Alum Becomes a Professor in Arcadia’s PA Program

By Purnell T. Cropper | August 10, 2010

By Sarah R. Schwartz ’10

Former Arcadia Physician Assistant student Diana Noller ’05, M.M.S., PA-C, Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator, now teaches in the program that gave her a quality education and allows her to exceed her patients’ expectations.

“I continually work on becoming a better educator in efforts to progress the PA profession within the healthcare industry by graduating the highest quality physician assistants who are always striving to be better and are committed to a lifetime of learning,” says Noller.

Currently, Noller teaches the Physical Diagnosis course and coordinates the Surgery course for the Physician Assistant students during their didactic year, along with organizing each student’s education during their clinical year. But before she joined Arcadia as a coordinator and educator, Noller arrived as a student.

She had previously earned a B.S. from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Science in Physical Therapy degree from Thomas Jefferson University when she made the decision to go back to school for Physician Assistant studies. She chose Arcadia because she wanted a university that made the PA program a high priority, avoiding schools that had an associated medical school.

“I knew that Arcadia not only had great pride in their PA program, but it also used its resources to make it an exemplary program,” says Noller. “I was impressed with their use of technology in the classroom and the individualized attention the faculty provided to their students. As a student in the PA program, they did not disappoint, and I was very pleased with the quality of education I received.”

She felt inspired to enter the faculty position at Arcadia because she saw it as an opportunity to help foster the growth or the profession and provide it with a strong future in the healthcare industry. In addition to her faculty position at Arcadia, she works part-time as a Physician Assistant in orthopedic surgery.

“The trust and responsibility a PA must earn and retain must be taken very seriously, and the profession demands a high level of training,” she says. “I was proud that Arcadia provided me with such a quality education in order to allow me to meet and sometimes exceed my patients’ expectations.”

Now, as an educator, the most rewarding aspect of her job is watching her students take on the challenge of rotations. “I like to see them interacting with patients, putting their knowledge and skills to use and putting it all together to come up with an educated plan to help the patient.  Seeing them connect the information they have learned in the classroom to the patients sitting in from of them is very gratifying. The excitement they having for learning helps to reinvigorate me to be a better educator and clinician.”

Noller is a member of Phi Alpha, the National Honor Society for Physician Assistants. Her peer-reviewed publications include articles in The Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Clinician Review. Noller lives in New Jersey with her husband and two sons and plans to continue writing for publication in the future.