Brendan Riordan, MS, PA-C

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Assistant Teaching Professor, Didactic Faculty

As a second-generation PA, I have been surrounded by this profession for my entire life, and now I am thrilled to be joining the faculty of MEDEX. After years of practicing pre-hospital and transport medicine, I graduated from the PA program at Hofstra University in New York. I then completed a post-graduate training program in Critical Care Medicine at Emory Healthcare in Atlanta, Georgia and owing to a love of all things heart-related, I began working in the Cardiothoracic Surgical ICU. When the humidity became too much for me, I relocated to the gorgeous PNW and continued my clinical work as an intensivist in the Cardiothoracic Surgical ICU at the University of Washington Medical Center in Seattle. Throughout my training and practice, I have maintained a strong affection for teaching and was frequently asked to guest lecture at the MEDEX program in Seattle. When the students rewarded me with my first Golden Apple Award, I knew it was time to start my transition into academia. Despite heading inland, I will always love the rain-soaked coast, so I will be continuing my clinical work with a limited role in the Emerald City.  

I believe there are two qualities that both the ideal PA student and the ideal PA educator share: empathy and awareness. A successful approach to healthcare first requires a willingness to understand humanity – people’s dreams, anxieties, and perceptions. This attitude promotes focus and flexibility, leading to a more positive and memorable experience for both teacher and student. Second, awareness – of both physiology and environment – is necessary to fully grasp the totality of disease. To be successful in the classroom and the clinic, one must understand both the parts working beneath the surface and the ones contributing externally. It is not enough to simply accept that illness exists – the knowledge of how and why is essential. I hope to instill a spirit of both in all my future learners. 

Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.  
– William Butler Yeats