What We’re Reading and Listening to During Black History Month

Explore Some of the Latest Perspectives from PAs who are Shaping Healthcare and Defining the Future of the PA Profession

February 8, 2023

By Andrea Lowe, MBA, MHA, PA-C

Black History Month is a time for learning, sharing, and community. Throughout the month of February, we’re elevating PA voices across the profession. Presented here are some of the latest perspectives from PAs who are shaping healthcare and defining the future of the PA profession. We have hand-picked a selection of a series of recent podcasts and research that illuminates the challenges facing Black PAs, and inspires us to greater action to improve diversity and equity within the PA profession and the entire healthcare system. If you’re looking to deepen your knowledge even more, visit AAPA’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Resource Center for additional resources.

PA Insights with NCCPA: REPRESENT! Summit
PAs Daytheon Sturges and Shani Fleming recently joined the podcast PA Insights with NCCPA to talk about their experience at NCCPA’s inaugural REPRESENT! Summit and why increasing diversity in the PA profession is important.

An assessment of physician assistant student diversity in the United States: a snapshot for the healthcare workforce
This study, published in BMC Medical Education, takes a closer look at diversity in PA programs and determines which programs are the top performers in to graduating a diverse group of students. Researchers examined data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data system to determine the number and proportion of diverse graduates from 149 PA programs nationwide.

Hope4Med: Overcoming Imposter Syndrome
On the Hope4Med podcast, which aims to help guide healthcare workers through times of struggle, PA Daryle Blackstock, a director of clinical transplant operations, talks about his career as a PA, his experience practicing during the COVID-19 pandemic, and dealing with imposter syndrome.

Fewer Words, More Action: Cultivating an Anti-Racist Environment Strategies/Solutions (CARES) Framework for Physician Assistant Education
This paper, published in the Journal of PA Education, explores the role of the CARES framework in PA education. The paper includes topics for PA programs to consider while working to become more just, diverse, inclusive, and equitable: culture/climate practices, leadership structure, admissions, curriculum and performance metrics, environment, social support, accountability, and communication styles.

The Health Disparities Podcast: Black PAs Matter
In this episode of The Health Disparities Podcast, host PA Klarisse Mathis talks with PA guests Sondra Middleton and Daytheon Sturges about their careers, health disparities and social determinants of health, the role PAs have played in addressing COVID-19, the importance of diversity, and more.

A Clinical Case: Evaluation and Disposition of Patients at Risk for COVID-19 Infection
A study by PAs Kashif Creary and Jonathan Baker, published on AAPA’s News Central, uncovered racial bias in pulse oximetry measurement that disproportionately affects Black patients. Reliable pulse oximetry readings are critical when considering which patients may be safely discharged to non-hospital settings.

Andrea Lowe, MBA, MHA, PA-C is the Director of Health Equity Partnerships and DE&I Initiatives for AAPA and the PA Foundation.

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