Hello everyone! My name is Elizabeth Dingbaum ’20, and I am a grad student at Chapman University’s Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program. I was one of fifteen students selected to be a Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Future Educator Fellow for the 2019-2020 year. This fellowship is designed to help current PA students learn about PA education and address some of the challenges currently being faced. Furthermore, it prepares you to possibly be a professor one day!

As a part of this fellowship, I attended the PAEA National Conference for Educators in Washington D.C. in October! There were professors from across the country present at this conference and the only students present were part of this fellowship. I have a passion for education and I was excited to learn about advances in PA education and listen while faculty were discussing ways to keep students engaged.

Part of sustaining PA education is working on legislation to support PA students and PA programs throughout the country. During my experience, I had the opportunity to discuss legislation for PA education with the staff of Senators Kamala Harris and Diane Feinstein. The bills discussed strive to increase the availability of clinical rotation sites, increase loan limits to match other medical professions and increase diversity in the PA profession by providing more federally funded scholarships.

One take away for you all: Our professors work hard! They have to prepare material for lectures, try to come up with new ways for us to interact with material and help us gauge our learning by testing our knowledge. I also read a book called Make it Stick– and learned a lot about how to learn, and how to retain all of the information we try to cram into our brains. I highly recommend this read! Study smarter, not harder!

I would like to thank my advisor Professor Anne Walsh for encouraging me to apply to the fellowship, and I would also like to thank all of the Chapman PA faculty and staff for supporting me on this journey. I will attend PAEA again next Fall and present a final project then!

Thanks for reading!