Learning from People Who Are Doing

William H. Marquardt, M.A., P.A., DFAAPA, associate dean and chair in the Physician Assistant Department at NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care SciencesWilliam H. Marquardt, M.A., P.A., DFAAPA, had a 24-year military career with the United States Air Force. He served as an Air Force pharmacy technician for eight years prior to being accepted for physician assistant training. When he retired from the military, he sought other career options. “There were so many more opportunities I needed to explore,” he said.

Today, Marquardt serves as associate dean and chair in the Physician Assistant Department at NSU’s Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences. The number of board positions, committees, and offices he has held with national physician assistant organizations attests to Marquardt’s position as a well-respected and well-regarded national advocate in the formal recognition of PAs as patient-centered, primary medical care providers.

“I’ve had all kinds of opportunities to beat the drum for the cause, and I still do,” he said. To help students at NSU, he most recently developed the Physician Assistant CHCS (Community Health, Collaborative Service) Initiative.

“The ideal initiative award recipient will be a successful student nearing the completion of training who has coupled academic success with evidence of a commitment to community health care, hopefully in a primary care setting,” Marquardt said.

As a professor and dean, his goal is not just to train medical professionals, but to prepare community leaders. Another area where he continues to focus his efforts is in recognition of the NSU physician assistant alumni who provide opportunities for students to work within their practices in on-site, hands-on, clinical experiences.

“Since the inception of our professions, this apprenticeship model has been fundamental. You don’t learn in a classroom what you learn in a health care setting,’’ he said.

Marquardt believes that recognizing these professionals supporting the university in a substantial way is vital to NSU’s ongoing success. “What they offer is invaluable,” he said. “Learning comes from people who are doing; these are medical leaders that are giving back.’’