As a former infantryman of the Second Ranger Battalion, David Smith, PA-C is no stranger to emergency medicine and critical care. Over the course of his 10 year military career with deployments in both Iraq and Afghanistan, his interest in the medical field intensified while providing instruction to First Responders and training closely with a Physician Assistant (PA). “The suffering and trauma I witnessed while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan was quite extensive, as you can imagine; I learned a great deal about the PA’s role in emergency medicine and without delay established a goal to work towards,” said Mr. Smith.
After intense observation and countless hours of mentoring, his vision of becoming a Physician Assistant was cultivated. Upon returning to the states, he enrolled in the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s Physician Assistant Studies program, and received his master’s degree in 2011. Due to his passion for emergency medicine and student precepting roles at both the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs and Suburban Community Hospitals, Mr. Smith accepted the position of assistant professor at Salus University. “Teaching was something that I naturally enjoyed and took an interest in; having the opportunity to train my future colleagues is both an incredible responsibility and unbelievable honor,” he stated.
Considering the fact that he’s just a handful of years out of graduate school himself, Mr. Smith believes in the importance of establishing a close relationship and mutual understanding of expectations with each student. “My teaching style is unique - informal with a sense of humor, but with clear standards,” he mentioned. “I found that getting to know each student on a one-on-one level and making that initial connection is directly related to their academic success.”
According to David Smith, the military trained him to “meet the standard or objective, no matter how trivial or vast the feat.” This philosophy has since carried over to his teaching ideologies and techniques. In this case, providing quality clinical educational opportunities to Salus University students is his primary assignment.
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