A Fellowship of Opportunity

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The current team of Physician Assistant Pediatric Surgical fellows are provided with many different opportunities through Texas Children’s Hospital to grow and learn as providers. They gain hands on practice in the simulation center, attend medical conferences and participate in weekly didactic lectures.

Below, three of the current fellows discuss the various opportunities being provided through the fellowship at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Texas Children’s Simulation Center provides hands-on learning opportunities

One of the most beneficial opportunities we are offered during the Texas Children’s Physician Assistant Surgical Fellowship is the chance to participate in trainings in the Simulation Center. The Simulation Center offers providers a chance to participate in hands-on training with scenarios that provide realistic situations, environments and equipment. Since the start of the fellowship we have been able to practice placing chest tubes, central lines, Foley catheters, G-button and G-tubes, starting IV lines, enhancing suturing and knot-tying skills, and improving lumbar puncture skills. Most recently, we were trained_Nguyen_Thian_2k15-0026-AK1_2055 5x7 on how to deliver bad news to patients and their family. Although a nerve-wrecking and emotional experience, we came out of the simulation better providers who have further understanding on the concept of empathy. Future opportunities that we have to look forward to include training for robotic surgery, ICU boot camp, being prepared for airway emergencies, learning the techniques of casting and ultrasounds, and a simulation of codes during emergencies. These once-a-month simulation labs are a unique experience that I am grateful for and we are lucky that the instructors and providers at Texas Children’s take the time to be open and willing to further our education and training.

Thian Nguyen, MS-PAS, PA-C
Houston, Texas
Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical Physician Assistant Fellowship


Didactic education furthers the clinical experience

Along with the monthly hands-on activities at the simulation center, we are provided with numerous opportunities for continuing education to supplement our clinical experience. Each week, we attend a didactic lecture series where surgeons and medical fellows present topics in every surgical specialty of the fellowship, from the principles of skin grafting to the physiology of a single ventricle heart. All of the advanced practice providers at the hospital are encouraged to attend these luncheons, and it doesn’t hurt that food is provided!

Further didactic education is provided through lectures from the advanced practice providers during each rotation, and internal research is presented on dedicated research days, highlighting the cutting edge techniques that are developed within the walls of our ver_Hartwig_Chelsea_2k15-0026-AK1_2138 8x10y own department of surgery.

Texas Children’s Hospital Advanced Practice Providers (TCHAPP) conference is yet another venue for didactic education and simulation, with three days of in-house lectures and workshops that are open to physician assistants and nurse practitioners employed at other institutions. All of these experiences are qualified as category 1 continuing medical education (CME) courses according to the National Commission of Certification of Physician Assistants. At the end of our fellowship year, we will have well over the 50 category 1 CME credits required to maintain our licenses for two years!

Chelsea Hartwig, MPAP, PA-C
Rochester, Illinois
Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical Physician Assistant Fellowship


Fellowship team goes on the road to promote the program at several conferences

Golden GateA bonus of the pediatric surgical physician assistant fellowship is the opportunity to travel to various conferences to promote the fellowship.

In February, the fellows traveled to Dallas to attend the Texas Association of Physician Assistant’s (TAPA) spring conference. While there, we participated in a casting workshop and attended various lectures. The highlight was a leadership workshop presented by TAPA’s president, Todd Pickard.

Our team has most recently returned from the AAPA National Conference in San Francisco. In addition to lectures and normal conference activities, we attended the APPAP meeting where various topics concerning post-graduate education were discussed. We also attended a mixer sponsored by APPAP, where we enjoyed the opportunity to talk to current fellows, alumni and program directors from various programs across the country. While it _Mullinax_Sara_2k15-0026-AK1_1964 5x7was interesting to hear about other programs, the camaraderie exchanged among those involved in post graduate training was worthwhile and encouraging. We managed to squeeze in a few tourist activities while in San Francisco as well! Eating in Chinatown, walking around the Golden Gate Bridge and watching the sea lions at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf was the perfect way to end our trip.

Our Fellowship will also be represented at TAPA’s fall conference in Galveston, Texas, where we plan to have a panel discussion about the fellowship and post-graduate PA training in general.

Sara Mullinax, MMSc, PA-C, ATC
Cumming, Georgia
Texas Children’s Hospital Pediatric Surgical Physician Assistant Fellowship

Overall the fellowship has provided us with opportunities that have contributed greatly to our experience during the fellowship and here at Texas Children’s Hospital.


About Physician Assistant Pediatric Surgical Fellows, Class of 2016

We are the 2016 Physician Assistant Pediatric Surgical Fellows at Texas Children's Hospital.
Posted in Simulation Center, Surgery

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