Development of a Quality Improvement Curriculum in Physician Assistant Studies

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The purpose of this project was to develop and evaluate a curriculum for physician assistant (PA) students addressing knowledge, skills, and attitudes (KSA) toward quality improvement (QI).


Students (N = 77) completed a pretest rating their KSA. A curriculum was developed to improve KSA among didactic and clinical students. Two department-wide QI projects were developed for student participation. Students completed a posttest after completing curriculum components and changes in KSA had been measured.


Postcurriculum implementation, QI knowledge, and skills increased significantly in most areas. Large improvements were seen in knowledge of Plan, Do, Study, Act models and life cycles of QI projects (p < .0001). Seven students (20%) participated in department-wide projects.


Our curriculum model (1) was effective at improving students' QI knowledge and skills; (2) allowed students to participate in community-based QI projects; and (3) can be used by other PA programs looking to enhance their QI curriculum.

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