Expert Insights from Program Leaders
November 15, 2021
Season 1: Episode 20: Rosalind Franklin University- Dr. Knott and PA Radke

Today we speak with Dr. Patrick Knott and Mr. Jason Radke from Rosalind Franklin University about their PA program, about post-graduate training residencies for PAs, and about a unique role that Dr. Knott has taken as an inventor and scholar. We also spe...

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Today we speak with Dr. Patrick Knott and Mr. Jason Radke from Rosalind Franklin University about their PA program, about post-graduate training residencies for PAs, and about a unique role that Dr. Knott has taken as an inventor and scholar. We also speak about the role of mentorship in our profession including the ironic connections the three of us share.

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  0:25  
I'm more comfortable when the PA residents are in my er taking care of patients than I was when the MD residents were there.

Unknown Speaker  0:34  
Well hello and thank you for joining us today with our 20th episode for our first season. That quote was from an ER director related to a transition from medical residents in orthopedics to PA residents orthopedics at a major hospital in the Chicagoland area many years ago, I put that in there to entice you to listen to two good friends who talked about the Rosalind Franklin PA program, but also about postgraduate training for PDAs and about a very unique role for a PA in orthopedics. We also talked about the importance of mentorship and how appropriate that we are interviewing Dr. Patrick Matt, who was one of my long term mentors with the PA profession and in fact, was the first non military pa I ever met. We also interviewed Mr. Jason Radke, the program director at Rosalind Franklin, who was a student in my alma mater where I first cut my teeth as a PA educator. You can learn more about both of these great leaders and about Rosalind Franklin University. In our show notes section of the blog on our website, Pa bath We've also added a new feature with transcripts for those who prefer to read instead of listening to the podcast, so we have plenty to offer today.

Unknown Speaker  1:43  
Well, thank you so much for joining us today. We're excited to learn more about Rosalind Franklin University and your individual path to becoming vas. Patrick, let's start with you since you are the senior member of the team today. And you have such a great history in your background of becoming a PA and serving the PA leadership roles. How about starting with time you decided to become a PA tell us about that decision and the path to becoming a PA?

Unknown Speaker  2:07  
Sure. Well, first of all, thanks for having me, Kevin. I appreciate being here. And I'm happy to speak to your audience. So I was an undergraduate at University of Iowa in the 1980s. And I was thinking about going to medical school and decided to volunteer at a free clinic. And when I was there, I was connected with a bunch of folks that were seeing patients that I thought were physicians and after learning that they were not in fact physicians, they were PDAs I started to investigate the PA profession a little bit more and learn that I was at at a school that had a great PA program. And so sort of switched my major from pre med to pre PA and finished my undergrad degree in biology and got into the PA program there. So then I had a two year stent with the University of Iowa PA program. I graduated in the very last program that offered a bachelor's degree. So that was a big plus. And then from there, I actually went to the University of Michigan, and did what sort of amounted to kind of a year of surgical training. We worked a lot like residents at the hospital and I was assigned to cardiovascular surgery. So I did a year of CV surgery training.

Unknown Speaker  3:23  
Before coming back the Chicago area and how prevalent back then were PDAs at the University of Michigan system.

Unknown Speaker  3:30  
You know, there were quite a bit I think there were like 15 PhDs in the department of surgery. And so I really had some great mentors there. I had some CPAs that had been working at the hospital for 10 or 15 years that really trained me so we took call in the ICU all night and manage the wires and actually did heart transplant. And so went out on transplant runs. And so it was a it was a very exciting first job. And it was really great to have you know, some mentors that really sort of taught me how to be a responsible PA

Unknown Speaker  4:05  
and Jason may not know the story, but you and I met a long time ago before I became a PA you were a orthopedic pa in St. Charles, Illinois. One time as a medical assistant, I just gotten out of the Navy and my physician that I worked for it and introduced me to you. We had a brief lunch while you told me about the profession but so at one point in time you decided to join orthopedics talk about that decision.

Unknown Speaker  4:29  
Yeah, so really after being at University of Michigan for a year, I was getting married we were interested in having a family and and so we decided to really move back to the Chicagoland area and have our family closer to our own family. And so, came back to Chicago got a job first with a guy in the Chicago area who was on staff at Rush press St. Luke's and did sports medicine. So I did ortho with him for several years and then moved out to St. Charles and and joined the It's true

Unknown Speaker  5:00  
Colfax failure orthopedics to general orthopedics there. We had the first pa at their group bedroom.

Unknown Speaker  5:08  
I was the first PA. Yeah, it was the first pa with with the first guy I got hired by and the first pa by Fox failure orthopedics, I was not the first pa at the hospital. So we were on staff at Del Norte hospital and there was one pa who preceded me there. But we were also on staff at a second hospital called St. Joe's and Elgin, and I was the first pa there. So it was it was those years where you spent a lot of time talking about what you were and what a PA was and how I trained and what things I was responsible for. So I remember being very specific about how I wanted to how I wanted to start my career at those places, and how I wanted to interact with referring physicians and the nursing staff and everybody else who was at the hospital.

Unknown Speaker  5:57  
I don't know if you sense this when you started there. When I when I started central H Hospital, which is just right down the street. As a PA, I was a second pa there. And I found the docs to be really, for the most part largely open to the idea and very welcoming.

Unknown Speaker  6:14  
Yeah, I did, especially the older physicians, it was interesting, the guys that were brand new out of residency were a little bit more nervous about, you know, sort of delegating. But the the older guys who had been in practice for a while were a lot more used to the the idea of sort of delegating some of that responsibility. A couple of the guys that I first started with had been in the military. So I think that helped, because they probably had some sense of how to do things from the military. But I do remember being very intentional about my interactions with all of the physicians who were referring to us and the emergency room physicians and the nursing staff, trying to really make a good impression so that, you know, the folks following me would have an easier time.

Unknown Speaker  7:03  
Yeah, yeah, I remember the same thing. You said it was a little bit of pressure to make sure that you set it up right so that people would continue to be positive towards the profession. Yeah. Jason, how about you, Jason illuminate for our audience, I have to describe you because you have this quintessential look, you are as long as I've known you, I think forever and bad I bow tie on, usually very brightly colored, which I think fits really well with our clinical path that you chose. So tell us about your path to PA and ultimately why you went into your specialty.

Unknown Speaker  7:34  
Sure. And also thanks again for the invite, and glad to be here today. I think my story, funny enough, mimics Patrick's a little bit at University of Iowa for my start. But I think it sounds a lot like the PAs that most students we hear about today as well. So started at University of Iowa and undergrad there and wanted to get some experience because I knew I wanted to go into healthcare. So I was working as a nursing assistant at the hospital there. And definitely that pre med path, but sort of similarly to what Patrick described, as I was on the floor, working on a solid tumor unit really got to know the PDAs on on staff. And they were the ones who were there working every day running that floor. So just in getting to know them and the time they spend with patients, it seemed like a really good fit. So I actually wound up taking a gap year after graduating to kind of get my bearings. And I'd been applying to med schools and going to interviews but wanted to really make sure that I found a good fit. And it's definitely been that. So graduated from there, took that gap year and then came back to home here in Illinois, went to Midwestern er actually met you

Unknown Speaker  8:47  
six talking about six degrees of separation. This is a quite the podcast because I was one of your teachers Jason before you became a PA and of course metric was the reason I entered in ended up in a profession, I think in large part was Patrick's guidance early on, so I totally totally. And then when you left Midwestern you decided to go into which specialty

Unknown Speaker  9:11  
so I actually started off in emergency medicine, working at Mount Sinai Hospital in Chicago. So a level one trauma center and very busy. Yeah, it was a really great experience as a new grad, a lot of stress and a high learning curve there but it really helped me up the rest of my career by having that experience get really good at differentials and and just getting used to kind of whatever walks through the door you can handle so it was a great experience was there for about a year and then my passion has always been pediatrics and so when an opportunity opens to work in a private clinic out in the suburbs here in Chicagoland area I took took that opportunity and was there for about seven years almost so so yeah, then that was again it has been a passion of mine. And so it was very excited to have that opportunity. It's hard for PA sometimes to get into pediatrics.

Unknown Speaker  10:06  
And so when those things open up, you take them. Yeah, and I don't know if this is still the case. But back in the day, it seemed like about 5% of us ended up in pediatrics. Is that staying pretty constant? Or is it changed?

Unknown Speaker  10:18  
Yeah, you know, I've seen a lot more of our grads, getting into pediatrics, I think where it tends to be is a lot of the hospital based. And so we're seeing a little bit more movement there. But you're right, it's still one of the harder areas for PTS to get in, in some ways.

Unknown Speaker  10:35  
Yeah. So ultimately, both of you ended up in education, why don't we start talking about that decision and how you ended up at Rosalind Franklin?

Unknown Speaker  10:46  
Sure, well, I can start and first of all, I heard you try to slip in a little blame there of how I got you into PSP education. So I just wanted to know the statute of limitations on that as run out. There stood for me, for me, it was very haphazard, I was practicing it at Fox failure orthopedics in the Chicago suburbs. And Rosalind Franklin University, which at the time was called Finch University of Health Sciences, was considering starting a PA program, and they were looking for PhDs in the area to be on an advisory committee. And they just called me up out of the blue and said, Would you come up and be on our committee and talk to us about how to get a program started. And so I was on that committee and then got asked to, you know, give a single lecture, and then eventually a couple of lectures, and then to teach a whole course, than to take one day a week. So you know, slowly, kind of eased into it. But it was interesting, because I felt like, even though I really hadn't intended to go into education, I was spending so much of my day doing patient education, you know, the surgeon would come in and say, here's what's wrong with you, here's the surgery we need to do. And then they were out the door. And I would sit and explain to the patient, everything that had happened and what was going on and what was going to happen during the surgery and what it was going to be like and answer all their questions. And I just started feeling like, you know, I that's really a big piece of the pH jobs. So. So teachings, PA students sort of came naturally after doing that for a while.

Unknown Speaker  12:19  
And then you ended up becoming the director, and then also went through a variety of different leadership roles to help that institution get started again, but established, correct?

Unknown Speaker  12:29  
Yeah, I happen to be at the program when the program director and assistant director left sort of unexpectedly all of a sudden, and I was a part time faculty at the time, and we had an accreditation visit coming up. And there was just a lot of concern about, you know, making sure we had a full faculty and that things were going well, and, and they asked me if I would consider being the program director. And so I went to my clinical supervisors at Fox Valley and said, I don't know I got this opportunity to do this. And, you know, I know I mean, leaving the practice, and I'm not sure what to do and, and they said, you know, these opportunities only come along once in a lifetime, you got to do this, you got to jump out. So they they encouraged me to take it and I stayed on seeing patients with them one day a week for a while, and sort of transitioned into full time pa education. So I was the Program Director for 16 or 17 years. And then we actually hired Michael Stadler, the current VA president to be our program director for a while. So she was here. I think those were the years that we hired Jason, he joined the group. And then as Michael transitioned back to Texas, Jason stepped in as the

Unknown Speaker  13:43  
next program director on standing and Jason for you. Tell us about your decision to leave full time pediatrics and become an educator.

Unknown Speaker  13:51  
So I had always had education P education on the horizon. But it came a little bit sooner than I expected. And I was looking for a change at that time. And interviewed a Rosalind Franklin just on a whim to see, I just absolutely loved the environment here. The faculty and the students that I met at that time, it seemed like a really good fit. And then the job that I first took was actually clinical coordinator. So I know how tough that job can be. So I was a little leery about that at first, but at the same time, they said, you know, we have this free peds clinic, that's a community clinic that we run that we're looking for someone to take over. So it was kind of this perfect, perfect offer of being able to get into education and then still keep this clinical piece for this position specifically so. So yeah, just kind of lightning struck and it came at a perfect time.

Unknown Speaker  14:46  
And then the director role, what was the motivation for that?

Unknown Speaker  14:50  
Well, so another thing that kind of came, came out of nowhere in some ways, I think I'd taken on a few roles throughout the department. So started as clinical coordinator. moved up to Director of Experiential Learning so had a little bit more of a role in simulation, especially for the clinical year. And then took over for a brief time as the director of didactic education when that current doctor stepped down. And then like Patrick said, When Michael Statler, moved up for a short time into the dean's office, before she left for Texas, they offered that position to me so, so it was not again, necessarily on my radar timing wise from at that point, but that seemed like a good time and a good move.

Unknown Speaker  15:31  
Yeah, so and Rosalind Franklin, as I recall, is the first medical school in the country to be named after a pioneering woman. I wonder if you could tell us about Rosalind Franklin, what sets it apart from others? But also your simulation? You guys were on the cutting edge of simulation before anybody else I knew back in the day when I was in Midwestern in Chicago. So tell us about your simulation too, because I think you've always been leading the charge on that.

Unknown Speaker  15:57  
Yeah, well, I could start with the history. And I'll let Jason talk about simulation. The history really goes back much farther than our renaming. You know, Chicago Medical School has been around for about 110 years. And if you look back at our very first student photos in the lobby, our very first graduating class had an African American woman in the front row. It was a school that just embraced diversity and inclusion from the very beginning, the early 1900s, were years where you pretty much didn't get into medical school in the city of Chicago, at the other institutions that were here, unless you were a white Christian male. And so there were Jewish students who felt really persecuted and unable to get into medical school, women, people of color. And so we had students from all of those groups from the very beginning. So I think that really helped us, you know, that that history helped us really understand the role that Rosalind Franklin had in history. And you know, how women in science at the time were really an underrepresented group. And so it was really exciting when we renamed our university after her. And I think that really energized a lot of people here to think about inclusion and diversity in ways that we hadn't

Unknown Speaker  17:23  
before. So Jason, the simulation part in the program itself, how long is it? What's your typical pitch to students? So with,

Unknown Speaker  17:33  
with our simulation, we definitely use it throughout, I'll say the entire program, then we have a few different modalities of utilize. So on our main campus, we have a kind of smaller sim center that has an inpatient setting, it has some recently built out hospital rooms. And then there's also a clinic based setting that we use for a lot of our exams. So head to toe exams, practice with standardized patients. And so each of these has that feel of being in a clinic setting or in a hospital setting, we have a great deal of mannequins and a set up to be able to record all of our student activities. And so we utilize that throughout our didactic year in in that training of just getting students used to dealing with patients in a pretty low impact setting. And we also do have out in the suburbs, we built out on the campus of San Tegra, Northwest Northwestern, we actually have two floor setting where they built out emergency room, again, an inpatient setting and OB there's an O R, where students can scrub in. And so it's this feels like a hospital looks like a hospital. And so we utilize that, especially again in our first year of getting our students out there. And it's a lot of that muscle memory as well. So they're scrubbing into an or walking into an or doing some of those techniques. And it has really that feel. So we have at least one session out there one day where they get to experience a lot of that. And then for our second year, we have a few days where they come back to do some of those simulations so that we're doing some of that summative piece to the education and making sure so we get to use those settings, like I said emergency room and be able to see how they kind of function in that setting together.

Unknown Speaker  19:31  
So when your students get into the clinical settings, your data suggests that they are much better prepared than perhaps other schools are able to do because of those opportunities.

Unknown Speaker  19:42  
Absolutely. And like I said, a lot of these things, there's a little bit of that that muscle memory that happens and so if you're able to really get into that setting, it takes a little time for students to get used to things like mannequins, but they they talk and have pulses and respirations and everything. So as students get go With that they get really used to that type of setting. And it lends itself to, to being able to prepare for those rotations and translate that really well.

Unknown Speaker  20:10  
When you think about the typical applicant that you're hoping to attract, what do you all looking for it? Rosalind Franklin? Well,

Unknown Speaker  20:17  
you know, I think we're looking for students that are well prepared to become PHS. And and you know, that preparation can take a variety of forms, good, good academic background, good sort of life experiences, good and patient care experience, in one way or another. But I think we're also thinking about our community. You know, it's, it's sort of like when we talk to our students about the difference between taking care of an individual patient and taking care of a community and doing what's right for the community. And I think we're really spending a lot of time now thinking about our community, and saying, what types of folks are underrepresented in medicine? And how do we try to fill those gaps? How do we look for folks that will take care of parts of our community that have not been taken care of well in the past? And how do we bridge some of those inequities in medicine? So that's, that's just become a really important part of our focus. And and we're asking applicants, how they can help fill those gaps, where they fit in and, and how they can help serve folks that have not gotten the services they've needed over the decades.

Unknown Speaker  21:31  
So if I'm an applicant, and I'm looking at your mission statement and understanding that premise, what are some of the things that your successful applicants had done to demonstrate that?

Unknown Speaker  21:44  
Well, now build off of what Patrick said a little too, in the sense that when we look at our applicant pool, we are doing that really holistic review. And so, yes, we need people to be prepared and to performed, well, GPA wise, but I think we look at a lot of other aspects. And so looking at things like leadership, volunteer volunteerism, and having this type of candidate that is pretty well rounded, and is going to contribute not just to our program, but to the profession in general. You know, we also take everything into consideration things like the performance during the last 60 hours of their, their academic career. And so we know that for some students, if they're first gen college grad, it may have taken a little bit of time to get used to going to school. And so we try to take into account all of those things. Ultimately, what we're trying to do is build a class that is going to go out there and like Patrick said, work in the community. And above and beyond that we want good PHS and so good peers doesn't always just translate to that GPA, we're looking for really well rounded people that can build that profession.

Unknown Speaker  22:53  
So when you think about the the entire experience of Franklin, what do you think most alums reflect on as the the things that they cherish the most about being in your institution?

Unknown Speaker  23:04  
I think for certain as the people of the things you remember about school, as you look back, really the only important things are the relationships that you make. I think our students make amazing relationships amongst each other like classes, really a lot of camaraderie, we try very hard not to promote any sort of competition between students. And just the opposite to promote team building and working together and helping one another. And it's, it's just great when you see a student who's struggling in one area, that curriculum and and his or her classmates jump in and help them out. And then three months later, we're in a different part of the curriculum, and they're really strong, and they're returning that favor and helping out their fellow classmates, I just see so many really great examples of how they're working together. And then obviously, we're trying hard to build good relationships between faculty and students as well. And so for me, clearly the best part of my job is seeing students become really successful both while they're in PA school and after they graduate and hearing back from them. Getting getting pictures from them when they get a new job or get married or have a baby or move to a new city or all the all the exciting things in there that happened in their lives and to get to hear back from them and hear that they're doing well and successful. That's, that's kind of the reward we're looking for. So clearly, I mean, we got a lot of neat things going on here. But it's the it's the people in the relationships that matter.

Unknown Speaker  24:41  
Yeah, that's fantastic. Even seeing one of them become a program director for a school in the area that's really rich and rewarding as well. As

Unknown Speaker  24:49  
you know, we've had a lot of students go into PA education and we have, I think we have six or seven alums that are in as program directors are sort of leaders in pa pa education?

Unknown Speaker  25:02  
What do you think is the crux of that? Why do so many of your students end up in PHP? Ah,

Unknown Speaker  25:09  
well, I can jump in a little and say that, I think a lot of the mentorship that is here. So as Patrick talked about, there's this sort of community that we have. I think that as students go through the program, there is that connection that's maintained. A lot of them reached out and offered to be preceptors, want to be preceptors. And then eventually, I think really get bitten by that teaching bug. And so I think that, you know, some of it is that a lot of what we do as TAs is teaching out and out in those clinics and in the community. But I think that there is this kind of special connection that comes back here, I know that when I came on and started working here, I was one of the few people who hadn't graduated from this university who was working in our department. And we still have about half of our people who are grads. And so I think that that their experience here and just they want to stay connected. And I also think that, like I said a little earlier, the mentorship here, when you asked what kind of got me to program director. That's really what it is, between Patrick and Michael, having two strong mentors along the way. Guide, I think we as faculty feel that within the department and our students feel

Unknown Speaker  26:30  
a lot. Yeah, I'd say, given your pedigree and turn to the people you've been around. Jason, you've got two of the finest and people have been National Presidents of organizations and have led the PA profession for the last several decades. So that's pretty cool. Absolutely. So gentlemen, I wonder if we can switch gears a little bit and talk about life after PA school because Patrick, you have a unique perspective, I think in that you led a postgraduate residency program in orthopedics before. And I think that's always a question for PA is and even for the general public kind of what why do some kids go into postgraduate training programs and others don't? And is it necessary? You know, should I be thinking about that? So could you maybe walk us through that process, that thought process in terms of the pros and cons and what you've gained from those experiences as well? Sure.

Unknown Speaker  27:24  
Our residency program at Illinois bone or joint institute is still going strong. After about 25 years, it was really born out of necessity, it said it is located at a big Teaching Hospital in Chicago. And that hospital had residents from one of the big medical schools and the orthopedic residents that that covered that hospital for decades. And, you know, the hospital was joining one big new health system and the that university was forming its own new health system. And those two health systems weren't getting along. And part of the Fallout was the Hospital found out in about March that as of July one, they wouldn't have any MD residents anymore. And so I happened to meet these guys at Illinois water drain Institute, and we started talking about the problems they were having. And they weren't sure how they were going to manage a huge tertiary care hospital without residents. And so I suggested that we start a PA residency program to replace the MD residency program that was there. So between March and July one, we set it up. And we got a first class in and they did really well. Clearly they didn't have the expertise or the years of experience that an MD resident had especially like a fourth or a fifth year MD resident. But when we graduated that first class, I remember the director of the emergency room at this, you know, busy tertiary care center that has a helicopter and flying in trauma patients and everything else actually came to the group and said, I'm more comfortable when the PA residents are in my er taking care of patients than I was when the MD residents were there. And people were shocked to hear that and he said the reason is, because it's sort of this mentality that the MD resident is trying to prove that he or she is competent and ready to go and has learned all the orthopedics already and trying to make decisions independently when maybe they shouldn't be, you know, they're hoping not to wake the attending up at three in the morning to just handle the problem on their own. So when the attending shows up, they can say look at the wonderful job I did last night. The PA residents were completely different. The PA residents understood that they were supposed to be working as an extension of the attending. And so they always woke him up at three in the morning and talked about the case and said this is what I intend to do. What do you think, Am I doing the right thing? So the the director of the ER said, I know that the plan is being carried out, as always the plan that's directed by the attending and I'm more comfortable with that than a resident. So we just we've had this wonderful experience, I think, for somebody thinking about going into a residency, it's really this idea of Do you want to extend your PA training a little bit longer do you want to have a clinical role rotation that's in one, especially in this case, orthopedic surgery, where you get a lot of responsibilities, see a lot of cases, I mean, our residents scrub in on literally 1000s of cases in a year. And it's just way more experienced, they would get taking a job out in the community. So they get they get good mentorship, somebody watching over them carefully, a lot of experience taking care of patients high level patients that are really sick and have lots going on. And they finish that you're feeling really confident about their abilities and ready to start in a in a private practice where they can handle that responsibility, and they know what to do. So I think it's really good for those students who used to really go after the students that were kind of top of their class, you know, the real gunners. But I think honestly, it's just as useful for a student who's graduating and feeling a little tenuous, like, they're just not sure they're ready to go into practice yet. And they're, they're just a little shaky. And they, they're, they need another year. And so it provides this great year of a lot of a lot of work and a lot of mentorship.

Unknown Speaker  31:36  
And I would imagine they're very employable when they leave because that model of teaching is very similar to what all physicians go through. Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  31:43  
I think physicians really identify with that, when you say you've done a residency, they sort of understand that kind of training model where you're expected to do it. But your attendings looking over your shoulder all the time, and making sure you do it correctly, and constantly kind of quizzing you and, and making sure that you really understand the mechanism about why you're doing what you're doing. And, you know, you go to conferences, you'll learn about sort of the newest things, and it's just, I think, a really good model.

Unknown Speaker  32:13  
That's fantastic. So, Jason, when you think about students that are coming to you for advice about this, what's your kind of go to advice related to the, you know, should I should I go on another year for training or not? It's Patrick said in terms of those that are a little shaky, or do you have a different opinion?

Unknown Speaker  32:29  
I think it's both. And I definitely agree with what he's said, I think, you know, more and more, we're seeing things like the emergency room residencies, as well. And so going into emergency Med, sometimes, especially in some areas of the country, that may be almost the only way to get a foot in the door. And so I think it's sometimes it's fun depends on the specialty that someone's going into, and whether or not, that's a really great way to get a really robust experience and the knowledge base that you need. And then I think, like was mentioned earlier to the category of student who is just a little bit shaky out there needs a little bit more time, or is also just kind of unsure of what they want to do. And getting another group of skill set under their belt, it allows them to be more marketable, as well. And so I think I think there's a really good place for those for a lot of students that are getting out

Unknown Speaker  33:24  
there. Patrick, I wonder if we could talk a little bit more about orthopedics because you've also you have such a diverse background, you you've led the residency, but you've also delved into the medical equipment, component of life in terms of inventing things, I wonder if you could share a little bit about that experience and what what drove you to explore that area of the healthcare field? Sure.

Unknown Speaker  33:48  
So I was in a in this practice at elenite Want to join working with a surgeon who had done both a spine fellowship and a pediatrics fellowship. And so he was the spine deformity specialist, and we did a lot of work in scoliosis. We had thinking about the amount of radiation we were exposing our patients to by taking so many X rays of their spine, especially during a time in their life, you know, scoliosis affects a lot of adolescents and, and females to males at a ratio of about seven to one. So a lot of young females who were in their adolescent growth spurt, and they were getting monthly X rays of their spine and really looked at the evidence that the epidemiologists were putting out showing that women who were in their 50s, who had scoliosis, as teenagers were about eight times higher chance of getting breast cancer. So we knew that we're doing harm by so many X rays at such a key point in their life when there's they're growing and they have a lot of rapid cell turnover and those cells are going to be more sustained. Double two damage from radiation. So we started looking at at non ratty, radiographic spine imaging, and I went out looking for a number of companies that had new technology. And we worked with a couple where we sort of showed it didn't really work well. But then we eventually came upon this company that was using something called surface topography, where they scan the surface of the back. And then they use a 3d mathematical model to reconstruct where the spine is underneath the skin. And so it was a German company, we were the first to use this scanner in the United States, and then sort of started a research lab where we first tried to prove whether or not it was reliable, and then tried to look at the variety different ways that we could use it. So I've moved that lab to the university, you know, published a lot of papers on sort of how this technology can be used. And we've really expanded out into lots of different areas. So in the beginning, we were just using it to measure kids with scoliosis, but we've put a motion component into it. So we can see the spine in motion. And now we're using it in sports medicine. We're using it in neuromuscular things like Parkinson's or stroke, or cerebral palsy. So there's like a lot of a lot of neat applications. So we kind of founded a US company and I started working on trying to get this this technology into other part, no other other hospitals and clinics across the United States.

Unknown Speaker  36:35  
So that opportunity to choose started with as the data by expanding to other other institutions, have you just collected more and more data that's helping you nail this down even further, scientifically?

Unknown Speaker  36:48  
Yeah, we have we got a study group together, where we could take data from different hospitals and put it all together into one pool. And then we'd get the physicians from all of those different hospitals together. And we'd write papers together. And so it's, it's turned out to be a really fun, sort of side gig for me in terms of how the, how the research sort of gets put out there as a as a product for hospitals and clinics to

Unknown Speaker  37:13  
use. I wonder is maybe a last question, if we could look back, let's say, when you're when you're finally hanging up your stethoscope, and you're going to sit back on a porch, Patrick, you'd probably off photographing nature somewhere. And, Jason, I'm not sure for you, but what you as you look back, what are your what do you think you're going to be most proud of in your careers?

Unknown Speaker  37:34  
That's a tough one. I I think, you know, I think this path has been one that every step so far has been pretty unexpected. But I think at every step of the way, there has been something that's been really rewarding. And so you know, I look back on on pediatrics in my time there, you know, it can be very bread and butter, pediatrics, a lot of runny noses, and dirty diapers, but, but when you get those few cases where they really stand out that you're really helped a kid help the family through a tough time, something like that, I think those are always things that stick with you. And the thing with pa education is that you are kind of pumping out all these grads, and sometimes you can lose the forest for the trees. But um, at the end of the day, when you look at the volume of providers that you're sending out into the world, who then help others who then mentor others. And so even in my short time so far in education, you already start to see that. And so I think just knowing that, that you have that impact, and if you're training students in the way that you want them to be as PDAs, and you start to see that reflected back, I think that's pretty amazing thing.

Unknown Speaker  38:43  
That's a great answer. I agree.

Unknown Speaker  38:46  
And and it's a great answer, because it's hard sometimes when you're mid career right in the thick of it, to really have that perspective and look ahead and see what's going to be important to you years from now, you know, I've got a little bit more perspective than Jason does, and be able to look back and clearly for me, like the only thing that matters and the thing that that that I look back on with sort of the the best memories are the people that I've been able to interact with over time, people like you, Kevin, honestly, who you know, I mean, when I when I first met you and interacted with you, it was such a little thing, you know, to have lunch and talk about the profession and you know, maybe get you interested in being a PA and then when you got into PA education to reconnect again and sort of get you introduced to people at PA and you know, and say, Gee, I know you feel brand new here, but let me let me take your router and introduce you to some folks and then sort of just seeing what got what happened from that how that how that turned into to a huge leadership opportunity for you and so, so it's that it said multiplication effect, you know, where as a clinician you try every day To help a bunch of people, but at the end of the day, you know, there's millions of people that you couldn't help. And that, you know, your day ended and you only were able to do so much. But when you're in PA education, and you keep training people more and more and more people, I mean, I've been here through 2000 graduates now. And I think all 2000s of those graduates are out helping people every single day. And so you start to multiply well, how many people would that be in a year? It's just mind boggling. And so that for me, it's, it's, it's the people and sort of what happens with those folks after you interact with them. That is that is just sort of the most enjoyable and rewarding part of my career.

Unknown Speaker  40:45  
I have to say, Patrick, I'm waiting for that subpoena for being a professional stalker. Because you know, we started at that lunch, and then I ended up going to becoming a PA at a at a Crosstown PA school, and then I ended up in PA education, then I ended up getting my doctorate from the same institution, you got yours, that then you invited me to join the Finance Committee just to sit back and learn for pa pa and lo and behold, a few years later on the president, like you were so yeah, I think it's been a real treat to follow you in your footsteps. And when you think about mentorship, I'm not surprised. Jason talked about that with you. And Michael, I think that's got to be a significant legacy for you, Patrick, and what you've done, and Rosalind Franklin, in the end, throughout the PA world. And, Jason, I'm sure you're going to emulate that and already have in your current role as program director. So thank you both for taking the time to share your thoughts and insights. And yeah, it really amazing stuff going on Rosalind Franklin, I think people need to take a look at your school. Because clearly the DNA there is special. Thanks.

Unknown Speaker  41:52  
You know, I had another major title change this last week, Kevin, that you may not know about. I became a grandfather for the first time. So my Josh and grasping a new stage of my life that I'm really excited about and really happy. So I have a little granddaughter who's a week old. And so that's, that's your next, your next thing to emulate.

Unknown Speaker  42:17  
Congratulations. And look, you guys have a great winter. Good luck with the continuation of excellence at your institution. And then those around you. And thank you again for taking the time.

Unknown Speaker  42:27  
Thanks so much for having us.

Unknown Speaker  42:30  
We want to thank our guests Dr. Patrick Matt and Mr. Jason Radke for joining us today, the conversation reminds us all of how important spending just a little time with others can be toward supporting others to chase their dreams. To next week as we speak with Mr. Jonathan Bowser, Associate Dean and Director of the University of Colorado Child Health associate PA program. We speak with John about the program which is one of the longest standing PA schools in our country, and we explore John's background and leadership from his national and international work. Until next time, we 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.


Jason Radke, MMS, PA-CProfile Photo

Jason Radke, MMS, PA-C

Program Director and Department Chair

Jason Radke earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Iowa with majors in Biology and Psychology in 2003, and went on to earn his Master of Medical Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies at Midwestern University in 2006. He has been practicing clinically for nearly all of the past fifteen years.

Jason joined the PA Program faculty at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in 2014 as a Clinical Coordinator. During his time with the program he has served as Director of Experiential Learning, Director of Didactic Education, and transitioned into his current role as Program Director and Department Chair in 2018.

Jason has spent most of his clinical career practicing in pediatrics, but has also worked in emergency medicine and men’s health. He continues to practice clinically as director of Healthy Families Clinic along with faculty from the Psychology Department in a pediatric integrated behavioral health clinic on the university campus. This clinic provides free care to uninsured children in the community, helps connect families to community services, and allows for PA and psychology students to gain clinical experience on an interprofessional team.

As faculty, Jason teaches Population Medicine, Pediatrics, Physical Assessment, Advanced Physical Exam, the EENT and Psychology units in the General Medicine and Infectious Disease course series, and lectures or facilitates in multiple other courses throughout the curriculum such as PA Professional Issues and Ethics and Interprofessional Case Collaborations. He also teaches students from all clinical professions at the university.

In 2018 Jason received the College of Health Professions (CHP) Outstanding Faculty Award; a nomination by his peers. In 2019 he received CHP Outstanding Educator Award; a nomination by PA students.

External to his university role, Jason has served on the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Finance Steering Committee since 2019. Most recently, he was a case contributor for 101 Primary Care Case Studies: A Workbook for Clinical and Bedside Skills.

Patrick Knott, PhD, PA-CProfile Photo

Patrick Knott, PhD, PA-C

Professor; Co-Director of the Illinois Bone and Joint Orthopedic PA Residency Program

Dr. Knott joined Rosalind Franklin University in 1996 as a faculty member, and went on to be the Department Chair for 16 years. Since that time he served as Associate Dean, Associate Vice President for Academics, and Vice President for Strategic Enrollment. He teaches interprofessional courses in Research & Statistics, Orthopaedics, and Leadership, among others, and teaches students in the college of medicine, the college of pharmacy, the college of podiatry, and in the college of health professions.

He is a Past President of PAEA, having served on the board between 2000 and 2006 with a term as Treasurer before entering the presidential line. He chaired the Transition Task Force from 2003-2006 during the time that the Association moved from an administrative structure provided by the AAPA and established its own independent staff and office space. He also chaired the Finance Committee as they oversaw the launch of CASPA, which quickly became one of the most successful sources of non-dues revenue that the Association had ever experienced, allowing for confident and rapid expansion of services to its member programs.

He has served as president of several other associations, including the Association of Postgraduate PA Programs (APPAP) and the Society on Scoliosis, Orthopaedic and Rehabilitative Treatment (SOSORT), an international research society.

His research in spinal deformity has led to more than 90 peer reviewed journal publications, abstracts and scientific posters. He has been the section editor or editorial board member for 12 journals, and supervised more than 100 masters projects and 7 doctoral dissertations. His research led to the launch of a new medical device company in the US, DIERS Medical Systems, where he works part time on research and development.

He is a fellow in the Scoliosis Research Society, and has received several competitive research grants for his work in spine deformity.

Dr. Knott is a graduate of the University of Iowa’s Physician Assistant Program, and earned his PhD from Capella University.