AAPA 2023 Highlights: Research, Technology, and Innovation Redefining the Patient Experience

Conference Kicks off with General Session, Hands-on CME Sessions, and Reception Events

May 20, 2022

Over 7,000 PAs arrived in Nashville on Friday and Saturday to commence AAPA 2023! Couldn’t join us this year? Get caught up with this  wrap-up of Saturday’s events!

AAPA’s House of Delegates
The AAPA House of Delegates (HOD) meets during the conference to enact policies that establish the collective values, philosophies, and principles of the PA profession. Since Friday, delegates have been hard at work considering, voting on, and reviewing resolutions; accepted resolutions become AAPA Policy for all members.

Innovation Summit
On Saturday morning, a focus group met to consider products, services, and partnerships that support opportunities for PAs to be involved in innovation in healthcare.

Hands on Learning: Ultrasound Workshop
Throughout the day, attendees received hands-on instructions on the basics of ultrasound physics and machine operation. This workshop was designed to provide spaced repetition and to maximize hands-on practice, participants practiced focused cardiac ultrasound, lung ultrasound, DVT compression ultrasonography, and the extended focused assessment with sonography in trauma (eFAST) exam.


Preventing Burnout, Maintaining Work-Life Balance and Promoting Organizational Success
Psychiatric PA Brigitta Cintron, DMSc, PA-C, CAQ-Psych, shared advice on achieving work-life balance through setting boundaries, self-care, and stress management. “You just have to say no and set boundaries. There are plenty of opportunities for work out there. Don’t let them abuse you.”

Recommendations for Organizational Success
In a session led by Quanté Greenlee, PhD, MPH, PA-C, RRT, CPH, CHS and AAPA 2023 Diversity Award winner Daytheon Sturges, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA, CHES® attendees reviewed individual and organizational workplace burnout interventions, desired outcomes, and best practices to help prevent burnout and increase organizational wellness. To learn more, read Becker’s ASC Review interview.

On the Main Stage: A Conversation on the Future of Healthcare
This year’s conference features two main stage events that will explore emerging trends that will impact the healthcare system and PA practice. During Saturday’s main stage event, The Future of Healthcare: How Trends in Research, Technology, and Research are Redefining the Patient Experience, attendees heard from three impressive thought leaders on how the healthcare landscape will evolve in the years ahead. Through their unique prisms Saturday’s speakers — John Gerzma, CEO of the Harris Poll; Jamie Metzel, a leading technology and healthcare futurist and World Health Organization advisor; and Gitanjali Rao, a young inventor, changemaker, author and STEM promoter — delivered TED Talk-style addresses about this unique and transformative moment in healthcare.

AAPA CEO Lisa M, Gables, CPA kicked off the session by celebrating the recent federal and state legislative victories that will modernize PA practice and sharing new data from the recently released Harris Poll-AAPA survey. Through a series of personal interviews with patients and a nationally representative study involving more than 2,500 Americans, AAPA set out to illuminate the unresolved healthcare workforce and access issues that impact patient care. Additionally, the survey gauged the level of trust patients have in the care provided by PAs.

Among the data highlighted, CEO Gables shared, “More than two-thirds of adults have personally received care from a PA, and an overwhelming 95% of them felt valued by that experience. Patients report that PAs excel in listening attentively, treating them with respect, taking their concerns seriously, and being excellent communicators. These qualities epitomize how PAs Go Beyond for patients – every single day.”

To dive deeper into the numbers, The Harris Poll CEO John Gerzema, took the stage to unveil even more of The Harris Poll’s data about the patient experience and how it connects with the future of healthcare. After a review of the findings, Gerzema delivered a powerful message to PAs, saying “[Patients] see you as a Ferrari in a garage. You’re putting a human face in this highly complex, highly fearful system … as a human beings [we] need that more than ever.”

Explore the full report to learn more!

Gerzema was followed by Jamie Metzl. Jamie prepared attendees to embrace the monumental shift in healthcare and unpacked the connection between healthcare, technology, and humanity.

To close out the session, 17-year-old Gitanjali Rao, delivered an inspirational speech on her innovations. Rao encouraged PAs to lean into the power of innovation, to be inspired by role students and young people will have in the future of healthcare, and to bring youth into to the table through mentor-mentee relationships.

Thank you, President Jennifer Orozco!
Before the main stage event came to a close, AAPA President-elect Folusho Ogunfiditimi, DM, MPH, PA-C surprised Dr. Jennifer Orozco with a heartfelt video of messages from her PA colleagues, friends, and family thanking President Orozco for the remarkable leadership she has demonstrated during her unprecedented two-year term as AAPA President and Chair of the Board of Directors.

PAs Meet and Greet at Evening Receptions
Following the main stage session, PAs mingled in the Exhibit Hall and explored the medical innovations and exhibitor booths on display, while enjoying refreshments and catching up with friends old and new.

AAPA also honored new and existing Distinguished Fellows at a special reception on Saturday evening. Distinguished Fellows are members who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to the profession through distinction in medical practice, leadership in medicine and healthcare, professional involvement, and commitment to lifelong learning and community service.

An exciting week lies ahead with another main stage event on Sunday titled, From Brain to Body: How Lifestyle Choices Impact Overall Health and Wellness, networking opportunities, and CME sessions to look forward to. Keep an eye out for the next conference wrap-up!

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