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.  

Want to Share Your Story and Be Featured Here?

Submit Your Story

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.

Stories Filter

Stories Feed

M. Tosi Gilford, MD, PA-C

University of Alabama: Increasing Underrepresented Minorities

The University of Alabama at Birmingham Physician Assistant Studies program has been awarded a grant of $1,492,465 from HRSA to expand mental health training for their students, increase the number of underrepresented in medicine, and extend clinical care to more underserved patient populations.  In Alabama, 62 of the 67 counties fall under the federal definition of Health Professional Shortage Areas. More than one-third of recent UAB PA graduates serve in…

Read More▶︎
Gerald Kayingo

PALLA: Programmatic Evaluation for the 21st Century

Best Practices and Transformative Insights By: PALLA – PA Leadership and Learning Academy of Maryland PA educators share a common mission with our health professions colleagues — to launch the next generation of competent and compassionate health care providers. Like all explorers, we’re constantly checking our course and adjusting our path to ensure success. But how do we know which adjustments to make? How do we know when we’ve reached our destination?  The process of programmatic evaluation and ongoing self-assessment is a continuous cycle of asking relevant questions, uncovering the right data, and using that…

Read More▶︎

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

Hofstra University: Students Use Creativity to Educate on Equitable Health for All

During National Public Health Week in April 2021, Hofstra University’s Class of 2022 PA students participated in the 7th Annual Hofstra National Public Health Week Film Competition, which focused on implicit bias and health equality. The students, mentored by Hofstra PA faculty, created videos addressing a range of public health issues such as Black maternal health disparities, the impact of COVID-19 on children living with developmental disabilities, cardiovascular interventions, and more. Two Hofstra PA student teams even took home first and second prize out of 15 competing submissions.  Creative storytelling…

Read More▶︎
A Creighton University PA student administers the COVID-19 vaccine to a patient.

Creighton University: Students Give Back to Change the Course of the Pandemic

As nation-wide COVID-19 vaccination efforts have continued gaining speed, many local rollout plans have relied on PA students to play an integral role in vaccinating our communities – ultimately bringing families, neighbors, and friends safely together again.   Creighton University has partnered with the Douglas County (NE) Health Department in Omaha, Nebraska, to provide a weekly COVID vaccination clinic for the community, staffed entirely by Creighton faculty, staff, and students. Each Saturday, the clinic administers an impressive 5,000 vaccinations to members of the public in…

Read More▶︎

East Carolina University: Expecting the Unexpected in PA Education

“If I was giving advice to someone new to clinical education, I would say the more organized you can possibly be, the better – and to be prepared literally for anything to happen next. When you have a plan A, also have a plan B, and consider a plan C so that you’re always prepared.” Kim Stokes, program director and chair at Elon University School of Health Sciences*   In 2020, PA students across the country were abruptly displaced from clinical sites due to…

Read More▶︎
Corinne Feldman

USC: Narrowing the Digital Divide

While California’s Safer at Home order was effective at curbing the spread of Covid-19, it exposed the breadth and depth of the digital divide between those who have access to reliable internet and feel comfortable engaging with technology, and those who do not. This issue especially impacted older adults, many of whom were isolated from their loved ones and the activities that enriched their lives on a daily basis.   The University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine acted quickly to combat the negative health…

Read More▶︎