Webinar Explains “What Works” with EDI Efforts

A recent webinar on the topic, “Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion in PA Education: A Review of the Evidence for What Works,” presented several important findings.

  1. There is room for growth – A key finding from a quantitative study was that most racially and ethnically diverse graduates were clustered in just a few programs in most Census divisions.   
  2. Be intentional – In a qualitative study, the programs that successfully deployed diverse graduates into the workforce employed very intentional strategies. The same degree of diversity cannot be achieved by passive means. Programs achieving excellence in diversity are making deliberate efforts to make a difference. Imagine if all programs implemented similar practices! 
  3. Take action – The overarching themes from the qualitative arm of the study provided empirical evidence that can be utilized to increase the recruitment and retention of racially and ethnically diverse students. For example, develop a clear mission incorporating diversity and inclusion, set measurable goals aligning with your mission, and regularly engage in outreach efforts and PA pathway development.  

    The webinar is a recent example of PAEA’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). Over the past several years, more research has accumulated, demonstrating how crucial workforce diversity is for reducing health disparities and achieving optimal patient care. While efforts to increase diversity in the health care professions are well established, the need for more diversity is also glaring.

    The findings discussed in this webinar were presented by PAEA’s Research Mission Advancement Commission (RMAC), Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission (DIMAC), and Carolyn Bradley-Guidry, DrPH, MPAS, PA-C and her research team.

    Watch the Webinar

    We encourage you to watch the recorded webinar and view accompanying resources in the Digital Learning Hub.

    Webinar Based on Pioneering Research

    The webinar was based on research conducted through the PAEA-funded Faculty-Generated Research Grant which resulted in one of the first national PA studies to examine and determine individual program success in addressing EDI. In “What’s Working? A National Assessment of Best Practices in Diversifying the Physician Assistant Workforce,” Bradley-Guidry and her research team identified the top-performing PA programs that successfully deployed ethnically and racially diverse graduates into the workforce. A major strength in the study’s quantitative arm was the use of the Integrated Postsecondary Data System (IPEDS) database, which allowed the exploration of PA graduate diversity at the national level over a five-year period.

    Develop a Custom Plan to Address EDI in Your Program

    PAEA will host an in-person workshop in Washington, DC on April 26, which will help educators address EDI at their programs. “Unpacking the DEI Toolkit,” will look at the best ways to use the DEI Toolkit and develop a roadmap tailored to your program’s mission, vision, and values. More information on the program and registration can be found here.

    PAEA thanks Carolyn Bradley-Guidry and her research team, pictured below, for authoring this article.

    PAEA Research Team: Carolyn Bradley-Guidry; Nicole B. Burwell; Ramona Dorough; Vanessa S. Bester; Gerald Kayingo; Sumihiro (Sumi) Suzuki