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SCU Physician Assistant Faculty and Students at CAPACon 2023


Students in the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU) Master of Science: Physician Assistant (MSPA) Program recently had the opportunity to attend the 2023 California Academy of Physician Associates Conference (CAPACon), where they networked, learned, and shared a mutual passion for the PA profession with others.

CAPACon is an annual conference held by the California Academy of Physician Associates (CAPA), an organization that supports and advocates for PAs in California. At CAPACon 2023, SCU students participated by attending lectures and skills workshops, leading pre-PA activities, and competing in the annual Student Challenge Bowl. 

SCU Students Learn, Network, and Lead at CAPACon

Students in the SCU MSPA Program played a major role in the success of an inaugural pre-PA Pathways event at CAPACon. The event spanned two hours and served as an opportunity for roughly 300 pre-PA students to learn from different PA schools across California. Student Director for CAPA Marissa Stone ’24, PA-S2, assisted in organizing the event with the Student Sub-Committee and CAPA team. 

The SCU booth provided prospective students the chance to learn about the Southern California University of Health Sciences Master of Science: Physician Assistant Program, and SCU’s pre-PA club, started by Kallie Hutchinson, offered student perspective and advice on the PA application process. According to PA Clinical Coordinator Sara Wiens, MPAS, PA-C, SCU students “provided insight, perspective, and encouragement to those pursuing PA school.” 

Students in Cohort 6, who are currently in their clinical year, received hands-on practice in a three-hour ultrasound workshop. Marissa Stone and Tara Schueller volunteered as patients, and Shelby Bennett, Aubrey VanDyke, and Meena Hoshmand were active participants in the workshop, putting their skills to the test.

According to Marissa Stone, the workshop was a combination of didactic material and hands-on experience, providing an opportunity to sharpen the clinical skills necessary for performing ultrasounds. Students were able to practice visualizing different organs and provided insight and understanding of what techniques are best for specific diagnoses. 

Dr. Tetzlaff Presents and Students Compete

Joe Tetzlaff, DC, MSPA, PA-C presenting at CAPACon 2023

In addition to student participants, faculty member Joe Tetzlaff, DC, MSPA, PA-C presented a lecture titled “Diagnosis Treatment and Management of Acute Low Back Pain in the Primary Care Setting.” It was Dr. Tetzlaff’s first conference presentation, and he was glad to report, “It went very well and [I] will likely be doing more in the future.”

SCU participants in the annual Student Challenge Bowl included Brady Rochon, Raquel Sharaf, and Meena Hoshmand. The Bowl consisted of students from PA schools across California being asked a series of questions, with the team with the most points at the end of the round moving on to the next.

The trio prepared for months and had a huge crowd of students and faculty cheering them on. “We are so proud of them and their hard work at this event and leading up to it!” Marissa Stone says.

Sharing Passion for the PA Profession

“We were thrilled to have such a strong presence at this event and our students returned with a wealth of knowledge from a variety of topics,” Sara Wiens said.

“We emphasize these interactions at a student level to promote understanding and advocacy for the profession as a whole. This is just one of the many ways that our students remain involved, and it wouldn’t be possible without the efforts and support from our amazing faculty!”

To learn about the SCU MSPA Program, visit scuhs.edu/masters-degrees/physician-assistant-program/.

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