We are excited to announce the official appointment of Mitzi D’Aquila, MACM, PA-C to serve as our Program Director for the Primary Care PA Program at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
By Claire Norman
Ms. D’Aquila has a long shared history with the program and a deep connection to the Trojan PA Family. A graduate of the program from the Class of 2001, she completed her Master of Academic Medicine from the Keck School of Medicine of USC in 2014. In 2010, Ms. D’Aquila joined the program as a clinical coordinator, taking on roles across the program and growing into a position of leadership fueled by a passion for the profession and commitment to our shared program mission and values. From 2017-2021 she served as Director of Clinical Education and in 2021 was appointed the Associate Program Director. Over the last year, she stepped into the role of interim Program Director. Her knowledge of our program, its history and values help her collaborate with faculty, staff, preceptors and alumni to ensure our PA students’ success.
Her clinical background includes over 10 years of experience in pediatric hospital medicine at Miller Children’s Hospital Long Beach and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. Prior to graduating from the USC PA Program in 2001, she was a Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP) participant. She has six peer-reviewed publications and more than 30 national, state or invited presentations. In collaboration with the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), she has led clinical coordinator and new faculty workshops for educators across the country, in addition to an active role in facilitating their faculty and staff retreats. In 2015, she received a grant from PAEA to lead a team to enhance preceptor recruitment through innovative web-based videos and research their effectiveness. Ms. D’Aquila is the Director-At-Large on the Board of Directors for the California Academy of Physician Assistants. She is also a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Society of Physician Assistants in Pediatrics. In 2022, she was recognized by POCN as the Top PA in Pediatrics.
“This pathway of growth and development is emblematic of what we aspire to do well in our department, creating growth and development opportunities for our team to be leaders in health and social justice for all,” shared Department of Family Medicine Chair Jehni Robinson, MD. “I continue to be impressed with Ms. D’Aquila’s commitment to supporting her team, moving forward the important work of diversity, equity and inclusion, providing calm and positivity in the midst of change and her focus on high-quality education for students.”