Elon’s Physician Assistant Studies Program well represented at the 2019 National PAEA Forum

The forum took place Thursday, Oct. 10, through Saturday, Oct. 12, in Washington, D.C.

Faculty and staff in Elon’s Physician Assistant Studies Program recently participated in the National Physician Assistant Education Association Forum held Oct. 10-12 in Washington, D.C. Faculty and staff offered six podium presentations and one poster presentation during the meeting.

Assistant Professors Tracey Thurnes and Shaun Lynch collaborated on a podium and poster presentation surrounding the program’s case-based learning course, Advanced Clinical Reasoning. The interactive-focused discussion titled “Enhancing Student Learning and Strengthening Critical Thinking Through Technology” introduced ways to integrate technology in the classroom to strengthen critical thinking while engaging the learner. Their poster titled “PA Student Comfort Levels in Competency Acquisition” displayed that having a dedicated course for clinical reasoning, delivered through multimodal instruction grounded in active learning, improves PA students’ comfort level in competency acquisition for delivering evidence-based care.

Assistant Professors Tracey Thurnes and Shaun Lynch present their poster “PA Student Comfort Levels in Competency Acquisition.”

Lynch also presented a session titled “Let’s Get Digital: Making the Most of PAEA Learning” with four fellow PAEA Learning Champions on how to engage with PAEA’s Digital Learning Hub and professional learning communities.

Assistant Professor Cindy Bennett delivered a workshop titled “Illustrative Anatomy: Teaching Dynamic Anatomy Using Anatomical Body Painting and Ultrasound.” The session provided participants with engaged-learning techniques and guidelines to conduct an effective educational illustrative anatomy session at their own institution.

Bennett also co-presented with Nita Skillman, director of the client and standardized patient program, on how Elon’s program created an interactive, experiential curriculum on transgender patient care. The presentation was titled “It Takes a Village: Creating Cultural Competence in Transgender Health Care Curricula.”

Assistant Professor Cindy Bennett, at podium, leading an interactive workshop on teaching anatomy with anatomical body painting and ultrasound.

Bennett also had a research brief titled “Cultivating Empathy in the Anatomy Lab,” describing a qualitative data analysis by herself and an Elon student that found that when donor information is shared in the anatomy lab and the humanity of donors is highlighted, student anxiety decreases and student empathy and gratitude for the dissection experience increases over the duration of the course.

Associate Professor Antoinette Polito presented “Walking the Talk: Creating Space for Engaged LGBTQ+ Care.” The session focused on how to create an atmosphere of welcome and an environment of safety for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and/or queer patients.