PURPOSE The purpose of this article is to review the increased number of physician assistant (PA) graduates that are sub-specializing, preparedness for that specialty and the utility of the postgraduate PA training programs.
METHODS A PubMed literature search was conducted with search terms postgraduate PA programs, PA residencies, PA fellowships, PA residencies cardiothoracic (CT) surgery, and PA residencies orthopedic surgery. Twenty-four pertinent articles were retrieved, and they serve as the basis for this review.
RESULTS A need for ongoing research into the benefits and utilization of postgraduate PA training programs as a model in which to optimize, standardize, and formalize the postgraduate clinical education of PAs in specialty practice. This potential partnership with postgraduate training programs will enhance the bridge to clinical practice with sub-specialty practices in rural and underserved communities.
CONCLUSION New PA graduates are entering subspecialties at an increasing rate without first entering a postgraduate PA training program. Currently there are over 84 physician assistant postgraduate or fellowship programs nationwide, few of which are accredited. Ongoing research is needed to assess their value and role in postgraduate training for PAs in specialties for rural, underserved and community hospitals.
Benson A. Postgraduate Clinical Education of Physician Assistants in Specialty Care in Underserved and Rural Communities. University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository. 2021; 3(1).
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