Pamela “Michel” Statler, MLA, PA-C, has been a PA educator since 1994. She was the first PA educator to work as a staff member at the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). She is a former president of the PAEA and served as Immediate Past President during the organization’s 50th Anniversary year (2022) and participated in the planning of the celebration.
Statler’s father was a career Army officer so they were often on the move and as a result, Statler had several home towns when growing up and attended three different schools for fourth grade alone. Statler’s father was assigned to Germany right after the Berlin Wall was erected, so there was a delay before Statler and her mother were able to safely join him in Germany where they lived for the next three years.
Statler graduated from Baylor University, Waco, TX, in 1977 with a Bachelor of Arts in the German language and a minor in biology and chemistry. Statler had always had an interest in healthcare and working in surgery in particular. Her mother was the one who actually introduced her to the PA profession and it provided a perfect opportunity to link her love of anatomy with a future surgical career. In 1980, she received her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alabama in Birmingham’s Surgeon’s Assistant Program. After graduating, she worked clinically in cardiac surgery, ENT, and neurosurgery. Statler attained her Master of Liberal Arts in Psychology from the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX in 2000. She is currently working on her Doctorate of Medical Sciences in Education at the University of Lynchburg in Lynchburg, VA and is expected to graduate in May 2023
Statler’s first academic appointment was with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas (1994-2003). She then accepted faculty positions at Midwestern University, Glendale, AZ (2003-2008), the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX (2008-2010), and an adjunct faculty appointment with George Washington University, Washington, DC (2011-2013). She worked as a member of staff at the PAEA, first as Director of Profession Affairs and Education (2010-2012) and then Senior Director of Academic Affairs (2012-2013) where she worked closely with the Assessment Institute and Exam Development Committees on the development of a new exam administration platform to support a new line of assessment products that included End-of-Rotation exams. From 2013 to 2018, she was acting chair/program director at Rosalind Franklin University in Chicago, IL and then in 2018 became Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the university’s College of Health Professions. Statler has been an associate professor in the Department of PA Studies at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX since 2019.
Statler has played an active role in service to the profession by her involvement in PAEA’s Conference Curriculum Committee, Faculty Development Institute, and Emergency Medicine and Surgery Exam Development Board. Statler began serving on the Board of the PAEA in 2016 as Director at Large. While on the board, she served as chair for a task force charged to explore the potential impact of Optimal Team Practice on PA education. She served as President of the Board in 2021 when PA programs were entering into their second year of virtual education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her focus on wellness was in direct response to the ongoing challenges being experienced by faculty, staff and students in response to the pandemic as evidenced by data gathered in COVID Impact surveys. During her tenure, the Board and staff started work on the development of a Strategic Plan which included the creation of goals and objectives, the establishment of core values to shape PAEA’s future priorities, and newly drafted Mission Statement that was approved by members at the fall Business meeting. Members also approved a Title Change resolution drafted by the PAEA Board stating that PAEA would support all member programs through the name change process to the new title of physician associate as affirmed by a resolution passed by the AAPA House of Delegates.
Statler has received numerous awards and recognitions, which include: the Texas Academy of PAs’ PA Educator of the Year (1998), PA Teacher of the Year at Midwestern University (2004, 2005, 2008), Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Sciences’ Outstanding Educator Award (2014), University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center’s Outstanding Faculty Award (2020) and Outstanding Educator Award (2022), and the PAEA’s President’s Award (2022). She was inducted into the Pi Alpha National Honor Society for PAs in 2008 and the Alpha Eta Honor Society in 2010. She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA). Statler is a member of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the Texas Academy of PAs (TAPA).
In her free time Statler enjoys travelling and cooking. She has started working on a cookbook entitled the “Army Brat’s Cookbook: Recipes from the Ozarks to the DMZ.” Each chapter begins with a letter to her father that recreates the timeline of their travels around the world.
Acknowledgments: This biography was prepared by PA History Society staff with the assistance of Ms. Statler and submitted to the Society in February 2023.