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Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science

Specialty

Internal Medicine

Advisor

Dr. Laura Witte

Abstract

ABSTRACT

Purpose: Physician Assistants (PAs) working in primary care play a critical role in reducing patients’ risks for chronic illnesses. Although PA students and graduates are frequently oriented to the core competencies of disease prevention and health promotion, there is still a substantial need for proficiency in knowledge dissemination and patient counseling in this field. The purpose of this article is to emphasize the need and possibility for health promotion and disease prevention as a curriculum module in the PA curriculum for patient care. This literature review was conducted with terms as curriculum, health promotion, nutrition, preventive medicine, and patient preparedness. PubMed, Medline, and medical journals database searches generated twenty-nine pertinent articles. As one of the key healthcare providers, PAs can be crucial in advising and counseling in matters related to lifestyles, prevention, and illnesses. Patient motivation without structured counseling and action plan can be challenging. Therefore, the PA curriculum should consider revising and integrating health promotion and disease prevention education in the didactic and clinical curriculum of the PA program. Specialized education and training in the promotion of health education and disease prevention will prepare PA graduates for the task, thus lowering the metrics for chronic illnesses. Although PA education prepares students and graduates for diagnostic and therapeutic intervention, there is still a need for intensification of health promotion and disease prevention to the already existing curriculum. References of medical programs implementing preventive medicine education have been used to reinforce the idea of inculcating this area of study as a part of the curriculum in PA education.

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