Experience introducing physician assistant students into a medical student emergency medicine clerkship

Joseph Turner, Daniel Corson-Knowles, Bart Besinger, Rebecca Rebman, Cherri Hobgood, Megan Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Physician assistants continue to play an increasingly important role in our healthcare system, including a growing role in the emergency department. Introducing physician assistant students into an existing emergency department learning environment makes efficient use of resources and provides an opportunity for interprofessional education, but the success of such a strategy and the resultant impact on medical student education have not been previously described. The goals of our study were to determine the impact of the introduction of physician assistant students into a learning environment that already serves medical students and residents, and to assess the readiness of physician assistant students to participate in an established medical student emergency medicine clerkship. Methods: A survey was completed by emergency medicine faculty and residents shortly after the introduction of physician assistant students into an emergency department learning environment. The survey contained 18 questions in two sections: 11 questions asking about the effect of physician assistant students on the emergency department learning environment and 7 questions comparing the skills of physician assistant students with medical students. Data from medical student evaluations of the clerkship were also collected. Results: and Discussion: Forty-six physician preceptors (43%) responded to the survey. The majority of preceptors felt that the presence of physician assistant students offered valuable interprofessional education and overall was a positive experience, though some expressed concerns about the effect on the education of other learners. Most preceptors felt that physician assistant students had comparable skills with medical students, though some concerns were expressed regarding knowledge base and variability of skill level. Medical student evaluations of the clerkship were similar before and after the introduction of physician assistant students. These results, however, must be viewed with caution as we were able replace a medical student with a physician assistant student, keeping the total number of students at the study sites constant, which some institutions may not be able to do. Conclusions: The impact of introducing physician assistant students to a medical student emergency medicine clerkship is viewed as being positive overall, though more research is needed to understand and optimize the learning involvement for all learners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Interprofessional Education and Practice
Volume14
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019

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Experience introducing physician assistant students into a medical student emergency medicine clerkship. / Turner, Joseph; Corson-Knowles, Daniel; Besinger, Bart; Rebman, Rebecca; Hobgood, Cherri; Palmer, Megan.

In: Journal of Interprofessional Education and Practice, Vol. 14, 01.03.2019, p. 1-5.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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