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Veterans Health Administration’s Physician Assistant Primary Care Residency: An Evaluation of the First 3 Years.

A new interesting article has been published in J Physician Assist Educ. 2018 Dec;29(4):226-229. doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000230. and titled:

Veterans Health Administration’s Physician Assistant Primary Care Residency: An Evaluation of the First 3 Years.

Authors of this article are:

Latini DM, Cole DS, Woodmansee D, Bailey RK, Berner K, Breitinger P, Carrejo M, Domagalski J, McAdow L, Palmer S, VanRuiswyk J, Hettler D, Jones KR, Sanders K.

A summary of the article is shown below:

PURPOSE: Results from an evaluation of a 12-month postgraduate Veterans Health Administration (VHA) residency in primary care for physician assistants (PAs).METHODS: Descriptive and open-ended data were collected to describe the experience of faculty and trainees participating in the first 3 years of this pilot residency. Quantitative data were summarized using descriptive statistics. Text data were transcribed and reviewed for common themes across residency sites and respondents. Data were collected at 2 time points-the end of the first year and the beginning of year 4.RESULTS: In the first 3 years of the program, 18 residents were enrolled at 6 sites, with 89% completing the residency. At the second time point, 8 more residents were enrolled. Residents were primarily female (69%). Of the residents completing the program, 56% obtained VHA employment, and 75% of the current residents planned to work for the VHA upon completing the program. Program infrastructure, such as written curriculum, a dedicated administrative staff, and written evaluations for trainees, was more common at the second time point. Recurring themes included the importance of establishing relationships with potential applicants, preceptors, medical center leadership, and trainees to support the program and the importance of securing resources such as space and protected time for faculty.CONCLUSIONS: Although postgraduate residency programs are less common for PAs than for some other health professions, our data suggest that a one-year residency can provide training for new graduates to help solidify their clinical experience and facilitate their transition to practice.

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