In Memoriam: Rex L. Hobbs

Longtime PA educator and PAEA stalwart Rex L. Hobbs, DMS, MPAS, PA-C, passed away on November 3, after a battle with cancer, at the age of 49. Hobbs was an active member of PAEA’s assessment community and served on several Association committees, including as a member of the PAEA Assessment Institute and as chair of the Emergency Medicine/Surgery Exam Development Board.

Hobbs graduated from the University of Texas Medical Branch-Galveston PA program in 1994 and spent the next several years in acute and chronic care practice in rural Texas and in Fort Worth. In 2003 he joined the faculty of the UT Southwestern PA program in Dallas and spent five years there as a clinical coordinator and an instructor in evidence-based medicine, among other topics. In 2008 he moved to Tennessee to join the faculty of Lincoln Memorial University/Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, where he spent many years as director of didactic education and more recently as program director and associate dean. He was active at the state level, serving on the boards of both the Texas Academy and the Tennessee Academy of PAs, which named him their PA of the Year in 2017. He earned his Doctor of Medical Science degree from Lincoln Memorial in 2019.

PAEA’s Assessment Editor in Chief Kim Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C, remembers Dr. Hobbs as a key member of the PA education assessment community during an important period of its evolution in the early 2010s, when the PAEA exam suite was expanding from PACKRAT to a broader scope and to a new level of quality and rigor. “Rex brought tremendous knowledge, leadership, energy, and a truly thoughtful perspective to our work,” she said. “His dedication and contributions were critical to the development of the End of Rotation exams.”

PAEA President Elect Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C, remembers serving on a test item-writing committee with Hobbs and recalls his quick wit and sense of humor, as well as his advice for managing a crisis. “Whenever the crisis du jour would come up at his program, he would delegate different assignments to his faculty and staff, each designed to learn more about the problem,” said Statler. “As they gathered more data, the emotion of the moment would dissipate, and he would get all of the information he needed to make the best decisions. This advice stuck with me as a new program director.”

Hobbs is survived by his wife, Michelle, a son, Lochlyn, and a daughter, Laurel. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Servolution Health Services. Donations may also be made to the PA Scholarship Fund in Dr. Hobbs’ honor.

Read the obituary from Lincoln Memorial University here.