Dr. Ralph Rice is the Associate Dean and Director of the School of Physician Assistant Studies. He holds the rank of Associate Professor and joined the School in January, 2011.
He received his bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the University of South Florida and his Bachelor of Health Sciences in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Florida. Additionally, he holds a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies from University of Nebraska and a doctorate in health sciences from Nova Southeastern University.
Prior to becoming the Director of the School of PA Studies in January of 2011, Dr. Rice had an impressive history in PA education. He was a faculty member here at the University of Florida’s PA program from 1994 through 1998. He moved into an Academic Coordinator position as a founding faculty member at Missouri State University PA Program in 1999 and remained there until 2006. Dr. Rice accepted a position at Wake Forest University in 2006, and was soon after appointed Associate Director of that program.
Dr. Rice’s academic and research interests include Wilderness and Travel Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Evidence-Based Medicine, Bioethics and Professionalism. On these topics, he has given presentations at state and national conferences and has published articles in leading PA professional journals. Selected recent publications include: “PA Quandary: Is It Ethically Permissible to Mandate Influenza Vaccination for Health Care Workers?” Journal of American Academy of Physician Assistants (2010), “Cat Bites: A Reason for Caution”, Advance for Physician Assistants (2010), “The Clinician Scientist: A Proposed Dual Track MMS-PhD Program”, Journal of Physician Assistant Education (2009).
Dr. Rice’s clinical experience has been in family practice, emergency medicine, pulmonary medicine, and student health. He has practiced in Florida, Missouri, Alaska, and North Carolina. Providing care to the underserved and uninsured became a strong interest of Dr. Rice’s in his clinical work.
Professional memberships include the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. He has served as a peer reviewer for the Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and Clinician Reviews. He has been a reviewer and evaluator for the PAEA student writing competition since 2008 and previously served as a test item writer for the PACKRAT.
Mr. Petar Breitinger is an Assistant Professor for the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies. He joined the faculty in November 2012.
Mr. Breitinger received his Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Florida in 1993. Additionally, he received his Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree in 1998, from the University of Nebraska.
Mr. Breitinger has worked clinically in pediatric cardiology and also on UF’s Mobile Outreach Clinic. He enjoys teaching in the cardiology section of medicine and in the behavioral and community medicine course. Additionally, he oversees the Clinical Procedures course for the School. Mr. Brietinger is involved with various aspects of the physical diagnosis course as well as differential diagnosis and regularly oversees Endocrinology and Orthopedics.
He serves as a member of the Interprofessional Education Committee for the University. Professional memberships include the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA). He serves as an item writer for the PAEA End of Rotation Exam Committee.
Ms. Liz Brownlee is an Assistant Professor for the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies. She joined the faculty in May of 2009.
Ms. Brownlee received her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sports Sciences in 2000 from the University of Florida. Additionally she received her Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree in 2003, from the University of Florida.
At the School of Physician Assistant Studies, Ms. Brownlee teaches various sections of Introduction to Medicine including Hematology/Oncology, Pulmonology, Care of the Surgical Patient, and Emergency Medicine. She is the coursemaster of Hospital Practicum and Physical Diagnosis. Additionally she assists in the Physical Diagnosis lab and Medical Communication lab.
After graduating from the University of Florida, Ms. Brownlee entered clinical practice at the Bone Marrow Transplant Unit at the University of Florida until 2005. She then moved to Panama City, where she practiced in Emergency Medicine until 2007. From 2007-2009 she practiced in a Pulmonology practice as well as Primary Care.
Ms. Brownlee is a member of the Florida Academy of Physicians, the Physician Assistant Education Association, and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Ms. Shalon Buchs is the Associate Director for the School of Physician Assistant Studies. She joined the University of Florida School of PA School faculty in September 2008 as Assistant Professor. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Florida, a Master of Health Science degree from Duke University, and the Physician Assistant degree also from Duke.
Ms. Buchs teaches in several sections of Introduction to Medicine including Cardiology, Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine. In addition, she has had lecturing responsibilities in Medical Communications, Behavioral and Community Medicine, Physical Diagnosis, Differential Diagnosis, and Laboratory Medicine. She also teaches a large portion of our Electrocardiography course. As a Coursemaster, Ms. Buchs has directed sections in Cardiology, Ophthalmology, Neurology, Laboratory Medicine, Hematology, Oncology and Emergency Medicine and also regularly serves as Coursedirector for the Electrocardiography and Psychiatry courses.
Ms. Buchs’ academic interests include interprofessional learning and collaboration, preventive medicine, evidence-based medicine, reducing health disparities, and the integration of technology into medical learning and practice. Clinical interests include primary care medicine, cardiology, women’s health and emergency medicine.
Since completing her own PA education, Ms Buchs has practiced in primary care medicine and emergency medicine. She currently practices PRN in emergency medicine and serves in a voluntary role on UF’s Mobile Outreach Clinic in addition to her full-time role in the School for Physician Assistant Studies.
She has been invited as a speaker to several state conferences in Florida on cardiology and EKG related topics. Additionally, she has been invited to speak at the national PA conferences to speak on cardiology and emergency medicine topics.
Ms. Buchs serves on the Interprofessional Education Committee for the University. She is a member of the Florida Academy of Physicians and served as the Ocala/Marion County area representative for 10 years. She has additionally served on the House of Delegates for that organization. She is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association, and serves on the Leadership Mission Advancement Council and is the Chair of the the Awards and Honors Review Committee for that Organization. She is a fellow member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Jason Fromm, MD has served as the School of Physician Assistant Studies Medical Director since 2003. Since then, his role with the school has increased steadily. In addition to being Medical Director, he became a part time faculty member in 2011, and as of October 2014 he became full time faculty. He is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of Florida, College of Medicine. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, and in 2012 he attained certification in Hospital Medicine. His clinical duties are in the Division of Hospital Medicine where attends on teams with physician assistant and medical students regularly. He supervises general medical care and consultation services.
In his academic role with the School of Physician Assistant Studies, he provides program and curriculum guidance, gives invited lectures to both didactic and clinical year students, and precepts clinical year students. He leads sections on Cardiology, Infectious Disease and Geriatrics. His academic interests are in diabetes care, palliation and symptom management in patients with cancer, antibiotic selection, congestive heart failure, obstructive sleep apnea and teaching medical professionalism through the use of film.
Dr. Fromm is a member of the Society of Hospital Medicine’s National Committee on Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistants and is a member of The Physician Assistant Education Association.
Mr. Indarawis is Director of Clinical Studies for the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies and has the rank of Assistant Professor. He joined the Faculty in the Spring of 2014 and graduated from the (former) UF PA Program in 2006.
Mr. Indarawis earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and Cell Science in 2002 and Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree in 2006, both from the University of Florida.
After graduating from the UF PA Program, Mr. Indarawis became the first Physician Assistant to work in a full time capacity at the Emergency Room at Shands @ UF, Gainesville. After a year of employment, his dedicated work ethic led to him being promoted to Chief Physician Assistant of Physician Extenders in the Emergency Room. Mr. Indarawis’ duties included recruiting and hiring of new Physician Extenders within the Emergency Room and the Chest Pain Evaluation Center. He was also responsible for coordinating quarterly meetings and lectures for the extenders with various E.M. faculty, monthly scheduling of all extenders within the department, and attending weekly meetings on the operational functions of the E.D., quality, and improving throughput issues. In 2007, he received the Distinguished Physician Customer Service Key Aware from Shands Teaching Hospital.
Before joining the Faculty at the UF School of Physician Assistant Studies, Mr. Indarawis also served as the Chief Physician Assistant at Ocala Regional Medical Center & West Marion Community Hospital’s.
Mr. Indarawis’ academic interests include Anatomy and Physiology, Clinical Procedures, Advance Clinical Practicum, diversity, and the professional development of Physician Assistant students into competent, compassionate, and knowledgeable providers of medicine. His clinical interests involve Emergency Medicine, E.R. throughput, and Ultrasound. He has a strong interest in Global Health and has had the pleasure of serving in multiple foreign mission trips; including Nicaragua, Bolivia, and Haiti.
Mr. Indarawis is currently writing a Clinical Review Article titled, “Acute Management of severe asymptomatic hypertension (Hypertensive Urgencies) in adults.”
As a coursemaster, he has directed the Emergency Medicine section of Introduction to Medicine II and has assisted in teaching Clinical Procedures and Advanced Clinical Practicum.
Mr. Indarawis is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants (SEMPA), the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA), and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
Before joining the faculty of UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies in 2014 Ms. Pamela Patton was a member of UF’s Transplant & Hepatobiliary Surgery division of the Department of Surgery for over 35 years. In 1978 she was a member of UF’s 5th graduating PA class and recalls the feeling of great honor in being accepted into medical practice on the UF Kidney Transplant team, Florida’s first solid organ transplant program. Over the years Ms. Patton’s work expanded to include clinical and administrative duties in pancreas and liver transplantation, and non-transplant hepatobiliary issues. Her academic interests grew to include clinical database design, tracking UF’s kidney and pancreas transplant medical complications, clinical research, writing, and publication. In 1986 Ms. Patton was the first physician assistant to present research to the body of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons at its annual meeting in Chicago.
In 1990 Ms. Patton chose to further her medical education and understanding of basic science research by returning to graduate school full time while balancing her life with transplant work. She successfully completed course and thesis work in the area of Pharmacodynamics and was awarded a Master of Science degree in Pharmacy from UF in 1993. Ms. Patton applied her graduate education to further her work in the area of kidney and pancreas transplant medicine and immunology. She has served as Principal Investigator and Sub-Investigator on multiple clinical trials and authored over 35 peer-reviewed articles, 18 scientific abstracts, and a book chapter.
Ms. Patton was named Associate Clinical Director of the Kidney and Pancreas Transplant programs in 2002 and Clinical Director in 2007. She has chaired or served on the membership of numerous UF and hospital-based committees, and professional honors include the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants’ Presidential Award (1981), UF Health Honor a Caregiver recognition (2010), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons’ 2nd annual Advanced Transplant Provider Award (2012).
Ms. Patton took over as Director of Admissions of UF’s School of Physician Assistant Studies in the fall of 2014, the school’s highest applicant season to date. Teaching responsibilities have included Section Director of the Pediatrics, Radiology Review, Radiographic Anatomy, and Surgery sections in the didactic year. In 2015 Ms. Patton took over the direction and teaching of the Evidence-Based Medicine course in the Summer A term. Her role as educator also includes giving lectures in Physical Diagnosis and Differential Diagnosis classes, assisting with suturing and casting labs, serving as small group leader for Problem Based Learning and Medical Communications classes, and acting as Advisor to students throughout their two years. Ms. Patton rounds out her academic life with Primary Care practice one afternoon and evening a week at the ACORN (Alachua County Organization of Rural Needs) clinic in Brooker. Ms. Patton is proud to have a hand in admitting, teaching, and mentoring the next generation of practicing physician assistants.
Breann Garbas, DHSc, PA-C
Ms. Garbas joined the faculty in August of 2016, she is an Assistant Professor. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Ball State University with an emphasis in Molecular Biology and completed the Honors Program in Humane Studies from the same college. Additionally, she holds a Master’s of Physician Assistant Studies from the Medical University of South Carolina and a doctorate in Health Sciences from Nova Southeastern University.
Upon graduation from MUSC, Dr. Garbas entered clinical practice in Women’s Health in Summerville, S.C. in a private OB/GYN clinic. She was active in the Association of Physician Assistants in Obstetrics and Gynecology and served as Vice President for two terms. During this term she also gave presentations to AAPA on the management of the pregnant teenager as well as to the Association of Pediatric Physician Assistants. She has served as an expert witness for multiple cases in women’s health and is strongly interested in medical-legal practice.
She moved to Florida in 2011 and began practice as a family medicine PA in a Federally Qualified Health Care Center, working with the medically underserved. Her main clinical interest at that time was the management of diabetes in the rural health care setting. She remains an advocate of physician assistants in rural family medicine.
She is a member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants, the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and the Physician Assistant Education Association. At the School of Physician Assistant Studies, she will lead sections in Pulmonology, Gastroenterology, Rheumatology, and OB/GYN.
Debra Cole, MPAS, PA-C
Ms. Cole is an Assistant Professor in the School of Physician Assistant Studies. She joined the faculty in June 2016. She earned both her Bachelor of Science in Exercise and Sport Sciences in 1995 and Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from the University of Florida, graduating in 2001. Since graduating, Ms. Cole has practiced in a variety of private and academic settings. Her career took her from Florida to Texas in 2004, where she worked in Gastroenterology and Oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center. She then served as Assistant Professor for the Physician Assistant Program at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX. Ms. Cole and her family moved back to Ocala in 2006 and eventually to Northwest Florida in 2007. She worked exclusively in general and surgical dermatology for the last 10 years in Crestview and Pensacola.
Ms. Cole is the Assistant Clinical Coordinator to the Director of Clinical Studies, helping to facilitate the second year students in rotations, exams and clinical competencies. She is Course director for several sections of Introduction to Medicine including Dermatology, Urology/Nephrology and Neurology. In addition, she has responsibilities to include lecturer and small group facilitator in Physical Diagnosis and Medical Communications.
Ms. Cole’s academic interests include evidence-based medicine, interprofessional learning/collaboration, active and integrated learning, clinical competencies and professional development. Clinical interests include dermatology, primary care medicine, women’s health, telemedicine and medical missions.
Ms. Cole is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association, American Academy of Physician Assistants, Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. Association of Physician Assistant Programs, Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants. She served as a conference proctor for Florida Academy of Physician Assistants, from 2001-2004.
Ms. Cole’s scholarly and research activity and interests include autoimmune disease, psoriasis and management with special interest in biologics, skin cancer and other skin related disease states, obstetrics and gynecology, women’s health care and disease prevention, hepatology with an emphasis on Hepatitis B and C. Ms. Cole had the honor of participating and spear heading her dermatology clinic’s research opportunity for the ESPRIT Clinical Trial with Abbott Laboratories for Humira 2011-2014. She was also clinical dermatology speaker/lecturer for Abbvie regarding use of Humira from 2001-2016. She was one of only 20 mid-level providers nationally to be invited to speak on a national forum called the “PA/NP Roadshow” for Abbvie regarding patient journey and experience with autoimmune disease and treatment.