Winner of PAEA’s New Program Presents Research Idea with STAR Power

Oren Berkowitz, PhD, MSPH, PA-C, from the Boston University School of Medicine PA Program, is this year’s recipient of the Support to Advance Research (STAR) Program. The PAEA program, now in its second year, allows a PA program faculty member to submit up to 10 questions for inclusion in the annual Program Survey, which is administered to all PAEA member program directors.

PAEA’s Research Council determines the recipient by subjecting all proposals to a peer review process, using reviewers experienced in survey-based research.

“The STAR program was begun to provide a relatively inexpensive and simple way for new researchers to gather high quality data to answer a PA education-related research question,” said Research Council Chair Richard Dehn, MPA, PA-C. “I expect that each of these STAR program projects will result in scholarly presentations and publications that will ultimately build the skill set of the participants as well as benefit the profession.”

Berkowitz’s survey questions relate to quality improvement education in PA programs.

“My objective is to describe an overview of how PA programs across the nation are providing quality improvement education to their students,” said Berkowitz. “By disseminating this knowledge among PA educators, we can begin to define what quality improvement means to PAs and what direction we think it should take.”

He noted that one the biggest challenges in survey-based research is obtaining a high participation rate. “The STAR program provides me with a unique opportunity to plug my survey into an existing survey that has a history of excellent response rates,” explained Berkowitz. “It would be more challenging to deploy this survey on my own, but by leveraging the resources of PAEA, I hope to obtain high quality information.”