Student Presentations

Student Presentations

Saturday, May 18 - Monday, May 20

Grab a classmate and attend our valuable Student Presentations! These sessions are created just for PA students like you, and will cover areas like success in PA school, clinical topics, first job preparation, and developing your professional skills. Networking Sessions will feature brief presentations, Q&As, and opportunities to network with practicing PAs.

Saturday, May 18

Charting Your Course: A Guide to Getting a Doctoral Degree for PA Students

Doctoral panel, moderated by AAPA President-elect Jason Privelige, MBA, PA-C, DFAAPA. Panelists Don Diemer, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA; Jenna Rolfs, DMSc, PA-C; and Cody Sasek, PhD, PA-C

11 – 11:50 a.m.

Whether you’re considering education beyond your PA degree or simply want to understand the landscape of doctoral education for the PA profession, this panel discussion will provide invaluable insights. Join us to gain clarity on whether, and when, pursuing a doctoral degree program is right for you. The session will include opportunities for audience questions and networking with faculty from postgraduate doctorate programs. Don’t miss this chance to explore your options and make informed decisions about your future career path.

Networking Session: Emergency Medicine: A Guide for Students

Presented by Fred Wu, MHS, PA-C

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Emergency medicine is the third most popular specialty for PAs. Many PAs love the adrenaline rush, fear of the unknown, and the heavy emphasis on procedures. However, many emergency departments will not hire new graduates. What’s the best way for a student to enter and become successful in emergency medicine? Where should you look for a job? Should you enroll in an emergency medicine postgraduate training program? How can you survive your emergency medicine rotation in PA school? Join this speaker, a national leader in emergency medicine, to discuss these questions and more so you can have a successful career in emergency medicine.

Unlocking Change: Mastering Motivational Interviewing

Presented by Mercedes Barrutia Dodge, MPAS, PA-C, CAQ-Psych; Kataraina Astrup, MSPAS, PA-C; Angela McGee, MSPAS, PA-C; Lana Monashkin, PA-C; and Jessica Sprissinger, LCSW, PA-C, CAQ-Psychiatry

2 – 3:15 p.m.

This transformative hands-on learning experience is designed for students to elevate their Motivational Interviewing (MI) skills. As the cornerstone of effective patient engagement, MI empowers healthcare professionals to meet clients where they are, cultivate a therapeutic alliance, and facilitate behavioral changes that profoundly impact mental and physical health.

This interactive workshop offers a unique platform for participants to refine their MI techniques, exchange insights, and elevate their proficiency in handling diverse and challenging medical scenarios. Through practical guidance and “real play” demonstrations, participants will gain a profound understanding of MI’s person-centered approach, a globally recognized method in various helping professions. In addition to a person-centered approach, the basic communication style in MI is explored through OARS: Open-ended questions, Affirmations (fostering positive feelings), Reflections, and Summaries. The workshop delves into key processes and techniques integral to the flow of MI, including engagement, focusing, evoking, and planning. Attendees will gain practical tools and insights to implement MI effectively, guided by principles, communication styles, and key processes that enhance the transformative potential of healthcare interactions.

Add this session when you register, or if you’re already registered, log back into your registration and housing dashboard to add this session to your registration.

Sunday, May 19

Think Like a Clinician: Leveraging Tools to Simplify Clinical Decision Making on Clinical Rotations

Presented by Cody Sasek, PhD, PA-C

9 – 9:50 a.m.

This presentation will provide an exploration and application of high-utility clinical decision-making tools. As students of all levels can struggle in clinical decision-making abilities, this session will help give students a framework to guide their decision-making, utilizing validated, often-used instruments. This includes tools used in both primary care and emergency medicine settings to assess risk and guide the evaluation and management of problems such as heart disease, head trauma, acute chest pain, pulmonary embolism, alcohol use disorder, stroke, and orthopedic trauma, to name a few. This session will include introduction to the indications and use of these tools, as well as case presentations to allow students to practice using these tools.

Networking Session: PAs in Orthopaedics

Presented by Timothy Vance, PA-C; and Margaret Sims, PA-C

10 – 10:50 a.m.

Presenters Tim Vance and Margaret Sims will introduce the field of orthopaedics, with a focus on PAs’ integral role in patient care and the success of orthopaedic practice. Presenters will also introduce the best-in-class resources and educational materials students should utilize while on an orthopaedic rotation.

Money Management for New PAs

Presented by Virginia Morgan, MBA, PA-C

11 – 11:50 a.m.

This comprehensive and interactive talk will cover the basics of new graduate financial skills such as student loan repayment strategies, budgeting, investing, and retirement planning. Our goal is for PA students and new graduates to have a standardized approach to tackling six-figure debt with a new six-figure salary, all while maintaining work-life balance and a fulfilling career.

Networking Session: Introduction to the Art of Aesthetic Medicine

Presented by Mary Ruggeri, Med, MMSc; PA-C, Sally Santos, MPAS, PA-C

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Aesthetic medicine has witnessed exponential growth in modern healthcare. In addition to dermatology and plastic surgery fields, some primary care practices choose to incorporate aesthetic medicine. While aesthetic medicine is not an essential area covered in PA program curriculums, it is an area of interest for many PA students. This session will emphasize the importance of training to ensure competence and patient safety and explore the various entry points and training options, guiding PA students on how to enter into successful practice in aesthetic medicine.

How to Find the Job of Your Dreams (Even If You Don’t Know What That Is Yet!)

Presented by Michele Cambron, PA-C

2 – 2:50 p.m.

This workshop will help students approach the job-hunting process with the right mindset, help them determine what is most important to them in a job, teach them where to find the best open positions, and how to vet potential jobs. There will be two different activities that the students will actively participate in that will produce useful tools they can use on their job search.

PANCE at a Glance from NCCPA

Presented by Jeff Boswell, DES, Student Outreach Ambassador, NCCPA; and Alicia Quella, PhD, PA-C, Director of Communications & PA Relations, NCCPA

3 – 3:50 p.m.

“PANCE at a Glance” focuses on helping students prepare for the PANCE by demystifying aspects of the exam and the exam day experience. Students will go through an engaging and informative overview of exam content and preparation tips along with everything students want to know about how to navigate their testing day at a PearsonVUE testing center. Students should come away with a strong foundation to build their plan for success heading into the PANCE. The NCCPA, as the organization responsible for developing and administering the PANCE, is proud to provide this informational session for all students entering the PA profession.

Monday, May 20

Networking Session: Cardiothoracic Surgery – Don’t Miss a Beat!

Presented by Kaci Hardsock, MS, MSPA, PA-C

11 – 11:50 a.m.

Join AAPA Graduate Advisor Kaci Hardsock, MS, PA-C, for a brief presentation on the critical role cardiothoracic surgery PAs play both in and out of the operating room. During this session, the speaker will discuss the types of patients treated, the surgeries performed, and the variety of settings one can work. Disclaimer: You do not have to like the operating room to work in this specialty! The presentation and Q&A will be followed by facilitated networking with PA Hardsock and PAs practicing in cardio specialties.

So Now You’re a PA: Navigating New Grad Life

Presented by Mariah Leroux, PA-C; Kierra Gipson, PA-C; and Natalie Crump, PA-C

1 – 1:50 p.m.

Join current Student Academy President Kierra Gipson, PA-C, and past Student Academy Presidents Natalie Crump, PA-C and Mariah Leroux, PA-C to discuss challenges, pitfalls, and opportunities for success as a new graduate. These leaders will share guidance on choosing a practice setting and specialty, tips for job hunting and the credentialing process, navigating post-grad finances, and finding a mentor. PA students, pre-PAs, and new grads are welcome to attend this session!

Networking Session: The Opioid & Xylazine Epidemic: A Day in the Life of an Addiction Medicine PA

Presented by Stephanie Pillai, MPAS, PA-C

2 – 2:50 p.m.

This presentation will introduce students to “a day in the life of” an addiction medicine PA. Presenter Stephanie Pillai will provide an overview of the opioid and Xylazine epidemic, with a focus on the clinical manifestations and complications of use. It will also introduce students to medication-assisted treatment (MAT) for substance-use disorder and guidelines for treatment.

A New Grad Perspective: PA Practice in Germany

Presented by Brooke Thornton, PA-C

3 – 3:50 p.m.

Join vascular surgery PA Brooke Thornton, PA-C, who currently works as a PA in Germany. She trained and worked in the U.S. for three years and also completed a clinical rotation in Scotland. Brooke will share her experience working internationally and help with inquiries from PA students interested in working abroad.


Add these presentations to your schedule on the sessions page!