YSM PA Online Graduates Celebrated with ‘Fierce Advocacy’ < Yale Medical School


Nearly everyone in Woolsey Hall stood for the end of the 2023 Physician Assistant (PA) Online Program class at Yale University School of Medicine (YSM) on May 12. This is not due to the large number of family, friends, faculty and staff that have gathered. While those in attendance gave the 80 graduates a standing ovation, the audience’s pride was evident in the thunderous applause and cheers throughout the ceremony. Rather, class president and contemporaneous graduation speaker Amelia Toomey MMSc asked everyone in attendance to remain standing if they heard a statement that applied to someone they knew, and then Because I started reading a series of statements like this. :

“If you know someone who has experienced stigma or discrimination from their healthcare provider when trying to get medical care, please stand up.”

“And if you had difficulty getting care because you didn’t have a native-speaking provider, stand up.”

“If you know someone who is struggling to get health insurance or affordable medical care, please stand still.”

Mr. Toomey continued. “For each person who stands today, there is a future PA in this room who will make it a lifelong passion to ensure that no one, like the person you know, ever faces the same medical barrier. We can’t remove every barrier our patients face, but we are committed to making a difference in the lives of patients and communities.”

‘Passionate advocacy’

She ended her speech by challenging her classmates who had previously praised them for their “passionate advocacy.” . When something we encounter in medicine evokes that strong feeling, it reminds us that there is work to be done and suggests that we take action. Be the advocate and taker your patients need. Then, gradually, fewer people will stand up to you. “

After Toomey’s speech, Elizabeth Rosler, PA Online Program Director, Penn State University MMSc, ​​said, “Amelia, this is one of the best student speeches I’ve ever heard.” .

Commencement speaker Mark Perrazera, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Medical Director of the Yale PA Online Program and Yale Physician Associate Program, similarly discussed how the 2023 graduates will have a lasting impact on improving healthcare. told about how you can give Perazella, who is retiring later this year, said throughout his career: Mentor. He added, “My hope was that by participating in the training of many competent and caring health care providers, I could go a long way in providing the workforce needed to serve patients.” Ultimately, this is our ultimate end goal.”

Clinicians, Teachers, Mentors, Sponsors

He then offered advice to graduates on the roles they could play as clinicians, teachers, mentors and sponsors, distinguishing between the latter two. the way. ” Much of the advice was patient-focused. Perazela cautioned graduates to be “hardworking and meticulous” as clinicians. “But remember to be compassionate. Over time, you will grow into a healthcare provider whose patients will benefit greatly. They will trust you and in doing so build a strong therapeutic relationship.” We will build it.” He stressed that education includes teaching patients and their families. “As health care providers, we must do everything we can to improve the medical literacy of our patients.”

“This dedicated group of educators and mentors will prepare you to become a skilled healthcare provider, ready to practice clinical medicine with competence and compassion,” Perazella said, referring to the PA Online faculty. It has changed and shaped me.” If graduates choose the path of PA education, they “could become educators and mentors, much like today’s faculty, and help chart the path for future PAs,” Perazela continued. Some of you may become sponsors in the future and help pave the way. “

Mr. Perazela, Mr. Toomey, Associate Dean of Education Jessica Iluzzi, M.D., each recognized the important role of family and friends in supporting graduates throughout the 28 months of the PA online program. Many of them were in attendance or joined by livestream. “We wouldn’t be here today without you,” Toomey said. “When we started this path in January 2021, we weren’t the only ones to accept the promise of a PA school.Thanks to all of you for your unwavering support, love and understanding, we are determined to become a PA. I was able to tap into the time, resources and mental space I needed to make the journey a success.”

Illuzzi said there are now about 250 YSM PA online alumni nationwide with the graduation of the fourth batch of PA online programs. This is “exciting and impactful, and one of Yale University’s goals when he created the PA Online Program to help address the shortage of primary care providers across the United States.” Ilzzi continued. “Your class comes from 27 states, 22% live in rural areas and 28% live in underserved areas. It shows the potential to have a positive impact on the healthcare needs of



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