Physician Assistant graduates meet current Pioneers in Vegas

For five days, former and current Marietta College physician assistant students met in Las Vegas for the program’s annual alumni event.

Led by Clinical Coordinator Penny Rose, the trip served as a great opportunity for the College to communicate with graduates, all the while serving as a strong learning experience for the program’s current students.

This year’s event was planned in coordination with the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) annual “ImPAct” conference that provides attendees with important information, instruction, and Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit for present graduate PAs.

The seminar took place on May 30-June 4 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

According to Rose, the conference covered a wide range of medical topics that were presented through daily interactive case studies and hands-on workshops. These sessions allowed students to experience new techniques, advancements in medical technology and common hospital medicine cases. The AAPA also offered post-graduate round tables, lecture luncheons and a four-part series on medical Spanish.

In today’s competitive work climate, networking is very crucial for attaining that first job. Exhibits presented the opportunity to interact and meet with job recruiters from large medical centers, public health services, and even the military. This provides students with insight into not only the hiring process, but also job availability in specific interest areas and geographical locations.

Alumni interaction is important for several reasons and Rose is the first to admit how crucial these events are for current students.

“The alumni event is an excellent way to network between graduates and current students,” she said. “It provides them the opportunity to talk with other program graduates about jobs, advice, studying for national boards, and going through the certification process.”

This year was also a very special year for one Pioneer in particular. Elizabeth Ramsey ’11 was selected from students across the nation to serve as a representative of the Student American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAPA) in the House of Delegates. Only a small number of students are selected to hold this position and it comes with the responsibility of voting on policies for the AAPA.

The House of Delegates is made up of state representatives, specialty organizations, elected leaders of the AAPA, and the selected Physician Assistant students. Ramsey admits she was a bit surprised by the selection at first.

“Initially, I was overwhelmed with the news, but then settled in to realize it was an honor to represent Marietta College at the national level,” she said.

This year marked the fifth annual trip for the program and catered to more than 55 graduates and current students. Due to its success, Rose is already planning for next year’s event.

“We plan on continuing the alumni event in coordination with the AAPA meeting each and every year,” she said.