Member Stories

Meet our members – the incredible educators training the next generation of talented, innovative, compassionate healthcare providers. Learn how PA educators across the country are working to overcome significant challenges, create more diverse and inclusive communities, and strengthen their programs for the future.  

Putting Learning Into Practice

In this new article series, we are featuring how our members are taking what they have learned through the professional development opportunities offered by PAEA and applying it to practice.

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The PAEA Vignette Project

Sharing your stories to explore the experiences of underrepresented in medicine faculty and their allies.

This project will collect, review, and organize a collective of vignettes from underrepresented in medicine faculty (URiM) and their bold allies. From your shared stories, we will be able to provide a useful resource aimed at understanding the experiences of URiM faculty and facilitate critical conversations to transform higher graduate medical education environments. Vignettes are short, descriptive stories of an incident that occurred within a PA program that provides leadership and faculty of examples that URiM faculty struggle with (i.e, microaggressions, lower student evaluations, just to name a few).  For URiM faculty, these are typically the stories we tell when we are in community to seek affirmation and support. This project comes in the heals of the powerful DEI webinar series facilitated by the DIMAC, where they used a skit to convey everyday challenges when advancing equity conversations within the admissions process. Additionally, Shani Fleming, MSHS, MPH, PA-C, associate professor and chief equity, diversity, and inclusion officer at the University of Maryland Baltimore PA program, has developed a group called Melanin Magic where faculty of color meet informally to support and listen to each other. URiM faculty find this space affirming and provides support when they are the only person of color in their programs.

We want to create a safe space for members to submit their stories. If you share your contact information, it would be to keep you in the loop of the development of the project and assist the team to learn how you would like to participate. We will NOT publish these stories publicly with identifiable information. We will de-identify your story if we find them to have a connection to you.

  • It is a story. Be creative. It is a narrative but not a dialogue, case study, or scenario.
  • It is short. 50-200 words.
  • It is relevant. It simplifies a real-life situation that is relevant to issues related to URiM faculty in PA programs.
  • It allows for multiple solutions or responses. It is intended to encourage independent thinking and unique responses. It includes a prompt with instructions and a set of tasks, i.e., specific issues to be addressed by the program to benefit URiM faculty.

Some potential vignette topics you can provide insight on are:

  • Discrimination based on your national origin, race, color, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, and familial status.
  • Workload equity
  • Student evaluations
  • Peer Interactions
  • Isolation
  • Overt/Covert Racism
  • Microaggressions
  • White Fragility
  • Lack of mentorship
  • Promotion/Tenure
  • White Centric Culture
  • “Lip service” (disconnect between statements of support versus action)
  • “Pushback” (resistance about race being a barrier)
  • Issues incorporating JEDI curriculum
  • When your colleagues skirt around topics of race, racism, etc.
  • Challenges with white students when you are URiM
  • The personal connection to topics of health disparities
  • Being the voice for everyone in your demographic group
  • Hostile work environments
  • Tokenism in the workplace
  • Experiences of being an ally when URiM are not present
  • Experiences of being an ally to challenge the status quo
  • Barriers to retention
  • Barriers to recruitment

Submit your story here.

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Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Celebrates Completion of PA Program Expansion

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) celebrated the completion of the School of Health Professions Physician Assistant Program expansion today (May 16) with a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The $30 million expansion will provide state-of-the-art training facilities that will enhance health care services and train future providers in the Permian Basin.  “We are grateful for the generosity of our community partners and the state legislature whose support made this expansion possible,” TTUHSC President Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D.,…

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University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies: Celebration of Diversity Week

The University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies (UF SPAS) values diversity and inclusion at the heart of its mission in the education of students. The recent annual Celebration of Diversity Week in partnership with the UF College of Medicine was an opportunity to honor these values and provide opportunities for students and faculty to engage with the vibrant community of Gainesville, FL.  While a multitude of events and interactive activities take place during Celebration…

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I’ve never seen as much unity in PA education as I’ve seen during the pandemic. We were able to really help each other in ways we had never done before.

Kim Stokes, DMSc, PA-C , Program Director, Elon University

Bridging the Gap in Telehealth Education and Practice: PA Educators Leading the Movement

By: PALLA – PA Leadership and Learning Academy of Maryland  The American Healthcare System is poised to turn Telehealth and telemedicine into a permanent part of the healthcare delivery services. This revolution is driven largely by the convenience and satisfaction associated with Tele-enabled care and the potential that Telehealth offers in increasing access to care, improving communication and management of various disease conditions. Telehealth has the potential of enhancing quality and equity across the continuum of…

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Shenandoah University PA Students Serve the Community on MLK Day

In honor of Martin Luther King, Shenandoah University PA students donated and packed over 140 kits for distribution to people without housting with the northern Virginia and Shenandoah Valley regions. The kits include personal hygiene items (soap and shampoo), toothbrushes and toothpaste, snack and protein bars, hand warmers, and socks. The Shenandoah PA Program received a grant of over 1000 socks from the Bombas company to help with this project.

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Shenandoah University Prepares Winter Weather List for Students on Clinical Rotations

By: Anthony A. Miller, M.Ed., PA-C (Emeritus)Distinguished ProfessorDivision of Physician Assistant StudiesShenandoah University As Shenandoah University students prepared to embark on clinical rotations this winter, their vigilant professors Tony Miller and & Jennifer Miller shared the following message and list to help them prepare: As you embark on your clinical rotations, you successfully completed the didactic curriculum that prepared you for the clinical experiences you will encounter. However, you may have not been prepped for…

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Yale PA Online Program Welcomes Fifth Class of Students

Yale School of Medicine PA Online Program Class of 2023 White Coat Ceremony Watch Now ▶︎ Yale School of Medicine’s Physician Assistant Online (PA Online) Program welcomed its fifth class of students in January 2022. The 80-member cohort is almost double the number of students in the inaugural class, which started in January 2018. The PA Online Program blends online classes and coursework with in-person clinical rotations and three immersions on the Yale campus.

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