International Women Share Perspectives on Representation in the PA Field

Five PA Students Speak on the Importance of Inclusion and Diversity in the Profession

August 7, 2022

By Azsaunna Bryant, PA-S

Azsaunna Bryant is an advocate for the African American community, underserved communities, and minorities across the U.S. Bryant recently interviewed a diverse group of PA students to gain insight into how the PA field can be further diversified. Bryant aims to show how diversity can help innovate, equalize, and inspire a new way of healthcare in the PA field.

Professional headshot of a young African American womanWhat Representation Means to Azsaunna Bryant
“Empowerment, innovation, inspiration, and transformation are attained through accurate representation. Representation in the PA field means a voice for marginalized and underrepresented communities. I am proud to represent African Americans in the PA field and to advocate for my community and for others whose voices are normally ignored. In the future, I hope to develop policies that guarantee higher percentages of minorities in PA programs to increase representation and cultural competency. Subsequently, this will allow for more diverse PAs to bridge the gap in communities.”


What Representation Means to Diala Manfoukh, PA-SProfessional headshot of a young woman in a hijab
“My representation as a hijab-wearing Muslim woman in the PA field means that I can counter negative stereotypes and create a positive narrative of Muslims in America. I plan on advocating for inclusiveness and diversity in my PA program and future workforce by inspiring policies that cultivate respect and accommodation for the religious identity of healthcare professionals of minority religions. One way of accomplishing this goal is to educate my peers to help them become more culturally competent when caring for Muslim patients and their families.”

[Stay connected to your PA community – join or renew your membership today]


Professional headshot of a young womanRajkamal Gill, PA-S, Reflects on How Diversity and Inclusion Shape Healthcare
“Diversity and inclusion in the PA field allows for the consolidation of ideas, knowledge, and skills to help achieve safe, accessible, and equitable healthcare. Providers’ diverse backgrounds can highlight the healthcare disparities and barriers that exist amongst certain communities, allowing for conversations to take place on how to improve the healthcare system to address these issues. The basis of the PA profession is team-based practice, and such discussions allow providers to become culturally proficient and work collaboratively to help improve health outcomes, provide high-quality services, and increase patient safety and satisfaction.”


What Representation Means to Alexandra Hopun, MS, PA-SProfessional headshot of a young woman
“Representation in the PA field means that my culture is seen, heard, and appreciated. Often, we feel overlooked in the medical field but through increased representation, new generations are empowered to become providers and serve our community. This connection between patients and providers from the same background helps patients feel like they are not alone. The greater the diversity of the PA field, the better the depth of understanding we can provide as medical professionals.”


Professional headshot of a young Afghan American womanWhat Representation Means to Marina Doost, PA-S
“As a first-generation Afghan American, I am no stranger to being the only representation of my culture in most environments. The challenges this has presented me with have made it clear to me the positive impacts representation can have. To me representation in the PA field means culturally competent providers who will be able to provide quality care for their patients. It means a field that continues to push for diversifying our profession. That is the future I am hoping for and looking forward to as a future PA.”

Originally published March 7, 2022

You May Also Like
Kathryn Reed Makes Her Mark on the PA Profession
The Case for Inclusion and Diversity in PA Cohorts
What Inspires Student Academy President-elect Mariah Leroux?

Thank you for reading AAPA’s News Central

You have 2 articles left this month. Create a free account to read more stories, or become a member for more access to exclusive benefits! Already have an account? Log in.