2019 PAEA Education Forum

Board Candidate: Director at Large

Candidate Statement

Gerald Kayingo,

I am writing to express my interest to serve on the PAEA Board for the second term. My first term has been a period of tremendous professional growth. I have learned a great deal and feel better prepared to serve our organization for another term. Prior to joining the PAEA board, I had served my profession as a member of the JPAE editorial board, member of the AAPA commission on the health of the public, and as a trustee for the Physician Assistant Foundation. Our profession is at a very exciting moment where creativity, innovation and transformation are highly needed. I will be very grateful to serve a second term to continue the work we have started to move PA education forward.

Currently, I am an associate professor at the University of California –Davis. Prior to joining UC Davis, I was a faculty member at the Yale PA Program in Connecticut. I am a clinician, educator, and scholar with vast experience in organizational leadership and data driven decisions. I have had the opportunity to participate in high-level strategic decisions on higher education, and health policy.

I believe that an effective board requires creative collaboration, strategic and visionary leaders, who are committed to the advancement of PA education. Our profession needs board members that will ignite strong leadership, innovation, scholarship, and bold advocacy. I believe that cognitive diversity and inclusion must be core values for the PAEA board to succeed in its missions. I believe in PAEA values such as collegiality, scholarship, excellence, diversity, and ethical behaviors. With the rapidly changing healthcare milieu, the PAEA board must work closely with other key stakeholders- AAPA, ARC-PA and NCCPA.

My experiences as a clinician, educator and leader have uniquely prepared me to serve the board. I will bring over twenty years of experience in collaborative leadership, community service, scholarship, education and clinical practice. I will bring my analytical skills, attention to detail and my passion for the PA profession.

In summary, my candidature is focused on collaboration, data driven decisions, advancing PA education, promoting health care equity, and producing clinicians who can effectively lead, disrupt and serve societal needs. I am aware of the critical importance of being a board member, and I am prepared to serve and give the board the attention it deserves.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve on the PAEA Board.

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1. What attributes characterize a high-performing Board member and which of them do you possess?

The board is the custodian of the association’s resources and its members should have extensive fiduciary experience, accountability, transparency, strong leadership qualities, and the agility to respond to the rapidly changing marketplace. If elected to the board, I will bring three important characteristics for a high-performing board member. These are commitment, collaboration, and chemistry. I strongly believe that a high performing board requires collaborative and visionary leaders who are committed to the mission and vision of the organization. Our profession needs committed board members that will ignite leadership, innovation, scholarship, and bold advocacy. In the past ten years, I have been very fortunate to be mentored by highly innovative people. I have managed grants and budgets worth millions of dollars.

I have collaborated with researchers over five continents. I have served on several commissions, boards and task forces. I am familiar with the different stakeholders of the PA profession. I have experience as a clinician, educator, researcher and writer. I am used to working with diverse teams and I value professional peers who respect and work well with each other. I have been educated in four countries. I am committed to PA education and I am looking forward to serving the PAEA board. If elected, my priorities will be on redesigning PA education to promote optimal team practice, cognitive diversity, research and leadership on a global scale. Please give me your vote.

2. What do you believe will be PAEA’s biggest opportunity in the coming years given the ongoing changes in health care and higher education?

The current biggest opportunity for PAEA is to lead in defining competencies for the new graduate, as well as to leverage technology and offer value to its member organizations. PAEA has a unique advantage to lead in faculty development and collaborate with other health professions associations redefining health professions education and to improve diversity in the workforce. PAEA should be in the driver’s seat in the movement to prepare new graduates to practice effectively and safely in an OTP environment. For the last 50 years, PA practice has been based on a stem-cell model where unspecialized PA graduates are mentored by supervising clinicians and are able to change fields without going back to PA schools. Changes in this collaborating relationship without corresponding changes in PA education may do more harm than good. PAEA should lead in creating early longitudinal clinical experiences, and early interprofessional training in clinical settings. By learning together, with, and from one another, healthcare students appreciate what each profession brings to the team. There are opportunities to apply technology to engage members particularly around faculty development. There is also an opportunity to apply technology for new models of education such as hybrid and distance education where PA students spend less time in traditional classrooms but more time with patients. 

3. In recent years, PAEA has advocated for a more outcomes-based approach to PA education and accreditation, including developing competencies for new graduates and working with the ARC-PA on outcomes-based accreditation. What do you see as the next steps in advancing this work?

Outcomes-based approaches to education have been adopted in various education systems around the world and are emerging trends in health professions education in the USA. In outcomes-based education, teaching, learning and assessment should focus on student-centered pedagogy and should recognize the diverse learning styles among students. Outcomes-based education increases accountability and transparency with the education process and is adaptable to the changing healthcare ecosystem.

To advance the work on outcomes-based education, PAEA will need to collaborate with other PA organizations such as ARC-PA, AAPA, NCCPA to ensure a shared understanding and commitment to outcomes-based education. The next steps will involve faculty development, to educate PAEA member organizations on the features of outcomes-based education. There is need to standardize learning outcomes and competencies within the PA profession to ensure that graduates have what it takes to enter the profession. Through the newly inaugurated PA learning hub, PAEA could provide examples on how outcomes-based education should look like. PAEA need to collaborate with AAPA in defining competencies of a new graduate and see how these differ from those of an established PA. There is need to hear from employer voices and certifying organizations as these competencies get implemented.