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NP & PA Student Blog

IMPACT 2013

Published June 10, 2013 4:31 PM by Caroline Pilgrim

In lieu of my comments about conferences, I thought I could encourage any of you PA student or future PA student readers to make a concerted effort during your student years to make it to the AAPA's IMPACT annual conference because it's stellar.

The hashtag of this year's conference was #PAsTakeDC and was held at one of Washington's biggest conference venues which resulted in aerobic exercise traversing from one lecture to another. 

This was my second AAPA conference, so going in I knew what I wanted to get out of it: networking, competing in the Challenge Bowl, and a few CME lectures on topics I was interested in. I did accomplish my objectives and made a local PA friend in the process who is one of the proud and few who works in the NICU (the NICU is dominated by DNPs).

The highlight for me was the networking I made with some members of Physician Assistants for Global Health (http://www.pasforglobalhealth.com/) which featured a PA student's report from her trip to Thailand and a career PAs medical mission work in South Sudan.

There's a false, on-the-street stigma cautioning prospective global health workers that PAs are not recognized internationally and to purse a DNP or an MD. It's completely not true in areas around the globe where medical care is lacking! The world needs PAs and I was reminded of my own desire to serve overseas.

It made me thrilled for my global health rotation in Uganda this September and I was encouraged to be an advocate for PA programs to offer a global health rotation. 25% of medical students have overseas experience and we as PAs fall behind. We've got to see the rest of the world to appreciate the cultures we'll interact with during our careers stateside. 

I was reminded that CME is important for staying sharp in clinical practice. I have used some of my tropical medicine knowledge from a session this week in my primary care clinical. It's so great to learn practical, applicable things in a non-testing environment. 

My school's Challenge Bowl Team rocked! The Challenge Bowl is best described as PA student Jeopardy with Alex Trebek substituted for the president of the AAPA. This year our three-man teams were herded into a giant auditorium and were given a 50-question pop quiz with clickers. 

The best scores went up to stage to compete against three other teams. In short, our team, Jefferson College of Health Sciences, made it to the semi-finals and lost the wild card. And yes, I did answer one question correctly after two teams had missed; the answer was "recall bias" which I hope isn't plaguing this post because I really did enjoy the conference.

And, I got to see the ADVANCE for NPs &PAs team at their booth and thank them for letting me share my thoughts on this blog.

Any other readers attend the AAPA conference?  I'd love to hear your insights.

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