Putting Learning into Practice – Natalie Houser

Name: Natalie C. Houser, DMSc, PA-C 

Title:  Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine (Clinician Educator)

Program: USC PA Program — California

Program URL: https://keck.usc.edu/physician-assistant-program/

What PAEA learning activity did you attend and when? New Faculty Jump Start Virtual Workshop (April 2022)

Would you recommend this learning activity to other members and, if so, why? I would most definitely recommend the New Faculty Jump Start to ALL members. Although I attended this workshop as a new faculty member and to help me with transitioning from the clinic to classroom, I found that the material covered in the workshop supported DEI and the universal design for learning — which are both not new, but new to being implemented into PA education. The material we covered was beneficial to both me and other colleagues who had been in PA education for longer than 8 months. 

What was your biggest takeaway/”aha” moment? I had a few “aha” moments each day of the workshop, but some that I still think about today are: discussing the importance of remediation and how retesting is not remediation, learning how to kindly say “no” to a team member when you are unable to help, discussing evaluation fatigue amongst students and how to time student evaluations, learning how to review the completed student evaluations with colleagues and how to look at other metrics to see how we are doing as professors (not just rely on student evaluations, but also preceptor feedback, PANCE pass rate, exam scores etc.), learning the importance of providing the student with options on how to study, and so much more! 

Tell us about what you have put into practice because of this learning activity.  After attending the new faculty jump start workshop, I worked with a colleague to improve our current remediation process in our Clinical Skills course. One of my workshop facilitators, Elizabeth Roessler, recommended we read Remediation of the Struggling Medical Learner by Jeannette Guerrasio. I not only read the book, but I reached out to the author, booked a meeting with her, and met with her and two of my colleagues. Dr. Guerrasio was extremely helpful, and we admired her willingness to help us improve our understanding of remediation and the process. 

I have shared with others how to kindly say “no” AND I am more aware of when it is ok to ask others for help. I have reached out to various people at the university to ensure that I have plenty of options and resources available for students. I have incorporated group work and discussion when teaching — active teaching instead of passive teaching. Finally, I have gained more mentors from my university and also from outside of my university. 

This article is part of the Putting Learning into Practice article series. We love to feature how our members are taking what they have learned through the professional development opportunities offered by PAEA and applying it to practice. Interested in being featured? Submit your Member Story on the PAEA website.