PAEA Asks the Critical Question About OTP

“Optimal team practice,” previously referred to as “full practice authority and responsibility” (FPAR), would have significant implications for new graduates and for PA education. New graduate PAs are currently educated to practice with physician collaboration. We need to slow down and consider all the implications of this dramatic change in our profession.

To learn more, download the PAEA OTP Task Force Report.

6 Reasons OTP Is Not Right For New Graduates

PAEA asked the people who know PA education best what OTP might mean for the profession’s pipeline.
Our surveys of program directors, medical directors, and past presidents indicate that …

1. PA education does not currently prepare graduates for OTP

The vast majority of respondents agreed.

86% of program directors
PAEA Past PresidentsMedical DirectorsProgram Directors

2. OTP could increase the length of didactic and clinical education by up to two semesters each

3. Tuition could increase by 25%

4. Diversity could be affected

74% of program directors indicated that increases in tuition and program duration would lead to a decrease in applicant diversity.

5. Programs could consider a clinical doctorate degree

Currently, 3% of programs are considering a doctorate. Under OTP, 53% of programs would consider it.

6. The clinical sites crisis could be made worse

More than 75% of respondents said that current clinical sites could not meet the need for longer clinical training time.

What Students Think


of newly matriculated students considered the PA-physician relationship “essential” or “very important” in their postgraduate career path.*

What PAs Think


of comments that referenced “new graduates” in the AAPA survey expressed concern about OTP for new grads.**

“A PA right out of school cannot be expected to practice autonomously like a physician or a PA with years of practice.”

“Though rigorous, PA school does not prepare a graduate for autonomous practice.”

“PA education is not formatted for us to be ready to safely practice with autonomy.”

“I have concerns related to the readiness of today’s PA graduate for autonomous practice and do not believe it is in the best interest of the patient.”

— Respondents to the AAPA Full Practice Authority and Responsibility Survey

What You Can Do

Contact your AAPA delegates.

Contact the Board

Send your comments to the PAEA Board at

*2016 PAEA Matriculating Student Survey
**2017 AAPA Full Practice Authority and Responsibility Survey Report