Physician Assistant Contributions to Medical and Higher Education

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Abstract

Physician assistant (PA) programs were often early adopters or initiators of innovative models of teaching, learning, and assessment. Examples of these influences include interprofessional education, competency-based education, objective-structured clinical examinations, problem-based learning, evidence-based medicine, team-based learning, and the multiple mini-interviews. In addition, the contributions and presence of PAs in the academic health center teaching environment have also fostered appreciation from other health professionals for the skill level and capacity of PAs on the care team. This directly led to the increased utilization of PAs in a growing number of specialties in both inpatient and outpatient settings. However, the rapid expansion of PA educational programs has strained the profession's ability to meet critical student clinical placement needs, and PA educators must adopt or develop innovative ways to reconfigure how clinical education is delivered and assessed, including the use of advanced technology and simulation.

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