Expert Insights from Program Leaders
August 23, 2021
Season 1: Episode 8: Drexel University - Dr. Banning

Dr. Adrian Banning is an Associate Clinical Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She is a PA educator, researcher, and clinician who hosts PA centric podcasts and serves her profession in a variety of avenues. She spoke with us about her p...

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Dr. Adrian Banning is an Associate Clinical Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. She is a PA educator, researcher, and clinician who hosts PA centric podcasts and serves her profession in a variety of avenues. She spoke with us about her path to becoming a PA, her passion for the care of veterans, her work at Drexel University's PA Program, and her thoughts on applying to PA school. We also discussed her podcasts including Airwaves & Educators in this truly enjoyable session.

The purpose of this podcast is to provide news and information on the PA profession and is for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and guests and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of the University of Arizona.


Unknown Speaker  0:08  
Welcome to this episode of the PA path podcast. I'm your host, Kevin Lohenry. We are glad you could join us as we seek to better understand the PA profession.

Unknown Speaker  0:20  
You're not raised to come into the PA profession to be people who deal with ambiguity or being wrong. We get here because we were right, more than we were wrong.

Unknown Speaker  0:33  
Well, welcome that was Dr. Adrian banning who is an associate clinical professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she has been a faculty member since 2008. She is responsible for didactic portions of PA education, particularly focusing on evidence based medicine topics. She has been a PA since 2006. Having started her career in primary care with a proud focus on veteran populations before transitioning to education and research. She is a strong proponent of the benefits of the Medical Library and clinician team. She's authored many publications in our peer reviewed journals. She's presented a PA conferences nationally, is a former editor of a section of the journal, the American Academy of PDAs. And she has started three novel pa centric podcasts, which is very interesting to me. So I hope you enjoy this conversation, we'll learn about Drexel University, we'll learn about her path to becoming a PA, and about her experience in podcasts with some really good tips for applicants today. Well, Adrian, thank you so much for joining us today. We are really excited to hear from you and hear from your perspectives about Drexel and about the profession. And also about your expertise on podcasts. You are a trailblazer when it comes to PA podcasts. And as a rookie at this. Certainly my colleagues and I are doing this. We'd love to hear from your perspectives and what you've learned over the past several years in doing this yourself. Can we start with having you tell us about your path to becoming a PA?

Unknown Speaker  2:03  
Sure, I'd be happy to speak about it. Thank you so much, Kevin, for having me. I'm so excited to be on this podcast. I think if you were ever in a rookie stage, you have surpassed that quickly and a long time ago. So I'm glad to be here. So my path to becoming a PA Okay. I'm going to be really transparent here. I think you're supposed to say, the minute I found out what a PA was, I felt called to it light shone down from above. And I knew to be of service to my fellow human. And I have never had a moment like I'm a really pragmatic person. And I'll tell you that I came from a place of wanting to find a career where I could put my talents, what I thought were my talents to use, where I could yes be of service in some way that I did a job that I felt was meaningful, and that I could take care of myself, right that I had a profession that was going to enable me to care for myself and my loved ones as I went through life. And all of those things kept coming together. So I went to what was then a beaver college and Glenside, Pennsylvania, coincidentally where I live now. And I thought maybe I would do physical therapy, right? Like a lot of people. How many essays have I read that started out with? I heard a pop, I was on the soccer field and and then it's the story of their ACL tears, right? So if you're thinking about writing your essay, I'll jump ahead about your ACL tear. I've read that one. Great, that's good, if keep writing if you want to, but maybe something else. So I was an athlete in high school, I thought maybe I'll be an athletic trainer, my athletic trainer said, Hey, your grades are good enough. Think about PT. I went to school like 50% of my freshman class pre physical therapy. And as I moved through, I realized even in, like hanging out in the PT offices and becoming more familiar with the PT faculty, they were wonderful people. I had no interest in doing what they did. And I just had to be honest with myself. So it's kind of back to square one was a psycho biology major. I had an internship at the London Zoo. I thought that was amazing. But I didn't think being a zookeeper was going to be sustaining. Okay, so what about Azu? That thought about that for a while. And of course explored med school I think like a lot of us did. Is that the right path for me? I thought it might be a problem. If I didn't go right to grad school or right to the next thing. Would I lose momentum? Would it seem like I was indecisive and my undergrad advisor said no, take a year take a couple years. Many people are doing that people at really amazing schools are doing that. It's not a bad idea. It was the best advice I wouldn't have thought of it on my own. I thought you just had to go go go. Took a couple years, I did Traumatic Brain Injury Research at the University of Pennsylvania and at Drexel University College of Medicine. And still, I wasn't sure do I want to be a researcher do I want to go to med school, but pa always stayed in there, I had known what a PA was from day one of my undergrad. And it just kept staying in the mix. So as I explored other professions and narrow things down, Pa is the one that never got turned away. So I really focused on that. Got a couple of my prereqs done that I hadn't done in undergrad. And I'll tell you a hot tip is to work for a university, and many of them will pay for your classes. So if you can get a job at a university, maybe if it's between, you know your undergrad and grad school or even in undergrad if you can do it. I don't know how it always applies for grad school, do that and get the tuition remission. So as I was working for Drexel University culture medicine, I could take some of the end Penn actually, I took micro bio and biochem. And they were paid for by my employer. Right. So maybe slightly less loans still had giant loans. And then there you go, I applied to I don't know what I was thinking at the time. One PA school. Luckily, I got in apply to by that time beaver College had changed its name to Arcadia University. And I'm going to be really honest, my backup plan. Thank goodness, they didn't ask me this in my interview was to try out for American Idol. That was literally really, that's what a 23 year old thinks is. Yeah. And I just told you I'm so pragmatic. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So it could have gone really differently.

Unknown Speaker  6:48  
Wow. That would have been so interesting.

Unknown Speaker  6:52  
I mean, it probably would have been not interesting at all.

Unknown Speaker  6:55  
So do you think that you're interested in music? I'm assuming you're a musician, if you're gonna try it for American Idol because they don't have comedians on there.

Unknown Speaker  7:04  
They would have that day.

Unknown Speaker  7:07  
Do you think that would lead to your kind of tech, tech work in podcasting?

Unknown Speaker  7:12  
Ah, that's a great question. Oh, yeah, I think I never really put it together like that. I think people had complimented me on my voice for a long time. I had no control over that. It comes out this way, right. It's like complimenting you on the color of your eyes. I appreciate it. But it's not something that I worked to get, I can work to cultivate it. And let's see, I was taking voice lessons just for fun. At the same time that I bumped into Christmas day on Twitter, and then literally bumped into him at a conference. And he said, Don't you think that the Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants could use a podcast? And I was like, I sure do. You want to do it together. And there you go. Then it was launched. And so yeah, Chris was already doing a podcast. I caught up with the tech and the programming. And and that's that's really where it went. We were just like, let's just pitch it. Let's see what they think. And luckily Rashard and the editorial team and Harrison Reed were behind it too. And were very helpful and, and Canada gave us the reins with with their assistance and support. So then a couple more of us came together. Sean Lynch and Janelle blue, Doron, and we started airwaves and educators, the four of us and the Chris and I were contacted by hippo medical education. Yes, I get paid by them. But I also think they're amazing. And, and before you knew it, you know, Chris had four podcasts in the mix. I had three we're very proud to have handed the reins of the Jaffa podcast over to Lena Ward and Brandon cherry, the new voices of the tap a podcast were taking it farther and higher than Chris and I could have so really proud of that. And maybe I think, you know, sometimes the compliments you give people go a long way and change their whole future. Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  9:05  
Yeah. And Chris, Chris is a self described introvert. Yet he has an interesting hobby, right?

Unknown Speaker  9:13  
afraid of getting his voice out to as many people as possible.

Unknown Speaker  9:16  
Yeah. How about you? Would you consider yourself to be introverted as well? Is this an avenue for you to explore and grown?

Unknown Speaker  9:24  
I would have said pre pandemic I would have said no, I'm an extrovert. I can meet anyone anytime talk to them. But I realized during the pandemic, how much energy that actually really took for me that I was very happy to be alone to be with my own thoughts to be in my own house. And I I think I might be an extroverted introvert. Yeah. So I yeah, I don't like real listen to my podcast. That's not the joy that comes from it. I think I'm happy to stand in front of a group of people and speak and I just then will need the time to recharge and make sure that I have time alone.

Unknown Speaker  9:59  
Let's circle back to a little bit to your career. You have done primary care. Yeah, it looks like you graduated 2006 from Arcadia and women's primary care and had a special focus on veterans. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Unknown Speaker  10:11  
It's true. Yeah, I'm happy to very proud of that time. I don't exactly know what pushed me to move to a state I had never lived in to a place I'd never known what their medicine was like, exactly. I had a rotation in Central Vermont. And I loved it. I loved taking care of a small town and seeing the interactions between the PA and the population that knew him. So well backwards and forwards, they knew each other that was so alluring to me. So after that, you know, four weeks in a farm rep. Let me know that another office not so far away was hiring and I applied. And you know, in the mix, when you're graduating, you're applying to a bunch of different places. That is kind of the the one that's stuck. And I moved to basically the middle of Vermont, my then boyfriend, now husband and I and our dog. And I started just doing primary care family practice, really, for the first six months seeing, you know, everyone birth, birth to old age. And I worked for an office that had a contract with the VA that was maybe an hour an hour and a half away. But across a really large mountain pass like sometimes when it would snow too hard, they'd close that mountain pass. So the VA will hand out contracts or associations to outreach facilities called C box CBOC community based outreach clinics, and that was the the office that I was working in. So about six months into me working there, there was one physician and attach him to other PA. So three, Pa is one physician, the VA said, Hey, we want to keep the contract with you. But we want one of your PA to see only veterans, we need a point of contact there. I was the person with the least amount of seniority. And that's how it happened to be that I was the person then six months after graduating who was responsible for veteran care, it was definitely getting thrown into the deep end. But I'll say that my father really helped prepare me for that a lot. My father was a Greenbrae in the army. And I felt without even thinking about it a really deep commitment to the care of veterans and being able to help the veteran population. I was a great deal younger than most of them. But I tried my best. And it was amazing. I learned a lot of medicine. I learned a lot about myself. And I think that it was really a great organization to work with. Now I didn't work for them. So I didn't get any money towards that pension. Right. If I would have been smarter about it, I would have just said, Hey, I should just work for the VA work for the government. That would have been a lot smarter of me. It didn't, but I still learned a lot. And I really liked the organization. I like their EHR. I like that they're careful with their drug choices I like that's can get drugs, no matter what they are, at that time was for $7 a month for most people free for a lot of others. And then that came back around again. Maybe four years later, yeah, three to four years later, when my dad actually got sick, it was put on hospice and he was cared for by the VA. And no matter what meds came through chemo or or different meds, we never saw one bill, not one at all, didn't have to fight with anything. It was just done. And I was so glad that I had an insider's perspective at that time, and just really grateful. I'm just really grateful.

Unknown Speaker  13:40  
I've had the same experience with my father. And again, the VA is a godsend in terms of their relentless care for him. And yeah, at a time when he was struggling after a bad brain injury, you know, they have just been spot on. They come under fire for a lot of reasons. And some of them are good. But my experience as a veteran and watching through my dad's eyes, it's it's really been wonderful. So I'm glad to hear that you had the same experience.

Unknown Speaker  14:06  
I did. I know what you're saying, right? Like, you see things in the media and no one's no one's perfect. There's pros and cons. And I think it is really regionally based sometimes. But I think for what they do, I would say for the majority from what I've seen on the inside, and as a consumer, I agree with you, and thank you for your service.

Unknown Speaker  14:25  
Oh, of course, Horace, thank you. Let's talk about your mode to education. So you're in practice, you're in the middle of Vermont, at some point in time you made the decision to go back into the academic world, from at least my perspective and following you on Twitter. You always have such an interesting perspective about things related to evidence and research. So enlighten us a little bit about where that comes from and what really led you to move very quickly into education.

Unknown Speaker  14:50  
I'll be really direct, like really transparent here. After the job I had working with veterans. I had another job that just wasn't the right fit and I was looking for other jobs and really applying really widely wondering is a time to come back to Pennsylvania applied to some jobs here, I was applying to all types of jobs. And I'll back up and say that when I went to PA school, I very clearly knew I wanted to use the medical degree in in ways that included other ways to use a medical degree, maybe in industry, maybe an education in research, I knew that I probably didn't want to see patients for my whole career full time. And if that makes you gasp, I would say I think there's more than one way to be a PA, I think that we really need to encourage that right? We need PA is doing things in addition to clinical practice. So I had that in mind. Having done like I said, Before, the Traumatic Brain Injury Research, I worked with lots of physicians who saw patients who did research who advocated who maybe only did research and I thought I could use my degree in that way, too. So I was open to that. And I applied to two education jobs and interviewed for both of them, and was offered the position at Drexel. It's just as simple as that. Sometimes applicants will ask me, you know, why did you choose to be a faculty member at Drexel? And I think like, well, you don't just call them and say, I'd like to be a faculty member now. And they say, Okay, thank you. It's just like any other job, they need someone you apply, they interview a bunch of people, and if you are offered it, and you decide it's the right fit, that's how it goes. I applied, though, one because I needed a job. But two, I knew the history of drugs. I didn't go there, right. But I had a friend that did. I knew other people that did, I knew that they were the oldest program in Pennsylvania and had an amazing reputation. And I thought that it would be a great learning experience. It was worth a shot. It wasn't so long after I graduated. And I don't think in the end that that matters so much.

Unknown Speaker  16:54  
I agree. I think probably Jasmine that question five, seven years ago, I would have said, Oh, no, no, no, you need you need to have at least a decade under your belt. Yeah, actually, we've hired some folks that are less than five years of clinical practice that are just phenomenal teachers. Teaching is a different skill, right. It's communicating and effectively articulating what you want students learn related to learning objectives. Yeah. So I'm glad to hear that that has been your experience as well. Yeah. And

Unknown Speaker  17:23  
you can keep practicing while you're teaching. Right. Absent getting that clinical acumen. For sure.

Unknown Speaker  17:28  
Yeah. Well, let's talk about Drexel PA program. Can you help us understand the program? You alluded to their history? What sets Drexel apart? And what are the things that applicants really need to know? When they're considering Drexels application process and ultimately attending your school?

Unknown Speaker  17:45  
I had to literally stop myself from clapping. I was like, Yes, I'm really excited to talk about this. I know this backwards and forwards. And I love the program that I teach it. So what sets Drexel apart was one of your first questions? We are the first PA program in Pennsylvania. And that also makes us one of the first PA programs in the country we actually existed. Before the accreditation process. We started in 1974. As the Hahnemann, physician assistant program, we have gone through several different iterations and name changes, and are now the trachsel physician assistant program. And having been a PA program since 1974, you know what we're doing? Right? We've seen the evolution of the profession, we've kept up with it. We have helped educate and help create stellar RPAS. All of that time, something that we're really proud of, through tech changes through political changes through identity changes. We're adaptable. So I think being one of the oldest does not mean that we're archaic. I think it shows a level of facility and flexibility. And staying true to our mission, which has always been to educate primary care PA is to help serve medically underserved areas, be they rural or urban, and to promote the PA profession. And I think because we're mission based that helps us to keep our eye on the goal at all times when we're faced with tough decisions. We can go back to that and say, what are our values? What's our mission? And how do we support the students in that knowing that they're only students for a short amount of time, we're really interacting with people who are very close to being our future colleagues, and very close to being healthcare providers in this sticky US healthcare system. And I think that level of respect that we show to our students hopefully comes through as well that we're not teaching them as kids. I really don't like when pa faculty call their students kids. We're teaching them as really future colleagues are going to be peers and the length of The time of your program RS is 27 months. So that's really important to me.

Unknown Speaker  20:05  
I think that's a really good point, the students who come through the program, ultimately within a very short window of time are suddenly practicing right alongside of us, their adult learners, which is a it's a totally different educational pedagogy. Right? You, you to to really effectively teach adult learners, you need to use a totally different skill set than you do for kids. Right.

Unknown Speaker  20:27  
Right. And helping the students see that too, if they don't see themselves in that way. Yeah. andragogy is, is different, right? We really base it on experience. And and that's why we're asking people before they apply to get patient care experience, hands on patient care experience, even how many hours does your program require?

Unknown Speaker  20:45  
We don't have a minimum requirement, but the average is around 4000.

Unknown Speaker  20:50  
Or 1000. Yeah, yeah. We require 500. I have got to be honest, I don't know the average of our stats right now. But it's much higher than that. Absolutely. 20 503,000 coming through. Yeah, much higher, too.

Unknown Speaker  21:06  
I think we do it in the sense that there are exceptions to the rule, which is why we don't have a minimum stated requirement. We do tell applicants just to try to be transparent. And we say, look at our stats on our site to see what the mean is for our typical, successful applicant. Right. And that can help guide you as to where you should be trying to head towards. Yeah, there are certainly applicants who have real stellar stories and experiences in life that may have precluded them from having the clinical experience. But they've also traveled the world, Ben in the Peace Corps done something else that was worthy of that consideration.

Unknown Speaker  21:41  
Right, right. Yeah, we look at our applicants that way, as well as I don't want us to holistically, think holistically is is a little I don't know what it means right now anymore. It's a buzzword. Yeah, it's like synergy or something. We just tried to look at the whole person, right? Maybe your GPA is an amazing move, maybe something happened in your sophomore year, or you didn't know yourself as a learner, or you were taking care of your family or you're working full time. We take those things into consideration. And I think one of the things that we pride ourselves on a Drexel is that we're not just looking for the highest GPA, we don't require GRE s, we don't want them, we want to see someone who's going to be a great PA,

Unknown Speaker  22:24  
we are also getting rid of the GRE it's it is obviously been proven to be discriminatory to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. And, and and really, we have a professional problem in that we have a plethora of students who come from advantaged backgrounds. But as a profession, I don't think we've really done our community's service in ensuring that our profession reflects all of the diversity of our country.

Unknown Speaker  22:51  
I 100%. Agree. You know, I'll go back to say, the PA profession does not represent the national population, like you've said, nor does medical school, and we're just nor does anything, right, really. And that's everyone's problem. That's the nation's problem. That's our problem. And how many times I think I've been at, you know, Pa conferences and heard my colleagues calling for this and saying this, and really their words falling on mostly deaf ears, to be totally honest. Until I think, maybe, maybe in the past year, 18 months, it started to click for some people we've started to see like, oh, oh, okay. Yeah, we're, we're messing this up, we continue messing this up. What can we do differently, we just have to learn and listen and be really humble. But it's, it's gonna take time, but it's going to take a lot of hard, hard work. We have to remove those barriers. I'll say, growing up, we could have had less money, but it wasn't always easy. And I'm a first gen college student, just navigating some of those things that you're trying your best, but you don't have the insider scoop on puts you at a disadvantage. That's even with my skin being white, you know. So, how much more disadvantage comes when you're systemically oppressed is is mind boggling. But when I think about my fellow high school classmates that I was kind of modeling things on like watching, well, what are they doing? What are their parents suggesting? They came up with ideas that just would never have been approachable or even I would have never thought of her had access to on my own like a student who was taking an LSAT prep course like what I didn't. I thought you could just take the LSAT so it'd be fine. But no, if your parents can pay for an LSAT prep course and drive you to and from on weekends, you get a higher score, and that's just known. And when you take the pants I knew a student who you know did not only our prep course not only went to school but then went outside and did another pants prep course. And it would have never occurred to me, you know And then read, she got a perfect score. She'd been educated on how to take multiple choice tests, you know, probably since first grade. Yeah, and just wasn't relying on raw talent, although, in both of those cases, those people were lovely humans that I still have, you know, great love for. They had special training on how to succeed. And still I was watching them. No, still I was watching like a student thinking, Oh, she did that pants prep course. Maybe I'll do that for the Pandora, which I did. And I got a much higher score than I would have otherwise. And that's it's just money.

Unknown Speaker  25:37  
Yeah, money and privilege. We we certainly, I'm also a first generation college student. But yeah, that's awesome. But I'm a white male. So I've and I'm a tall white male. So I've had lots and lots even better. Yeah, but I just want to get to your point. I think we yeah, we have by osmosis, some privilege of learning experience, like you just shared. Yeah. And ultimately, it benefits us in the process. And if we are as academics are not paying attention to that and trying to level the playing field as best as we can. We're just adding to the problem.

Unknown Speaker  26:09  
Yeah. Yeah, I agree. How? I'm going to turn the tables a little bit, of course, yeah. What's your program doing that?

Unknown Speaker  26:19  
Well, so we have a pipeline program that we run throughout the year, it's run pretty much on state grants, and a little bit of operational funding from the university, and just a lot of passion from our team members and students. And we work with K through 16 students in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles, which are both economically disadvantaged communities. And we provide both an opportunity for AC T and LSAT prep for the students that are getting close to their junior and senior years of high school through a collaborative arrangement with an outside entity. And we also educate them about the health professions. So each month, there's a different focus. And so that's kind of one branch, we have another branch that it's kind of organically developed over the last 10 years, another branches on parent engagement, which focuses on engaging parents and also guardians on how to navigate High School in college. A third branch is a pre pa branch that focuses on students who have actually made it to college, who have identified the PA profession as their goal. And so they get a different level of mentorship from external mentors that are supported through the grant. And there are several other branches. But ultimately, that's how we try to do that. And then we also use that H word in our admissions process. Yeah, looking at the person centered admissions. And then we I just firmly believe that we need to hire the diversity that we seek. And so we have a very diverse team of faculty and staff that represent our program from a wide variety of perspectives. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  28:03  
yeah, I think that we are moving in those directions at Drexel, we have a lot of those components in place. And we're right now, you know, definitely behind the eight ball, but looking at how do we spread them together, right, we've got these components that were waiting for us for a long time waiting for us to catch up. And I see us moving in that direction in, in pipelines in mentorship. I'm so proud of the PA minority Alliance, which is a group of minority alumni and students who are coming together to offer mentorship and support. I think that, honestly, we're exploring the resources that have existed at Drexel University, more than we ever did, I think, I don't know about your PA program. But we often get really siloed. Right, looking down at our our feet a lot doing our day to day tasks without thinking like, Wait, we don't have to reinvent the wheel. So hopefully we can catch up to you have ensued and start to really connect the dots here.

Unknown Speaker  29:03  
I will say there's been a lot of lessons learned. And probably the biggest one, when you think about the minority tax concept for faculty and staff who are passionate about giving back to the pipeline concept. And many times our products that pipeline themselves. Yeah, there's always a little bit of tension there for the entire team because of the commitment of time. And there's a there's a different level of commitment that's required to that because you're mentoring these young people that don't have parents who've gone to college so they the only college people they understand or know is often the people that are part of the pipeline program. So I think they feel this tremendous sense of responsibility, but it distracts them from their other academic duties, which is, you know, on me as a director, I have to make sure that they have the the appropriate level of release time. And that is also on me as a director and finding grants to help fund that because we don't don't always have the flexibility as PA programs to provide all that funding through our tuition dollars.

Unknown Speaker  30:06  
Yeah. And, and props. Like that's, I'm glad that you're thinking in that way. Right? That's, that's really refreshing to hear. I think that there's this kind of level in so many things that we know, when you learn better, when you know better, you must do better. But there's an element in that of really a big slice of humble pie and saying that that means that you weren't doing the best that you could before, when you thought that you were, were not raised to come into the PA profession. To be people who deal with ambiguity or being wrong, we get here because we were right, more than we were wrong. And our students, you know, coming in accepting acceptance rates of 345 percent, they don't get to be wrong, they don't get to make mistakes. They don't get to be, you know, not competitive. And then we come in and say, but now you're someone who when the evidence points to what you were doing yesterday could be done differently. That means that you were wrong yesterday, that's a big ego hit. Right. So you have to set that ego aside. And when it says you haven't been working through society in the best way that you could, that's a big ego hit. So we raised people to say, you can never be wrong, there can be no ambiguity. And yet you're going to go into a profession, where you're going to be showing that you're wrong all the time. And how do we help people navigate that? How do we help ourselves navigate

Unknown Speaker  31:29  
that? Yeah, that's a really great point. I just, for example, I remember when beta blockers were, were the dream drug for our failure. And then they weren't. And then they were, and obviously, that the cardio selectivity component of that change things. But ultimately, you've got to let go the ego in it, because you're going to learn through evidence, as we have learned with the pandemic, as we gain more understanding of something, we want to take a different approach sometimes, because the data suggests that that's the right thing to do.

Unknown Speaker  32:03  
Right? Yeah. I consistently, you know, do site visits for students. And they're like, Well, my preceptor does it like this. And you're like, well, but that doesn't mean that it's okay. Right? Like, you're learning from them. And you're doing it, I'm not saying your preceptor is not a smart and wonderful person. And yet, we're here in the 11th place for so many things. If you've just seen the Commonwealth report, the Commonwealth Fund report out of 11, industrialized nations, we're 11th in most of it. And that doesn't mean that we're amazing. That means that we have room to grow. So it also means that when students go out on rotations, you can't just say, do as you see, you have to say, look what's being done. Can you elevate it? Can you be aspirational? Can you be part of a systematic or individual change? But that's confusing, too, to say, here's your preceptor, you're gonna go watch people practicing medicine do what they do, and yet do what they do is, you know, all of us, it's, it's hard right now. So there has to be room for growth. And you have to use evidence, and to switch it back to social issues, when all the reports for gender parity and equal pay come out and say, female PA is although 70% of the profession are paid less. And it's not because of how long they've worked, or if they've taken time off. And it's not because of the types of medicine they choose, then we can't say it's all of the variables, then what is it? Right to say it's not gender discrimination is a little naive, right? When you've looked at all the other things that it can be. And so now when we have the evidence, what are we going to do about it? Are we transparent with our, with our salaries, even that doesn't really help.

Unknown Speaker  33:40  
And then we blame them for being bad negotiators. Instead of actually reflecting on our own contribution to that misogynistic system.

Unknown Speaker  33:48  
That's another Twitter conversation I had, I was like, Everyone always has to negotiate for themselves. And someone was like, if I have an applicant that negotiates, I say, Who do you think you are? And you're out? And I thought, I wonder how many white men then you have in your hospital? You know, who, who just were all stars? That was the only allowance that would make if you're an all star, allow you to negotiate. And I was like, I wonder how many of those all stars look just like you?

Unknown Speaker  34:12  
Yeah, exactly. Well, one last question for Adrian, I think you and I share a lot of frustration with the way applicants are kind of approaching the application process and some of the resources that are out there that might be less than ideal. So so maybe if you could end this conversation with your best advice for applicants on how to navigate the PA application process, particularly as it relates to Drexel,

Unknown Speaker  34:40  
who, that's big. Yeah, there's a lot of frustration. I think, look, you're sending your application in against 1000s. So first of all, my best advice is if you're not successful at first one, take a good hard look at like, really, where do you need to improve? But to just know that we just can't take Everyone who we want to all the time, you don't have to think that you're a bad person or there's something wrong. There are just so many seats that we can fill at a time. So first of all, just know yourself. The best advice I have is, don't pay someone your hard earned money, who hasn't sat on an admissions committee? Just because someone got into PA school doesn't mean that they know what we're looking for. What kind of privilege did they have coming in? Right? What kind of prep classes did they take? They don't know what makes a good essay, because someone else told them because they got in, I think it's predatory. And I think it's unethical. You have to know the programs that you're applying to inside and out, don't just apply randomly. Our program is primary care based our program is to serve the underserved. When you come into an interview, and talk about how you want to go into plastics, that's great. Of course, some of our grads go into plastics. But it tells me that you don't exactly know Drexel, when you say that you want to come to our school because of its location. That's great. You're probably going to live here but you're not going to be exploring the city all the time. Really Know the programs that you're applying to, and why and not just because really know yourself, and why are you truly emotionally financially prepared? Are you truly academically prepared one or two classes at a time from a school that maybe wasn't the best is okay, if you got A's, but we can see that we know if your GPA is inflated? Can you prove that you can take a bunch of hard science classes at top notch performance simultaneously? Can you prove that you can take care of yourself and that you haven't succumb to a new word I learned a new phrase is toxic perfectionism, which is running rampant, right then that anxiety that paralyzing anxiety of having to be the best all the time? Do you have grit? Does your essay set you apart many times, it's the only thing where we can hear your voice. Like I said, before I've read about the ACL tear. I've read about you losing your grandparent, they're devastating things. They're also things that happen early on in your life in your 20s. Right, that there's so much more that is coming your way. I don't want bad things to have happened to you. But if that's the worst, you know, just explore. I don't necessarily want to hear about your your savior trip to an unfortunate disadvantaged country where you went so that you can put it what commitment? Have you shown long term? Serving? underserved, right, what have you done here or in your local community? His service vacations I have? I don't know. I think it's important to help people where you can but I think that we sweep in as Americans sometimes and think like, well, here I am for a week, and I'm saving you and now I'm back out again. And you're right back where you started. So I think to know yourself, and really be prepared shadow as much as you can read a APA website. Don't just go on tick tock, don't just go on Instagram, they're glitzy. But it's not the reality of what the PA profession is. And reach out to the schools that you want to go to many times their admissions teams are so happy to talk to you. And if they see your name, then they know your name when it comes through. That's such a big deal. I don't know about cold emailing faculty, that'll happen every once in a while. And I email back because I think it's the right thing to do. But, you know, I'm getting like 300 emails a day as it is. That I don't know, I don't know that that's the best approach. I don't think that's the best approach. But that's what the admissions team is there for. So I would say connect with them. Gosh, it's probably so much more I can say but prep ahead of time and prep your family and friends ahead of time to really understand you're generally probably the helper in your community, right? The one that people go to, and people are going to have to know they ie the that you still need their love and support, but you might not be the one to be the problem solver for the next 2427 33 months.

Unknown Speaker  39:12  
That's fantastic. Great, great insights. Great advice. Thank you so much. It's such a privilege to have you on and I'm so excited to continue to listen to your podcast, I've learned so much already and really appreciate you contributing to ours.

Unknown Speaker  39:26  
Vice versa. I'm so glad that you're out there, Kevin, and I'm so glad that you're doing this. I was really honored to be invited. Thank you for having me.

Unknown Speaker  39:33  
You're very welcome. Well, I'd like to thank Dr. Adrienne panning for joining us today I have such a lovely conversation with her and quite a bit that we couldn't fit into today's podcast. So keep an eye out for a part two. And I was today years old when I learned that pedagogy is about teaching children, whereas andragogy is about teaching adults so I really do appreciate Dr. Bannon gently letting me know that through her response she is As a class act and very much appreciate her time, or focus her insight and her passion for PA education and for podcasting. Tune in next week as we speak with Dr. Don Morton Riaz, President and CEO, the National Commission on certification of Physician Assistants. We will speak about the role of the NCCPA in our profession, her experience as the first pa leading that organization, and as a woman of color representing our profession in a variety of different roles throughout her career. Until next time, I wish you success with whatever path you are walking in life. And thank you for joining us. The purpose of this podcast is to provide news and information on the PA profession and is for informational purposes only. The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and guests and do not necessarily reflect the official position or policy of the University of Southern California.


Adrian Banning, MMS, PA-CProfile Photo

Adrian Banning, MMS, PA-C

Associate Clinical Professor and Podcast Creator

Adrian S. Banning is an Associate Clinical Professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA and has been a faculty member there since 2008. She is responsible for didactic portions of PA education, particularly evidence-based medicine topics. Adrian has been a PA since 2006, having started her career in primary care with a proud focus on the veteran population before transitioning to education and research. She is interested in the strategies of Information Mastery, utilizing and applying evidence-based medicine effectively, improving empathetic patient-provider communication and the overlap between art and science. She is a strong proponent of the benefits of the medical librarian-clinician team. She has authored several publications in and The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (JAAPA) and The Journal of Physician Assistant Education (JPAE) and is a peer-reviewer for both journals. She has also presented at PA conferences nationally. Adrian is the former editor of the A Difficult Diagnosis section of JAAPA, Exploring Medicine Through the Arts in JPAE and is or has been a cohost of three novel PA-centric podcasts. In 2016, Adrian was recognized in BillyPenn’s, “Who’s Next in Health” as one of 13 young Philly leaders shaping the health scene.
Dr. Banning received her doctoral degree from Drexel University and obtained her Master’s of Medical Science/PA certificate from Arcadia University.