A recent Society of Hospital Medicine survey reported that approximately 15% of hospitalist groups utilize physician assistants (PAs), and many more are looking to hire PAs to augment their physician services. However, finding physician assistants with hospitalist experience is difficult. Often employers have to recruit PAs from other specialties or hire new graduates who can take up to 6‐12 months to train. A 2007 review of PA education found that PA students are beginning entry‐level PA programs at a younger age and with less previous clinical experience. Furthermore, entry‐level PA training focuses on primary care, with more clinical rotations centered in the outpatient setting. In light of these challenges, our institution created a postgraduate training program for physician assistants in hospital medicine.
To create a postgraduate training program in hospital medicine for physician assistants.
The Mayo Clinic Arizona Hospitalist PA fellowship began in October 2007. It is a 12‐month program available to 1 PA per year. The curriculum is based on the Society of Hospital Medicine “Core Competencies.” The fellow participates in twelve 1‐month rotations in different aspects of hospital medicine, which include hands‐on experience plus formal didactic instruction. In addition, the PA fellow completes “teaching modules” on various topics not directly covered in their rotations). These topics range from evidence‐based medicine to medical ethics. Each teaching module consists of a didactic component, clinical application, and assessment. The fellow is provided a stipend, benefits, and a $500 CME budget. With successful completion of the program, the fellow earns a certificate of completion. Our program has received recognition with the Association of Postgraduate PA Programs, and we anticipate seeking accreditation after our first year.
The Mayo Clinic Arizona Hospitalist PA fellowship is the first postgraduate PA program in hospital medicine in the United States offering certificate completion. As the need for hospitalists increases, so will the need for PAs, particularly those with additional training in hospital medicine. Future plans for this program are to expand to more fellows per year and to open applications to nurse‐practitioners.
K. Will, none; Z. Hartsell, none; J. Palermo, none; A. Budavari, none; K. Mishark, none; J. Wilkens, none; J. Kaplan, none.