As PA educators, we aren’t just teachers and clinicians—we’re also leaders. My first exposure to formal leadership training came through my volunteer service with PAEA. When I first started volunteering, I had to put aside the idea that I was “just a PA” or “just a teacher” and begin to see my role as a leader—an influencer—in medical education.
Leadership is about more than your title or position within an organization: It’s also about understanding what we can contribute to shape the health care landscape now and in the future.
To be a medical education influencer means finding opportunities to develop and apply self-knowledge. For me, those opportunities came through volunteering. The formal leadership training PAEA provides volunteers and board members can move us to develop and apply self-knowledge to expand our influence.
This targeted leadership training also encourages us to look beyond our current roles and start identifying the areas where we can lead in our communities. As PA educators, not only are we educating students to provide excellent care to their patients, but we are also taking on leadership roles within our programs and medical institutions, strengthening our communities through service work, and even taking part in government advocacy. Leadership training provides the necessary tools to increase our effectiveness in these varied roles, opening the door for more success and opportunity while tapping into our own innate leadership style.
The leadership experience I gained volunteering with PAEA taught me flexibility in my perspective to “zoom in” and “zoom out” on issues. I learned to see the forest and the trees, thinking beyond the immediate demands of my work to better connect with our professional community, my students, and our shared mission as PA educators.
If you’re interested in learning more about how you can serve as a representative and advocate for PA education on the national level, check PAEA’s numerous volunteer opportunities. Volunteering with PAEA is a great way to share your expertise and include your perspectives in shaping the PA education landscape.
The application deadline for select volunteer positions has been extended through November 1 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Check the PAEA volunteer webpage to learn more about positions still available and access the application.