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Evaluation of patterns in effective educational and clinical training for physician assistants: Analysis of Pacific University end of program, graduate, and supervising physician surveys

1 August 2003


Context: For a Physician Assistant (PA) program to maintain effective educative processes requires frequent evaluation of its academic rigor. The Pacific University PA Program uses three surveys to make adjustments to its training and assure the competency of its students; the Student, Graduate, and Physician Surveys. These surveys inquire about students' level of preparedness, based on a 5-point scale, to incorporate the programs mission/values and clinical tasks.

Objective: To evaluate the Student Surveys ability to indicate an accurate level of preparedness and find a value, based on the 5-point scale, which would imply the need for curriculum changes.

Design: The Graduate and Physician Surveys are considered standard measures of PA preparedness. The mean Student Survey responses are compared to the mean Graduate and Physician Survey responses and between classes to analyze its ability to measure preparedness and consistency. An appropriate cut off value used to suggest program changes was also I calculated.

Setting: This study was conducted at the Pacific University PA program.

Subjects: The classes of; 1999,2000, and 2001 and their supervising physicians were surveyed.

Results: A total of 54 of 57 Student Surveys, 37 of 57 Graduate Surveys and 20 of 57 Physician Surveys were completed. A value of p

Conclusions: The Student Survey does reflect the Graduate and Physician Surveys and is considered consistent from year to year. Therefore the use of the student Survey as an indication of student preparedness and to suggest program changes appears to be appropriate.


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