology then transitioning to Endocrinology.”

Watson says her career as a Physician Assistant has opened the door to other opportunities, such as participating in the national speaking circuit on behalf of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, traveling to various state conferences providing continuing medical education, and serving as Director, Quality Committee Chair and Board Chair for Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital from 2016 until its closure.

“While in high school, I enjoyed taking evening and summer classes at ACTC. Then, I proceeded to a large university setting where it felt like I was floundering,” Watson said. “It seemed overwhelming and impersonal, so I came back to ACTC to complete my prerequisite courses.”

She added, “At ACTC, I was able to take all of the prerequisite classes I needed and Dr. Flath and other faculty worked with me until I understood the material. And when there was a hiccup about a class possibly not transferring, Dr. Flath did everything to advocate on my behalf. Everyone needs a Dr. Flath in their corner.”

Watson was a student in Flath’s class when Flath’s husband, Al, was involved in a life-altering accident that left him paralyzed. 

“I had a front row seat watching her go through an incredibly traumatic time following her husband, Al’s, accident. Dr. Flath carried on through life with such grace and positivity while trying to heal her husband, raise a four year-old, be a blessing to her students, and figure out her new normal,” she said. “Taking a field trip to Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital and getting to meet star patient Al was a wonderful day etched in my memory.”

Watson says that the Ashland region is fortunate to have ACTC and its faculty.

“I would encourage prospective students to consider ACTC for a tailored college experience that provides an excellent education while allowing one to tend to other life matters and knowing professors like Dr. Flath will advocate for you,” she said.