The Future of Physician Assistant Education

Abstract

INTRODUCTION Building foresight about the future is a critical component of planning for growth in any profession. As an essential arm of the profession, physician assistant (PA) education programs prepare competent and qualified practitioners to meet the evolving needs of the US health care system and to an increasing extent, global health care needs. Therefore it is incumbent upon PA educators and their representative organizations to monitor emerging trends, forces, and other factors in the education, health care industry, and clinical medicine arenas that that could potentially affect future health care and the PA profession. The short lag time between the beginning of a student’s education and clinical practice, combined with the speed and amount of change occurring in the many areas that affect health care, challenge faculty to stay ahead of the curve to ensure the relevance of the curriculum. Because it is nearly impossible to predict the future of health care, the key to operating successful programs will be the ability of PA education leadership, equipped with vision and flexibility, to efficiently and rapidly implement the changes required to respond to the needs of students and society. This paper will explore the impact of emerging trends and forces that may affect PA education. Rather than attempt to predict specific outcomes, we present potential opportunities and challenges for PA programs and faculty. The intent is to sensitize PA educators to impending issues and forces and to reinforce our belief that as educators we have an obligation to continually monitor the global and national health care environments in order to prepare practitioners for the future and not just the present.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Miller2007TheFO, title={The Future of Physician Assistant Education}, author={Anthony A. Miller and Anita Duhl}, year={2007} }