“My hope is to educate and prepare our students not for the day they graduate, but for the next 50 years of their practice. Thus, we need to teach our students to think beyond our borders and be leaders on a global stage,” expresses Dipu Patel, a board-certified physician assistant who joins the University of Pittsburgh Physician Assistant Studies Department as its first professor and vice chair for Innovation.
“What excites me most about Pitt PAS are the colleagues with whom I will be working. It is evident that the team is passionate not only about their work but also about contributing to the profession and community as a whole,” says Patel. “This starts with a collective vision and takes a forward-thinking leader who supports the faculty by being a champion for their passion. I have felt the camaraderie and professionalism in every interaction I have had.”
Her new role will contribute to Pitt PAS’ mission by promoting and incorporating innovations in health care practice and education in the teaching, service and research functions of the department. “I hope to bridge health care education with the best practices from other industries and professions," explains Patel. “Whether this is bringing the nuances of digital health trends into the classroom as a way to better prepare our students for their future practice or engaging in the arts to learn about compassion and empathy, I hope to innovate within the existing curriculum and build new programs with my colleagues.”
Patel has already contributed to the development of new programming within the department as a valued adjunct faculty member. She assisted with the course creation, instruction and assessment for Pitt’s new Doctor of Physician Assistant Studies program, a one-of-a-kind post professional program offered 100% online. “I strongly believe that our work in health care and education has to be rooted in technology and humanity; in this way we can model for our students that technology is the tool used to deliver care that is patient-centered and provider-driven,” says Patel. “I believe we can bring our collective and diverse experiences together to reshape the health care landscape.”
Patel brings with her over 22 years of clinical experience in emergency medicine, urgent care, hematology/oncology, and as a COVID-19 clinical and operations consultant. Most recently, she served as director of Clinical Pathways at a health care technology startup where she led a multi-disciplinary team of global clinicians. There she honed her skills in clinical project management and strategic initiatives implementation while assuring that each clinical pathway was provider-driven and patient-centered.
She has served on several gubernatorial appointed positions. Since 2009, she has been a member of the Massachusetts Board of Registration for Physician Assistants and has held the title of chair since 2012. Patel previously served on the Governor’s Advisory Council-Task Force on Foreign-Born Healthcare Professionals in Massachusetts and on the Foreign-Trained Medical Professional Commission. She was also elected to serve as director-at-large for the Physician Assistant Education Association from 2016-2020, where she was actively involved in conversations of the implications of education and practice at the professional, clinical and academic levels.
Patel received her Bachelor of Science and Physician Assistant Certificate from St. John’s University’s Bronx-Lebanon Physician Assistant Program, Master of Physician Assistant Studies from the University of
Nebraska Medical Center, and Doctorate in Medical Science with a focus on Education (Digital Health) from the University of Lynchburg.
Patel is also an avid traveler who enjoys spending time with her kids and her dog. She lives in Boston and says, “I hate the winter and cherish every sunny day, but I love living in this beautiful city.” She also loves visiting museums and has an eye for photography.
Published September 1, 2022