Until Next Year: AAPA 2024 Highlights

Thank you to everyone who attended AAPA 2024! See you in Denver!

May 22, 2024

This year in Houston, PAs and PA students traveled from far and wide to the Lone Star State to take part in AAPA 2024. Attendees participated in stimulating CME sessions, networking opportunities, two spectacular Main Stage events, and a raging PA-only party at one of Houston’s biggest and most iconic roadhouses!

Over 200 Lectures and Hands-on Learning Opportunities
While several fun activities are offered during conference, nothing compares to the knowledge that can be gained inside the convention center walls. This year, over 200 CME sessions were offered across 46 different learning tracks, 18 of which focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). These sessions provide participants with the tools and resources needed to become better providers to every one of their patients. Attendees got the chance to hear from industry leaders on an array of topics and participate in hands-on training workshops. 

Enhancing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
For the third year in a row, AAPA’s DEI networking event, sponsored by DEI Gold Partner Vituity, returned to provide a space for colleagues from across the country to connect and discuss ways to address health inequities within our healthcare system. Through AAPA’s partnership with Vituity, we continue to offer educational webinars focused on DEI leadership and developing the next generation of DEI leaders.

The DEI Commission and African American Heritage Caucus hosted two Project Access events on Saturday, where PAs visited a local Houston high school to teach students about the PA profession and create early pipelines for those interested in PA school.

Sweet Treats, Puppy Snuggles, and Pickleball
In the Expo, attendees had plenty to see and do. Along with sponsored booths and career opportunities, AAPA added a few new attractions for attendees to enjoy.

Two PAs Go Beyond pickleball courts were available for those who felt the urge to dink or volley, and the Animal Cuddle & Snuggle Zone had puppies at the ready to offer some well-deserved love. The Made in Houston Marketplace, which featured local vendors, offered hand-made goods, fun attire, and creative artwork to anyone who wanted to take a little bit of Houston home with them.

Space Medicine and Artificial Intelligence on the Main Stage
This year, AAPA was excited to welcome three remarkable individuals to the Main Stage to dive into innovations and technologies that are revolutionizing our approach to health.

On Saturday, clinicians and astronauts Dr. Serena Auñón-Chancellor and PA Hayley Arceneaux discussed their experiences practicing medicine in space, and shed light on the cutting-edge advancements set to reshape the foundations of healthcare. During their conversation, they shared their stories, talked about opportunities available for PAs in space medicine, and gave advice on how PAs could advance in their careers. “The biggest piece of advice I can give people is to make sure you don’t overextend yourself. Do what you do, and do it really well,” Auñón-Chancellor said. “If you’re interested in something, the piece of advice I give everybody, from undergraduate all the way up the chain is: bother somebody and ask how they got to where they are in their career.”

On Monday, Dr. Daniel Kraft, Founder of NextMed Health & Digital Health and Chair of XPRIZE Health Alliance, showcased cutting-edge technologies that are reshaping the dynamics between patients and providers, and enabling significant advancements in healthcare. From wearables to virtual reality, Kraft discussed the ways in which technological advancements can assist medical providers in the future, and improve care for patients. “What’s exciting for PAs is when you use these sorts of tools to upscale yourself and your colleagues, there are all sorts of exciting ways to improve outcomes and democratize care,” Kraft said.

Both ground-breaking sessions will be available to watch on CME Central.

Calling All PA Students
During the annual National Medical Challenge Bowl, students showed off their school spirit and cheered on their classmates as they tested their medical knowledge. This year, a record breaking 96 teams from PA programs across the country came to Houston to compete, and Saint Louis University’s PA Program emerged victorious!

PAs Night Out
In the second annual PAs Night Out, PAs took over Houston’s largest dancefloor at Stampede for a night of good ole country fun! Attendees climbed up on a mechanical bull, sang karaoke, played games, and put on their dancing shoes. It was a night many will remember for years to come!

AAPA 2025: Join us in Denver!
We are already counting down the days until we can be together again, and we know you are excited too. Next year, AAPA is heading to the Mile High City. With some of the most celebrated breweries in the world, Denver is the place to be in 2025! Registration opens Oct. 30, 2024. We hope to see you there!

Sign up to get on our VIP list for early registration access and receive an exclusive $50 registration discount on our lowest conference rates for AAPA 2025!

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