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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

PA Education

Advisor

Mark E. Archambault DHSc, PA-C

Abstract

Background information. Program assessment is a critical component of all successful physician assistant (PA) programs. However, many medical directors and principal faculty have little formal educational training in assessment, and while program directors often have formal educational training and experience, many may have limited experience in assessment processes due to shortages of PA faculty and directors.1 Purpose. The purpose of this article is to present assessment best practices supported by literature relevant to PA education and strategies for implementation. Approach to the article. The article will present and relate components of assessment to PA education and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) requirements for the assessment process through the self-study report.2 The article will conclude with strategies to implement best practices. Important information from the body text and conclusion statement. Developing a PA program assessment process involves consideration of the program assessment philosophy, criteria for the development of the assessment process and planning, implementation, and evaluation of the overall process following implementation. The assessment process developed should include a combination of decision-oriented, outcomes-oriented, and expertise-orientated approaches depending on the area being assessed.6 The implementation process involves specific criteria related to data collected, critical analysis, and outcomes based on the results. Training PA program faculty on a robust program assessment process that drives change has the potential to improve program outcomes and reduce accreditation citations, as well as improve student performance and educational programs.

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