I am honored to be a candidate for the PAEA Board of Directors. I have a unique set of experiences and skills that I believe is ideal for this position. I am an experienced PA Program director (both continuing and provisional pathways). I currently serve on committees with PAEA, NCCPA and my State organization. I have military leadership experience and am a veteran with two combat tours. The unique mixture of academic, professional and military leadership has taught me the value of building and working in teams and that an invested whole will always be greater than individual parts.
I believe in collaboration. PA Programs must work together if we are all going to be successful. I recognize the concerns of program growth and competition, but we all strive toward making great providers and helping our communities. Together we can make lasting effective changes.
I believe that clinical rotations are a major issue for PA Programs. This includes (but not limited to) numbers, availability, accreditation requirements request for payment, and desired outcomes. PAEA is in a position to help address many of these issues, and must keep this domain as a priority for its member organizations.
I believe that the PA Profession continues to mature and is evolving at a rate that is challenging to PA education. This is evident in discussions on items such as OTP, terminal degrees, and even profession name changes. PAEA must continue to be present in these discussions and provide input about the long-term effects that these type of decisions will have on PA education.
I believe that all PA educators are leaders. We must continue to invest in both faculty development activities, but also in developing leaders. PAEA must continue in offering professional development opportunities, and grow its leadership training opportunities. I believe that it is critical to train the next cohort of leaders.
I believe that diversity (of all types) is essential to help students understand the “bigger” world. Diversity helps reframe thinking and allows for true intellectual and empathetic growth. It must become part of the “DNA” not just “a program”; thus, it must be purposeful.
The opportunity to serve on your PAEA Board of Directors is an honor and if elected, I will work hard to support the interest of all PA programs.
Thank you for your support.
1. What attributes characterize a high-performing Board member and which of these attributes do you possess?
There are many opinions and even a library of books that claim to have the answers for what attributes lead to high-performance within organizations. I have been a student of this question for years and have had the opportunity to work with many high-performing leaders through my time in PA education and the military. I have received formal training on leadership through the military (the Army defines attributes through its seven Army Values as the qualities required for success). I have worked with the Leadership Mission Advancement Commission (LMAC) and have served on numerous other committees all while reflecting on this very question.
While I certainly believe in traits such as hard work, loyalty, integrity, honor, duty…I believe that THE greatest attribute for success is altruism. This idea of being “bigger than yourself “and servant leadership sets my parameters for all my other attributes. I deeply believe in a team approach and that the sum of its parts are always greater than the individual. For this to occur there must be transparency and equality. These all lead to my final characteristic that I want to discuss here. This is courage. The ability to make a decision! The lack of a decision is more dangerous than a wrong decision. When there is a team that has a transparent selfless approach, then we can effect positive changes within an organization.
2. How do you think the competency-based medical education movement will affect PA education in the next 5-10 years and what should PAEA do to help programs incorporate CBME?
The first step is understanding what this actually means. An outcome is a very specific statement that describes exactly what a student will be able to do in some measurable way, whereas, a competency is a general statement that describes the desired knowledge, skills, and behaviors of a student graduating from a program. We are in the middle of an incredible transformation in not just PA education, but higher education as a whole. Technology, economics, politics and other variables are changing the landscape faster than most of us can even begin to adjust. I believe it is a problem that higher education continues to define what makes a student “successful” through the measure of only terminal post hoc measurements (outcomes), while the world and our stakeholders are calling for a measure within a process that defines a set of long-standing skills and behaviors. I believe that all PA Programs want to define student (and program) success as their students possessing a set of behaviors and skills that last throughout a career rather than simply within assessments based at end of a course or program. I believe it is inevitable that change is coming in how we measure our (student and program) success. This will be hard on programs as it is a new paradigm. PAEA must be a voice to the ARC-PA on this domain, and they must help its programs adapt to the new future. Otherwise, we are all chasing Don Quixote’s windmills!
3. "If you have seen one program, you have seen one program," is a phrase often heard in PA education circles. Will this emphasis on program uniqueness continue to serve the profession moving forward? Why or why not?
The problem with this question is that it assumes that programs cannot be unique if given too much direction (too prescriptive). For several years, I have served on the Program Directors 101 workshop; additionally, I have been a PD for a continuing program and have developed a new program. What I have experienced and heard from numerous other PDs is the stress of interpreting “what the standards mean”, and “what do I have to do per ARC-PA”. I believe that this fear (real or not) limits programs from trying to be unique. PA programs, like our students, focus only on the outcomes (what is on the test), rather than a holistic approach that includes formative and summative measurement.
I believe that if we can create areas of agreement (including competencies), then programs will actually be able to be more creative in their cultures, while maintain high academic and professional standards. Thus, I support the idea of common accepted (and defined) items for PA programs. This can include items such as prerequisite requirements, a common core of courses, entry exams, competencies, etc. I believe that this standardization will actually lessen the stress for programs and allow them to spend more time thinking forward toward what makes them unique and exploring their individual program cultures which will benefit the entire profession. In summary, I believe that there should be more standardization for PA programs, not to limit the “uniqueness”, but to actually allow programs to better express their true identity.