Physician Assistant Activities Summary Example

IMPACT – American Academy of Physician Assistants

Below is a brief summary of activities participated in and attending at IMPACT, the American Academy of Physician Assistants annual national conference in Las Vegas, from May 31-June 4, 2011.  The primary day of attendance was Friday, June 3; however, the poster presentation was on display in the hall from June 1 until June 3.  Set up was set for June 1 by functions organizers.

June 1:

After arriving in Las Vegas and checking into the hotel, the poster had to be placed in the exhibit hall on the first.  Meeting up with the chair of my research committee, Dr. Theresa Bacon-Baguley, the poster was placed on the assigned board and left on display until the third day.

June 3:

The scheduled poster presentation time was from noon until one in the afternoon.  Although the session time was short, I arrived earlier in the day to review the other posters on display and answer questions that pertained to my presentation as well as review the other informational sessions offered on that day.  I arrived at the exhibit hall around 10 in the morning.  After checking in with the program organizers, I explored the other research projects on display, below I highlight a few of the ones I found most interesting.  As a side note, not all research presented at the poster session was student research and although over 120 projects submitted for presentation, less that 90 were accepted.  Also, all research projects submitted by GVSU were accepted!

“The Safety and Efficacy of Physician Assistants as First Assistant Surgeons in Cardiac Surgery”

  • This retrospective student from the University of California Davis Medical Center found that PA’s acting as the first assistant in surgery was shown to be not only safe, but also effective for all types of cardiac surgery including complicated procedures requiring extracorporeal bypass.  As a future PA, I find this type of research useful and beneficial for my future employment prospects.  Having such studies that support the quality and utility of my work when seeking employment will prove to be a valuable asset.  Interestingly, this study was not a student study.

“The Importance of Tissue Biopsy in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Necrotic Wounds”

  • This study, from John Hopkins Burn Center, comparing the treatment of just a few (four) patients was produced to emphasize the importance of histological diagnosis in the management of necrotic wounds.  As a result, the researchers were able to conclude that in the case of burns non-respondent to traditional treatments will benefit from biopsies of the lesion site to further home the treatment and establish a more effective plan.  This type of study proves beneficial in the treatment of future patients when I am in practice.  Understanding how to potentially deal with and treat a difficult burn lesion improves my base knowledge, and for my potential future patients, can improve their treatment and outcome.  This study was also not a student study.

“Endovascular Stent Placement in a Patient with a Type B Aortic Dissection and an Aberrant Subclavian Artery”

  • This case presentation from John Hopkins Hospital highlights the treatment of a patient with a complicated type B aortic Dissection with intramural hematoma (IMH) which occurred in the presence of an aberrant right subclavian artery which is an anomaly of the aortic arch, and a vertebral artery which originated off the right common carotid artery.  The patient was ultimately taken to the operating room where 3 endovascular stent grafts in the thoracic artery followed by a subclavian bypass and right subclavian artery ligation.  As a result, the patient survived and was discharged in stable condition five days post-op.  Reperfusion occurred with significant results and with almost complete reabsorption of the IMH.  Although these anatomic anomalies are rare, revascularization should be considered as shown by this study.  Again, this study was not a student study.

“Retrospective Analysis of Urinary Excretion Levels of Deoxypyridinoline and Suppressed TSH Levels from Thyroid Hormone Supplementation”

  • This study, from the University of Saint Francis, was designed to determine if thyroid hormone over supplementation results in increased bone metabolism as measured by urinary DPD in women with hypothyroid disorders.  The researchers concluded that there was no difference in secreted levels of DPD in urine between any of the women in the various groups measured and that the suppression of TSH levels with exogenous thyroid hormone did not appear to be deleterious to bone as measured by urinary DPD.  This study served as more of an informative study that has little effect on my future as a PA.  However, it highlights the importance of failed research, which is just as important as successful research as it prevents further investigation into areas of medicine that are fruitless.  Again, this was not a student study.

“An Unusual Case of Hyponatremia”

  • I particularly enjoyed this case study as it was produced by the same PA who produces some of the very same book is study from, James Van Rhee, out of Northwestern University.  In this presentation, Van Rhee outlines the chief complaint, diagnostic studies, treatment and outcomes in a patient with a unique presentation.  For future reference, this study may prove useful if I encounter a similar patient, but even if I do not, which is likely, I have a better understanding on what approaches and thought process to utilize when evaluating and treating an unfamiliar disorder.

Aside from reviewing the various presentations available at the exhibit hall, I was also available at my poster to answer questions during the question and answer session.  This proved to be the most interesting part of the experience.  Having spent so much time developing my project, it was exciting to answer questions pertaining to my labor of love.  Having various professionals and students stop by to enquire about the project was great practice in public speaking and challenged me to succinctly define the study and highlight its importance and future direction.  Once this session was completed, the poster was removed and I returned home the next morning.

Page last modified July 22, 2011