Board Candidate

Gerald Kayingo, PhD, MMSc, PA-C

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Director at Large Platform Statement

I am writing to express my interest to serve on the PAEA Board. For the last five years, I have had the opportunity to serve my profession as a member of the JPAE editorial board, member of the AAPA commission on the health of the public and as a trustee for the Physician Assistant Foundation. I have had the opportunity to participate in high-level strategic decisions and to advise various boards of higher education, and health policy. Our profession is at a very exciting moment where creativity, innovation and transformation are highly needed. I am very interested in joining the PAEA board and be part of this innovation.

Currently, I am the PA Program Director at the University of California–Davis. Prior to my UC Davis appointment in 2014, I was a faculty member at the Yale School of Medicine Physician Associate Program and practiced at the Yale New Haven Hospital Primary Care Center in Connecticut. I am a clinician, educator, researcher, and author. I am a recent graduate of the Harvard Management Development program that has changed the way I look at organizational management and leadership.

I strongly believe that an effective board requires collaborative and visionary leaders, who are committed to the advancement of PA education. Our profession needs board members that will ignite leadership, innovation, scholarship, and bold advocacy. I strongly believe that cognitive diversity and inclusion must be core values for the PAEA board to succeed in its missions. I believe in PAEA values such as of collegiality, scholarship, excellence, diversity, and ethical behaviors. With the rapidly changing healthcare milieu, PAEA board members must work closely and strategically with other key stakeholders- AAPA, ARC-PA and NCCPA.

My experiences as a clinician, educator and leader have uniquely prepared me to serve the board. I will bring over twenty years of experience in collaborative leadership, community service, scholarship, education and clinical practice. I will bring my analytical skills, attention to detail and my passion for the PA profession.

In summary, my candidature is focused on collaboration, advancing PA education, promoting health care equity, and producing clinicians who can effectively lead, disrupt and serve societal needs. I am aware of the critical importance of being a board member, and I am prepared to serve and give the board the attention it deserves.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the PAEA Board.


What attributes characterize a high-performing Board member and which of these attributes do you possess?

Board members play a very important role in implementing policies and running the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). The board is the custodian of the association's resources and its members should have extensive fiduciary experience, strong leadership qualities, and the agility to respond to the rapidly changing marketplace. If elected to the board, I will bring three important characteristics for a high-performing board member. These are commitment, collaboration, and chemistry. I strongly believe that a high performing board requires collaborative and visionary leaders who are committed to the mission and vision of the organization. Our profession needs committed board members that will ignite leadership, innovation, scholarship, and bold advocacy. In the past ten years, I have been very fortunate to be mentored by highly innovative people. I have managed grants and budgets worth millions of dollars.

I have collaborated with researchers over five continents. I have served on several commissions, boards and task forces. I am familiar with the different stakeholders of the PA profession. I have experience as a clinician, educator, researcher and writer. I am used to working with diverse teams and I value professional peers who respect and work well with each other. I have been educated in four countries. I am committed to PA education and I am looking forward to serving the PAEA board. If elected, my priorities will be on redesigning PA education to promote optimal team practice, cognitive diversity, research and leadership on a global scale. Please give me your vote.


The AAPA House of Delegates recently passed a resolution titled Optimal Team Practice that calls for the elimination of state laws and regulations that require a PA to have and/or report a supervisory, collaborating, or other specific relationship with a physician in order to practice. What changes, if any, do you think will need to occur in PA education to prepare new graduates to practice in an OTP environment?

Educational changes will need to occur in order to prepare new graduates to practice effectively and safely in an OTP environment. For the last 50 years, PA practice has been based on a stem-cell model where unspecialized PA graduates are mentored by supervising clinicians and are able to change fields without going back to PA schools. Changes in this collaborating relationship without corresponding changes in PA education may do more harm than good.

For OTP to be successful, the following changes in PA education need to occur.

  1. Early longitudinal clinical experiences. Expose students to patient care, health care organizations, and team dynamics early in their career as opposed to the traditional model of one year didactic followed by one year of rotations. Longitudinal clinical experiences should allow PA students to develop a long-term relationship with preceptors that could mimic the type of mentoring new graduates get when they are employed in their first job.
  2. Early interprofessional training in clinical settings. By learning together, with, and from one another, healthcare students appreciate what each profession brings to the team. This is critical for the success of OTP.
  3. Apply technology for hybrid and distance education where PA students spend less time in traditional classrooms but more time with patients.
  4. Admit applicants who already have a strong background in biomedical sciences and those with strong clinical experiences. Create more opportunities for postgraduate fellowships.
  5. Revisit PA competencies, milestones and entrustable professional activities appropriate for the OTP era.


Describe a significant challenge you have faced as a leader and the strategies you used to respond effectively.

Adapting to American culture has been a transformational journey in my leadership pursuits. I was born in a foreign country where values, norms and customs are in many aspects different from those in the U.S, a country that I now call home. Even simple things such as a smile, dress code, body language or a hug can be perceived differently between the two cultures. I have had to modify most of the leadership traits that I developed as young man and cultivate new habits that are compatible with the western culture. My first strategy was to identify my limitations and embrace the difference. Over time, I have become strong in team building, communication as well as managing up and down.

For example, I was appointed as a PA program director in a Nursing School when we had about six months left to submit a self-study report for accreditation. This challenge required effective and strategic leadership. I articulated the challenge to my bosses, assembled a team and got the job done on time. I was fortunate to have mentors who helped me navigate the accreditation process. I choose mentors from various backgrounds and I take their feedback very seriously.

In addition to mentoring, I have worked with leadership coaches, attended seminars and I use a variety of leadership books. When dealing with challenges, I try to communicate effectively, embrace cognitive diversity and data driven decision making processes. I am detail oriented, and I approach challenges with transparency, honesty and integrity.


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