Physician assistants academy cites Klocko as top educator in Texas

By Rachel Skei Donihoo

A stalwart commitment to students and the pursuit of higher learning has garnered UT Southwestern faculty member David Klocko the prestigious Outstanding PA Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Academy of Physician Assistants.

David Klocko

Mr. Klocko, an assistant professor of physician assistant studies, has been the clinical coordinator of the medical center’s PA program since 2005. In 2009, he won the New Investigator Award presented by the UT Southwestern School of Health Professions and was inducted into Pi Alpha, the national PA honor society.

“Dave Klocko’s growing expertise and productivity in research and scholarly activity sets an example for other faculty members to emulate,” said Dr. Eugene Jones, chairman of physician assistant studies. “In addition to overseeing all PA student clinical education activities at the medical school, he consistently applies innovative thinking and teaching methods in and out of the classroom. Dave truly ‘gets it’ when it comes to the educational needs of PA students, and we’re very proud that he’s a part of our team.”

Mr. Klocko earned a bachelor’s degree in physician assistant studies from King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., in 1986. He practiced emergency medicine for 17 years before entering the field of PA education. In 1988 he earned a Master of Physician Assistant Studies, specializing in emergency medicine, from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. He served on the faculty of the Pennsylvania College of Technology PA Program before joining the UT Southwestern faculty in 2005.

“This award has been a great surprise and an incredible honor,” said Mr. Klocko, who lives in Addison with his wife, Marilyn. “I can’t wait to get to work every day, and I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do what I love. I’m continually impressed and motivated by the caliber of PA students who come through UT Southwestern, and their eagerness to learn validates everything I do. I truly relish the challenges of my career, and I’m humbled to be in the company of such inspiring faculty.”

Dr. Raul Caetano, dean of the School of Health Professions, said, “Dave is an excellent example of why our PA program is ranked fourth in the nation. This well-deserved award confirms what those who work with him already know: that he is a devoted clinician and an outstanding educator who inspires his students and colleagues alike.”