Board of Directors

Why I Serve

By Dipu Patel, MPAS, PA-CSeptember 9, 2020

Board members Dipu Patel and Carl Garrubba engage in a spirited debate with fellow 2017 Leadership Summit participants. Photo: PAEA

Serving on the PAEA Board of Directors has been one of the highlights of my career.

As I reflect on the past four years of service as a director at large on the PAEA Board, I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to voice my ideas and help shape the PA education landscape. It has been extremely rewarding to have had a hand in molding PA education policy and impacting organizational change.

Seeing the profession from a 30,000-foot view and bringing the insights and knowledge I have gained back to our program has paid dividends for faculty and students alike. I have been able to cultivate relationships with thought leaders and future leaders. I have learned to balance fitting in and standing out when it comes to innovation and have deepened my knowledge of team dynamics and cultivating a culture of collaboration to improve outcomes.

The new members of the PAEA 2021 Board will need to be prepared to work on several issues of critical importance to the PA profession, including:

  • Reviewing the Accreditation Standards to improve how the Board and Association can support diversity and inclusion initiatives and build a pathway that will better represent our communities.
  • Learning from other industries — technology, manufacturing, hospitality, car racing, telecommunications — to inform our own policies and procedures.
  • Continuing to build an organization that can pivot with the changing times.

The events of 2020 thus far have shown us that PAEA stands ready to deploy our resources where they are needed. This could not have been accomplished without the Association’s commitment to research and advocacy, building relationships within the government, and planning, strategizing, and prioritizing our organizational mission and vision.

As you educate yourself about the candidates in preparation for the Board election in October, look for candidates whose passion drives them to do better, who look for opportunities to grow even when the road is steep, and who think big. Board members should be well-versed in or ready to learn about mentoring, business practices, the PA and higher education landscapes, finance, strategy, and governance.

Our profession, at its core, is about patient care and problem-solving. In a hospital or a board room, and whether the problem is a diagnosis or a systemic policy, Board members must be ready to serve.

My service on the Board has opened doors for further career growth beyond academia and medicine, but it has also humbled me to pay it forward. I encourage anyone and everyone to participate in service at any level of the organization and in whatever capacity they are able. Not only is it a rewarding experience, it also informs your own growth, values, and ethics. I have grown as both a leader and as an educator. In the ever-changing landscape of health care, and especially in these unprecedented times, we need strong leaders to pave the way.

Heal, educate, and learn with humor, humility, and humaneness.

Dipu Patel, MPAS, PA-C

Dipu is a director at large on the PAEA Board of Directors and director of clinical pathways at DaytoDay Health.