Kaine Introduces Bill to Expand Primary Care Rotations for PA Students

On April 18, Senator Tim Kaine introduced the Primary Care Team Education Centers Act – innovative new legislation seeking to address both clinical training site and faculty shortages for health professions programs.

Building upon the success of the Teaching Health Center program for physicians, this legislation would expand clinical education at federally qualified health centers, rural health clinics, and similar settings for PA and other health professions students.

By exposing PA students to practicing in these settings in their clinical year and establishing new clinical training sites for programs, the bill seeks to close long-standing health workforce gaps in underserved communities and address the shortage of clinical training sites that impact many PA programs nationwide. 

The Primary Care Team Education Centers Act incorporates a number of provisions intended to bolster the pipeline of primary care providers. The provisions of greatest interest to PA students, programs, and faculty include: 

  • Establishing and expanding primary care team education centers to train new health professionals 
  • Developing or enhancing partnerships with institutions of higher education and health care organizations to address clinical faculty, clinical site, and clinical preceptor shortages for health care professionals
  • Supporting health professional student training in primary care
  • Prioritizing grants that address training in health professional shortages and those that support preceptor advancement

Considering the significant upward trend in the number of PA programs paying for clinical sites that has been observed since 2013 and the downstream implications that clinical site payments have on the cost of PA education, PAEA has long championed policy solutions at both the federal and state level. The Association applauds Senator Kaine’s leadership on this issue and is proud to endorse the legislation.

To promote its enactment, PAEA will pursue advocacy efforts on behalf of the bill throughout the year, beginning with the launch of a new email campaign via PAEA’s Grassroots Action Network.

If you are committed to improving PA education as well as access to care for vulnerable patients, contact your elected representatives in Congress and tell them to support the Primary Care Team Education Centers Act.  

Members with questions about this legislation or future advocacy opportunities are invited to contact Tyler Smith at