Earlier this month, a number of current MEDEX students (both clinical and didactic), faculty, and graduates were among those attending the first annual WAPA/OSPA Spring Conference at Skamania Lodge March 10-12. Many of them, along with other friends and colleagues, were able to join the Meet and Greet hosted at the conference by MEDEX on March 11.

Seattle faculty members Lois Thetford and Bridget Albright (who both happen to also be MEDEX grads!) were in attendance at the conference and shared their experiences.

From Lois Thetford:

For the first time, at least for a WAPA conference, there was a specific track for students that addressed career goals, negotiating contracts, and other content such as “What to expect in your surgical rotation.” Students from Pacific University were instructed to attend; OHSU and MEDEX students were invited as their schedules allowed.

Sunday night’s gathering focused on the Challenge Bowl, where mixed teams of three competed against one another on difficult questions related to diagnosis and treatment. Everyone was encouraged to put their name in the hat. There were three rounds and then a final round of the three winners. It was very boisterous, with cheering and jeering.

The Monday and Tuesday sessions were very well attended with a wide range of topics. Presenters included Seattle Class 45 graduate and WAPA Liaison to the WSMA Better Prescribing Better Treatment Grant, Leah Hampson Yoke on Infectious Disease; current Seattle 57 didactic student and WAPA Student Rep, Nick Stanton, with Eric Humphrey, PA-C (Pacific University) on Wilderness Medicine; Seattle Class 48 graduate and WAPA President Elect, Joshua Lumsden on HIV in Primary Care. Additionally, a number of speakers were present from Oregon Health Sciences University and many practices throughout the area.

From Bridget Albright:

This was the first of what I hope is many joint OSPA and WAPA conferences. It was amazing to see all the students outside of the classroom, learning and networking and just relaxing and enjoying themselves. To see their eyes light up with the knowledge that there is life after PA school—and how wonderful that life is—was incredible.

To see PAs meeting students and saying, “Yeah, give me a call, happy to have you work with me,” to see PA students gain insight into what a career in Infectious Disease, hospital medicine, pulmonology, or interventional radiology might look like was wonderful. The hotel, the surroundings, the food, the social events, and the guest speakers all added to a truly wonderful experience.

[Editor’s Note: Bridget is also currently WAPA Secretary]


Bridget Albright and Joel Quiroz
Christi Dahlgren and Lois Thetford
Josh Lumsden and Joel Quiroz
L to R: Lois Thetford, Ramses Chavez (seated), Matt Hemm (standing), Brian Phan (front), Tatiana Bartlett, Katie Walker, Priscilla Chiang, Chris Roach (standing), Zac Irelan, Anna Green
Lois Thetford and Anthony Jordan
Anna Green, Tatiana Bartlett, Josh Lumsden
Tatiana Aron, Artem Aron, and Lois Thetford
Lois Thetford and Sepideh Makouei
Crystal Czaplicki, Leah Hampson Yoke, and Natalie Tajipour Glass
Lois Thetford and Forest Gauthier
Nick Stanton, Matt Hemm, Eileen Ravella, Garnie Jo Carter-Powell
Lois Thetford and Janice Sim
Nick Stanton and Lois Thetford
Tatiana Bartlett and Anna Green
Chris Roach and Lois Thetford
Lois Thetford and Brenda Lavigne
Michelle Cardenas, Chris Roach, Brian Phan, Katie Walker