Faculty Development

New Presidents Commission Paper Addresses PA Entrance Exam

October 13, 2020

The 2020 PAEA Presidents Commission has just released its paper, “Reflections on a PA Entrance Exam: Does the Profession Need One?” prior to the commission’s presentation on this topic at the virtual Education Forum next week. The paper has been posted in the Digital Learning Hub.

The PA profession is one of the few health professions that has historically not made use of a profession-specific standardized entrance exam. The 2020 PAEA Presidents Commission decided to investigate this topic (approved by the Board), in the context of changing admissions processes, including the continuing move to more holistic admissions, rethinking the value of certain exams by some university systems, and reflections on their possible impact on diversity and equity. The PAEA Presidents Commission consists of the six most recent PAEA past presidents and was established to capture the expertise, experience, and thought leadership of these former leaders for the benefit of PAEA and PA education. Previous papers have covered such issues as entrustable professional activities and reimagining PA education. All have been published in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education.

A presentation by the Commission will be available on-demand during the 2020 Education Forum. Members are encouraged to read the paper before viewing the presentation. “The intent of this paper, as with all Presidents Commission papers, is primarily to provide a starting point for more informed discussion by PA faculty,” said Stephane VanderMeulen, MPAS, PA-C, who chaired the commission this year. “We do not pretend to have all the answers, but we do hope that the information, ideas, and questions we have pulled together will stimulate further discussion of this complex issue: the efficacy of developing and implementing what we are calling a ‘consensus-derived’ PA-specific entrance exam.”