Graduate physician assistant student shares publication credit with preceptor

January 23, 2024

Claire Aurilio smiles for headshot in white coat.

As a second-year graduate physician assistant student, Claire Aurilio ’22, MHS ’24, already has the distinction of coauthoring a publication with her preceptor.

Aurilio said she jumped at the opportunity to join her preceptor, Dania Modesto-Lowe, MD, MPH, in authoring “Deprescribing Benzodiazepines: Is Harm Reduction Enough?” The piece was published as in on December 28.

“My preceptor and I came to an agreement together that it was something very interesting, and something we had seen clinically,” said Aurilio. “We thought it warranted some discussion and would be something that would spark a conversation; and that’s why we wrote about it.”

Aurilio earned the opportunity to coauthor the pice while undertaking a psychiatry rotation with Modesto-Lowe during the fall semester. It was one of Aurilio’s core clinical rotations for Quinnipiac’s graduate physician assistant (PA) program.

“Right off the bat, she offered me the opportunity to write with her, with the goal of publishing, if it was something I was interested in doing on top of the typical clinical duties we have as students on PA rotation,” said Aurilio.

She said did not hesitate to take on the additional work.

“I knew that this was a great opportunity, especially as a student, to have the opportunity to publish,” Aurilio said. “Due to her experience with writing, Dr. Modesto suggested we start off with a letter to the editor in response to an article because it gives you a basis and then you can form a response incorporating other literature and other research to come to your conclusions.”

Aurilio said authoring and researching the piece alongside such a distinguished colleague was a formative moment in her graduate student experience.

“She has written many published pieces and has a strong background in addiction psychiatry; and being that it was a psychiatry rotation, we had seen patients that were on benzodiazepines, and saw some of the pros and cons of it,” Aurilio said.

The article raises the discussion with providers, as prescribers, regarding what their duty is to assist patients on benzodiazepines, as well as recognizing both the harms and benefits of the drugs.

Coauthoring was rigorous and rewarding, said Aurilio, who undertook the work during a six-week clinical rotation.

“We started week one and worked on it over those six weeks,” said Aurilio.

Modesto-Lowe and Aurilio now share Quinnipiac School of Health Sciences author affiliation. Although her rotation with Modesto-Lowe has ended, there is a chance the two may coauthor another piece, said Aurilio.

“We still keep in touch and we are hoping to possibly publish one more piece; and if not that, this experience has definitely inspired me to publish in the future,” said Aurilio.

Aurilio first entered the School of Health as an ELMPA major. After earning her bachelors in 2022, she entered the school’s graduate physician assistant program, where she was introduced to medical writing as part of her studies.

“I think that being a student at Quinnipiac and being in the graduate physician assistant program has prepared me for this sort of experience,” said Aurilio. “On top of our clinical didactic curriculum that we start within our first year and our second year with our busy clinical schedules, we also take a medical writing class throughout the second year of our program.”

She said the class provided her with experience in writing original pieces, working on research papers and case reports, and exposure to other literature.

“I do feel like the program gave me a lot of opportunity to explore medical writing and medical literature, along with where that fit in with my own interests and what I wanted to do as a student and continue to do as a future provider,” said Aurilio.

She said she is equally grateful to her preceptor and Quinnipiac for creating this opportunity to become published.

“I was so thankful to be given this experience. Being a student, you don’t always get these opportunities. I’m grateful for being a student at Quinnipiac because of the great preceptors, providers, doctors and PA’s that they place us with. That was really what gave me this experience,” said Aurilio. “And without Dr. Modesto and her mentorship, and really pushing me to work on this piece, it would not have been done. I’m really thankful to both Dr. Modesto and Quinnipiac for giving me this opportunity.”

Stay in the Loop

Sign Up Now