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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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…

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Corinne Feldman

USC: Rethinking Health Disparities

“If you want to change how medicine is provided, you have to change how it’s taught.” Corinne Feldman, MMS, PA-C, University of Southern California Primary Care PA program director of didactic education The University of Southern California Primary Care PA program is transforming health equity training. In this video, Corinne Feldman shares two unique programs designed to teach students how social determinants can shape our health and how to better understand health disparities…

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Gannon University: Reimagining the Clinical Year During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has profoundly impacted PA education, particularly clinical education. Kim Cavanagh, DHSc, PA-C, associate professor and chair of the Physician Assistant Department at Gannon University, shares how her program developed individualized student clinical experience plans to ensure each student met their required outcomes. Despite the pause in their clinical education, students’ ongoing desire and additional commitment to offering exceptional patient care became more apparent than ever. From virtual case resources to simulated patient experiences,…

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image of a super proctor water bottle during a remote class.

Fostering Wellness

For the past year, PA programs and their faculty have been operating at surge capacity. Throughout the pandemic, many of us have sacrificed our own well-being. Working from home – in many respects – has become living at work. Which is why it is important to intentionally disconnect from our work and computers. Self-care is critical, not just to preserve our own mental, emotional, and physical well-being, but to also allow us to support our students…

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Skylar Stewart-Clark

The COVID-19 pandemic forced programs to quickly shift the structure of their courses from in-person to remote instruction. Rapidly changing circumstances made it difficult to know whether students would attend classes in person or remotely, or transition part way through a semester. Skylar Stewart-Clark, PhD, PA-C, assistant professor at the Charleston Southern University Physician Assistant Program, was prepared. Stewart-Clark created “procedures kits” to help students in her Patient Assessment and Diagnostic Methods…

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Students at Baylor College of Medicine using the online radiology curriculum

Baylor and CSUMB: Radiology Made Easy

Wondering how to teach students to navigate the mysterious and complex world of diagnostic imaging in a way that is easy to comprehend and engaging? An online simulation education program offered by the American College of Radiology—free of charge—could be just what you’ve been looking for. This innovation was the idea of Stanford professor, Marc Willis, DO, MMM, after he noticed significant gaps in medical education curricula regarding…

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