We’re big fans of the CASE AEM framework. It’s a single “language” that communicates the value of engagement and benchmark performance across institutions (for mutual learning and optimization).  

For us at Protopia it also an effective methodology to showcase our “engagement amplification” beyond traditional mentoring or networking platforms. 

Here’s a recent story from NC State that highlights this amplification — artificial intelligence converts a single question to broad, meaningful engagement across all four AEM dimensions. Crowned by amazing feedback from the student who received advice from two alumni physicians. 

More to come!


The "ask"

Hey everyone, I’m a Nutrition Science senior at NC State, and I am currently on the pre-PA track. I have had several healthcare experiences that have validated my interests, but I recently had an awesome experience with an anesthesiologist that made me have some second thoughts about PA school.

My primary goal in becoming a PA so far is focusing on chronic disease prevention through the lens of family medicine. As a nutrition major and someone who has grown up in rural, eastern NC, I am aware of the struggle it can be for people to access the resources they need for a healthy lifestyle. I always assumed that I would work in a clinic setting, as I thought a hospital setting may make me a bit claustrophobic.

When the opportunity to shadow an anesthesiologist arose, I became a bit nervous and was not sure how I would respond in an operating room. However, it ended up being exhilarating for me! I loved the interactions with patients and their families, as surgery can be a stressful time for them. I also loved the risk management aspect of his job and how mobile he was throughout the day.

I am primarily concerned with deciding between PA school and medical school at this point. I have heard mixed reviews from PA’s who love their careers and those who ended up deciding to go back to medical school due to being “overworked and underpaid.” However, I also realize that medical school is a huge time and money investment. I am also concerned with my future lifestyle and the ability to have a steady homelife in either career.

I appreciate any advise, expertise, or personal opinions that you may have to offer. Thank you so much for your time!

The "give"


Making the decision between PA school and medical school can be daunting, but usually one that can be definitively answered with some introspection.

Of course this is coming from the physician perspective, but if you go to medical school, you will have the ability to treat and prevent chronic disease with full autonomy using the best of your creativity and evidence-based medicine.

For me, the question of PA vs MD was my comfort level with the knowledge base. The PAs with whom I work are phenomenal clinicians and do an excellent job – within their scope of knowledge. To earn licensure as a PA (I’m sure you know this already), it requires 32 semester hours of classes and 40 weeks (~1600 hours) of clinical experience. Becoming a board-certified physician will require 4 years of classroom and patient-facing experiences along with a residency that will provide (at minimum) around 15,000 hours of clinical experience. You’ll end up with around 20,000 hours of training before you are on your own.

This marked difference in training time can push a student in your position in either direction – the expediency of entering practice may make you lean towards a PA path, but the expertise and comfort with all manner of patient presentations may persuade you to pursue and MD/DO.

Bottom line: you can’t really go wrong here. It’s the greatest profession in the world, and caring for patients is infinitely rewarding. Best of luck in whatever you wish to pursue. But goodness knows we need more great doctors in eastern NC! If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out to me directly. My email is alum@email.com.

Go Pack!
ALUM, M.D., M.Ed.
NCSU Class of XX (B.A.) and XX (M.Ed.)

The feedback


As a senior at NC State, I can’t believe I didn’t hear about this tool sooner! This platform has allowed me to connect with alumni who are truly willing to help me. For example, one alumni was willing to set up a call with me, and another has been directly emailing with me since my initial post. This is an awesome tool, and I’m thankful to have found it when I did.

The outcome

Across the four AEM dimensions, this engagement yielded not only 26 distinct touchpoints (fantastic unique email open rate), but one prospect updated his data. More importantly, one of the two prospects who volunteered has an assigned gift officer who was alerted of the positive experience (10 out of 10) the prospect had. 


Protopia’s artificial intelligence technology makes it simple for everyone in your community to connect. Without another app. 

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