News

PAEA Task Force Ready to Tackle Implications of OTP

The PAEA Optimal Team Practice (OTP) Impact on Education Task Force — including representatives from across the PA and medical education worlds — was established by a membership motion at the 2017 business meeting that called for a PAEA body to “address the implications of OTP for PA education and for new graduates as raised in the 2017 PAEA OTP Task Force Report and report back to this body by next year with the findings.” The PAEA Board formally charged and funded the task force at its January meeting.

OTP is a new policy passed at the 2017 AAPA House of Delegates meeting that allows state chapters to seek changes in state laws that will, among other things, eliminate the “legal requirement for PAs to have a specific relationship with a particular collaborating physician in order to practice.” PAEA is generally supportive of OTP but has concerns about what it would mean for PA education and for new graduates. A survey of program directors, medical directors, and past presidents conducted last year in preparation for a PAEA white paper on OTP found that nearly 90 percent of all respondents believed that PA education does not currently prepare graduates for OTP. Majorities of all three groups also agreed that OTP could lead to an increase in program duration, increased costs, reduced diversity, and new impetus toward a clinical doctorate for PAs. (For more information on the organizations’ perspectives on OTP, see their dedicated webpages: PAEA’s OTP page | AAPA’s OTP page. Also see this Q&A with AAPA President Gail Curtis, MPAS, PA-C.)

Investigating these implications more deeply will be the primary aim of the task force, chaired by PAEA Director at Large Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C, program director at the Rosalind Franklin University PA program. “Our goal is to gather as much information and as many perspectives on the potential impact OTP as we can, and then to bring a set of recommendations and proposed implementation strategies for PA education to our membership,” said Statler.

“We’ll begin by determining which questions need to be answered, following Einstein’s  advice: ‘If I had an hour to solve a problem, I would spend the first 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions.’ We’ll be looking at questions like: What is our working definition of OTP? What defines a successful graduate now and what might need to change in an OTP environment? What resources — like our core competencies and entrustable professional activities — do we have to draw from?”

The group was assembled to include broad representation within and outside of PA education, including from the four PA organizations, postgraduate education, PA employers, and the physician community. Organizations were encouraged to nominate their own representatives to ensure a variety of organizational and individual perspectives. The full task force membership is as follows:

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Perspective Represented

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Michel Statler, MLA, PA-C (Chair)

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PAEA Board of Directors

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Scott Black, MD

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PA Program Director

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Kate McOwen

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Association of American Medical Colleges

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Kevin Schuer, DrPH, PA-C

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PAEA Board of Directors

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Cragin Greene, MHS, PA-C

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Postgraduate Education

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Jordan Shuart, MHS, PA-C

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New Graduate/Student Health Policy Fellow

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Jeremy Adler, MS, PA-C

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AAPA

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Timothy Capstack, MD, FACP

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PA Employer

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Priscilla Marsicovetere, JD, PA-C

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PA Program Director

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David Latini, PhD, LMSW

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VA Office of Academic Affiliations

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Linda Delaney, MPAS, PA-C

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NCCPA

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Dan O’Donoghue, PA-C, PhD

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ARC-PA

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Dave Keahey, MSPH, PA-C

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PAEA Staff Partner

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Tyler Smith

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PAEA Staff Partner

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The task force held the first of its monthly conference calls yesterday and will meet face-to-face in Washington, DC, in April. A final report will be submitted to the PAEA membership before the 2018 PAEA Education Forum in Anaheim, California, October 24–28. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as the work of the task force takes shape.