Two awards recently presented by the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants (VAPA) went to individuals with strong connections to Shenandoah University.
Shenandoah University Physician Assistant Studies Program Medical Director Philip O’Donnell, MD, FACP (above, right), was presented with the Physician Assistant Preceptor of the Year Award, while Shenandoah alumnus Brian Terzian ’13, PA-C, was presented with the Physician Assistant (PA) of the Year Award.
“The faculty and I are very proud that two recipients of Virginia Academy of Physician Assistant awards this year were connected to Shenandoah University,” said Physician Assistant Studies Program Director Tony Miller, M.Ed., PA-C. “Dr. Philip O’Donnell is not only a great preceptor, but he has been active as our medical director for five years. He continues to contribute to our teaching and service excellence in many ways.”
“Brian Terzian, a Shenandoah University Physician Assistant program alumnus, is well deserving of the PA of the Year award,” Miller added. “Brian continues to be involved in the PA program as a clinical preceptor and adjunct instructor.”
VAPA President Amanda Collins, PA-C (above, left), presented the award to Dr. O’Donnell during the VAPA’s 35th annual Summer CME Conference last month. Terzian, who is employed at Winchester Medical Center (WMC) as a physician assistant in the Emergency Department, was unable to attend the award ceremony.
“I was extremely humbled and honored to be recognized by the VAPA as PA of the Year,” said Terzian. “I have been practicing emergency medicine in the WMC Emergency Department since I graduated from the Shenandoah University PA program in 2013. Emergency medicine is extremely challenging, especially for someone new to the field, and there is no doubt that Shenandoah provided me with the tools I needed to be successful as a new graduate.”
According to the VAPA, the PA of the Year Award honors a PA in Virginia who has demonstrated exemplary service to the PA profession and their community, and has furthered the image of PAs. The organization’s PA Preceptor of the Year Award recognizes a physician or physician assistant preceptor whose qualities of leadership, professionalism, and dedication to quality care exemplify the physician/physician assistant team concept.
O’Donnell has been involved with the university’s PA program since its inception, initially serving as a guest lecturer and preceptor before being named medical director five years ago. His daughter is also a graduate of Shenandoah’s first PA class.
“It was a true honor to receive the Preceptor of the Year Award from the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants,” said O’Donnell. “Teaching is very much a part of medical practice, both teaching patients how to make the best choices for a healthy lifestyle, as well as teaching the new generation of healthcare providers. I think most healthcare providers feel that teaching students is part of what we do, having passed down teaching from our mentors to the students. This one-on-one relationship with preceptor and student allows for the best in teaching and sharing my many years of experience in medical practice. I have been fortunate to have great students rotate with me. In fact, Brian Terzian was one of them. It is the high quality of these students that makes me a better preceptor.”