Physician Assistant Alumni and Credentialing
Val Dieterick PA-C ’09
After graduating from the Arcadia PA program in 2009, Ms. Dieterick began working as a hospitalist PA in Doylestown Health Hospital. Ms. Dieterick has enjoyed her work there and has been in this position for almost 15 years. Her experience at Doylestown Health Hospital has allowed her to have several leadership positions at this organization. She is currently the co-chair of the Advanced Practice Provider Committee and is a member of the Documentation and Order Set Committees at her hospital. She also spent two years working with a private practice, rounding at local nursing homes to provide care to rehab and long term care residents.
Ms. Dieterick also enjoys being involved with Arcadia. In the past, she has helped facilitate physical diagnosis labs and problem based labs for the PA program. She appreciates that Arcadia has a wide variety of options for rotations, including experience in inpatient, outpatient, and skilled nursing/long term care facilities. This allowed her to have a good idea of what specialty she wanted to practice in after graduation.
In the future, Ms. Dieterick hopes to continue serving in leadership positions and working on other projects in the hospital. She is dedicated to advocating for other PAs in her hospital and ensuring that they receive the recognition they deserve.
Lynn Spagnol PA-C ‘15
As a former field hockey player, Lynn Spagnol was drawn to Emergency Medicine for
the team dynamics reminiscent of those on sports teams. Lynn first attended Arcadia
University as an undergrad chemistry major and player on the field hockey team. In
between class and practice, she worked as a tutor and ER tech, later graduating
Summa Cum Laude in 2012. In 2013, she joined the PA class of 2015 at Arcadia where
she went on to participate in the medical service trip to Nicaragua and an international
rotation in Guatemala. It was on these trips that Lynn was able to master her medical
Spanish that she now uses every day in the ER. After feeling a draw to the community
there, Spagnol returned as an alumni and volunteered for the medical service trip to
Guatemala an additional four times.
She now has 2 young children, Conrad and Scottie, and is enjoying settling into her life
as a mom. She loves working as an Emergency Medicine PA which she believes is the
perfect job for a working mom. Lynn described how because of her weekend and night
shift hours, she was able to go to her son’s field trip to the fire station in the middle of
the day last week. Once her children are a bit older, Lynn hopes to participate in
another Arcadia PA program medical service trip, but for now, she is enjoying being a
Jaclyn (Jackie) Diefenbacher ’19
Jaclyn (Jackie) Diefenbacher, PA-C is a 2019 Arcadia Physician Assistant Program graduate from the Glenside campus. She is currently working for Capital Health in Pennington, New Jersey on the surgical critical care floor where she is a co-lead in helping to coordinate all procedures with partnering teams and administration to ensure streamline care. She actually completed a rotation at the hospital during her clinical year where she fell in love and made connections that landed her the job. The aspect Jackie loves most about her job is the team she works with. Due to the high stress, she is thankful that she gets to spend time with people she is happy to be around; something she recommends that future job applicants find. She also loves the versatility within her job where she is able to cover many different fields of surgery and medicine so everyday keeps her on her toes.
When discussing how to find a balance in her career, Jackie outlined the importance of giving yourself grace and having decompression points to unwind. She personally works on a shift schedule so has time to exercise and see friends and family but emphasized how important it is to figure out what you need as an individual to recharge. When asked about her greatest accomplishment as a PA, Jackie noted that on paper an easy one to speak about is her completion of an acute care fellowship, one of only three in the country! In her experience though, she noted that every time she is able to give a family member back to their loved ones is a proud moment. People often think that inpatient care does not deal with families, but Jackie described her role as very family-centric where she is able to see the impact she has as a healthcare provider which makes her job that much more rewarding.
In speaking about school, Jackie enjoyed her time at Arcadia. She felt well prepared for her field of work after graduating. She noted that it is a challenging transition to inpatient care because it is hard to teach about how hospitals work in school. Therefore, she did most of her preparing during her clinical year and emphasized the importance of being willing to ask questions to learn how the “real world” works. Her favorite memory from her time at Arcadia was when her cohort won PA Olympics! She also had a lot of fun with her classmates as they would all high five before exams and be silly together to help ease the stresses of school. Additionally, she really enjoyed Professor Huber’s lecture on relationships and sexual risk behaviors because it was unlike any other talk they had in didactic year, and it helped her better understand and appreciate how to speak to different populations.
At the end of the interview, Jackie was asked to give some advice to current and future Arcadia PA students. In finding a job, it is important to know what you are looking for. Jackie suggested making a list of things that are important to you to help you make sure the right fit is found. In regards to school, it gets better. There is light at the end of the tunnel and students are in this program for a reason. She said to have confidence in yourself and your abilities and take that with you as you transition in life.
Kathleen Davies ’19
Kathleen Davies is a graduate of Arcadia University’s Physician Assistant Class of 2019 and currently works as a physician assistant in Infectious Disease at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania. Following her graduation from Arcadia in the spring of 2019, Kathleen took several well-deserved months off before beginning a one-year APP fellowship in Infectious Disease at The Hospital of The University of Pennsylvania in January 2020. Kathleen would eventually go on to accept a position within this department upon completion of her fellowship.
Kathleen recalls feeling incredibly grateful for each of the esteemed physicians and fellow advanced practice providers who dedicated their time to train and teach her throughout the course of the fellowship. She reminisces on the countless hours spent in lectures during this year to polish her ID knowledge and attributes the level of expertise and care she brings to her patients currently to this. Additionally, Kathleen states it is impossible to forget the impact Arcadia’s PA Program had in shaping her into the PA she is today. When asked how the program best prepared her for this career, Kathleen replied with the cultivated curriculum, variety of rotations, and constant support from the professors who elevated her PA school experience.
While on the topic of PA school, Kathleen vividly remembers the Holiday Party and PA Olympics as two of her favorite memories. Kathleen served as the Constituent Chapter Student Representative and led Arcadia to first place in fundraising amongst all of the schools that participated in PA Olympics. Her class raised over $25,000, which was donated to construct accessible playgrounds for children with disabilities.
This success has certainly followed Kathleen into her life post-graduation. Regarding her career thus far, Kathleen notes feeling proud of herself for becoming a competent physician assistant, finding a position perfectly suited for her, and providing the best possible care to her patients each day. She takes great pride in knowing the exact antibiotic to prescribe to make her patients feel better and states her position is incredibly rewarding due to this. Kathleen also enjoys the collaborative nature of working in inpatient infectious disease, as she finds that patients experience the best possible outcomes with her team working together on their case. As for current students, Kathleen advises them to approach PA school with an open mind and truly understand the pathophysiology behind disease because this knowledge will ease their transition into their career as a PA.
As for her future, Kathleen plans to get involved in PA education and is set to deliver infectious disease lectures to physician assistant programs in the upcoming months. She also plans to continue in her current role as an Infectious Disease PA, while one day hoping to use her experience to take on an additional role in health policy or research.
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The Office of Career Education can support alumni in developing effective job search strategies, networking, interviewing, and/or crafting application materials. Arcadia alumni who have matriculated one semester toward a degree (undergraduate or graduate) are eligible to schedule up to four complimentary meetings with a professional Career Educator. To schedule a meeting, visit Handshake. If you are creating an account for the first time, please visit Handshake and select the Students/Alumni tab. You will be able to register for an account with a personal email. Alumni accounts are typically reviewed and approved by OCE within 48 hours of registration. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Handshake also offers you access to:
OCE’s website has a wealth of helpful resources including:
If you are looking to hire an Arcadia student or graduate, please post your position(s) within Handshake. Creating an employer account quick and easy (less than 5 minutes).If you already have a Handshake account, please log in here and request a connection with Arcadia University. If you are creating a new account in Handshake for the first time, please register here.
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