From May 14-19, faculty members and students from the University’s Physician Assistant (PA) program
attended the annual American Academy of PAs (AAPA) Conference in Las Vegas. As the world’s largest and only national conference for PAs, it provides attendees an opportunity to learn about some of the latest advancements and trends within the profession through lectures, seminars and poster presentations.
Rachel Ditoro, associate professor and director of Educational Competency and Strategic Innovation in the PA program, gave two presentations at the conference. The first was a case-based, interactive session called, “Select Women's Health Issues: Fifty and Forward,” where she reviewed symptoms associated with menopause, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence and osteoporosis, related to the dilation or restriction of blood vessels. She also presented an in-depth review of hormonal, non-hormonal and herbal medications used in the management of menopausal symptoms in her presentation, “Menopause - Turning Up the Heat on Management.”
Second year students, Richie Cardillo, Eric Dees, and Mark Ortiz represented the University in the annual AAPA National Medical Challenge Bowl. The competition brought representatives from 81 physician assistant programs together to test their knowledge on a variety of topics including physical diagnosis, microbiology, anatomy, OB/GYN, pulmonary, cardiology, primary care, emergency medicine and surgery. The Salus team finished in the top 36 scoring teams.
Members of the University's Student Academy of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (SAAAPA) took part in the group’s annual meeting where representatives discussed the needs and challenges that physician assistant students face while in their programs. This year, resolutions on topics such as mental health awareness, community outreach, and student engagement were discussed and passed. These resolutions aim to improve the quality of life and education for students and the public as well.
SAAAPA president Patrick McDevitt ’18 said the experience was invaluable to becoming a more experienced future practitioner.
“The conference was an exciting opportunity to network and explore the newest trends within the profession and healthcare at large,” he said.
In keeping with tradition, the Alumni Association officially announced its annual award at a special Salus alumni reception during the conference. This year’s recipient of the 2017 Physician Assistant Alumna of the Year
is Christine T. McAndrew, MMS ’09, PA-C. She will receive the award at a special ceremony at the University this fall.