The ARC-PA Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education, 5th edition, modified the requirement that “supervised clinical practice experiences should occur with preceptors practicing in the general surgery discipline (4th edition B3.07)” to “supervised clinical practice experiences must occur with preceptors who enable students to meet program-defined learning outcomes for surgery (5th edition B3.07.)”
This change affects one of the core rotations for which PAEA provides an End of Rotation exam. Given the ARC-PA update, PAEA’s General Surgery End of Rotation exam’s current blueprint may not broadly meet the needs of programs. The change to the standard has led many people to ask if we will be changing the PAEA End of Rotation General Surgery blueprint.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assessment team was developing a plan to review our End of Rotation General Surgery blueprint in conjunction with the new ARC-PA Standard. While that work was delayed due to the pandemic, PAEA is now bringing together educators, clinicians, and content experts to begin to determine how best to access the surgical knowledge of our students. This specific blueprint review involves multiple considerations since many programs still utilize general surgery rotation sites, and programs may continue to have general surgery learning outcomes. We will continue to keep programs updated as we advance this important work.