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Duke Physician Assistant Program: Preceptor Development


– [Instructor] Welcome
to the Duke PA program preceptor development video on an Overview of the PA Profession and the Duke PA Program Curriculum. This brief session will describe the role of the physician assistant in
the current healthcare system, the history of the Duke PA program, and an overview of the
Duke PA program curriculum. PAs are licensed professionals
who practice medicine in collaboration with physicians and the larger health care team. They exercise autonomy in
medical decision making, providing a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. They also practice an
educational, research, and administrative activities. PAs practice medicine and all
entry level education programs are preparing PA students to do just that, including assessing patients
with history and physical exam, ordering and interpreting
diagnostic studies, determining treatment plans including pharmacologic and
behavioral interventions, conducting procedures in both inpatient and outpatient settings,
assisting in surgical procedures, writing prescriptions,
and providing patient education and counseling. PAs improve health and the health system by increasing access to care,
reducing health care costs, providing coordination
and continuity of care, being involved with preventive
health and wellness programs, managing the health of
populations, as well as reducing hospital
readmission and infection rates. The first PA program in the United States was at Duke University. It was a concept developed
by Eugene Stead, MD with the first class graduating in 1967. Since that time, the
Duke PA program has been a longstanding leader in PA education with over 175 students, a large
team of faculty and staff, as well as a health
services research program. The education program has also been the recipient of multiple
education grants. The Duke Physician Assistant
Program’s mission is to educate caring, competent primary care physician assistants who
practice evidence based medicine, are leaders in the profession, dedicated to their communities,
culturally sensitive, and devoted to the positive transformation of the health care system. Duke PA students earn a Master
of Health Sciences degree after a 24 month education program that includes a 12 month didactic phase and a 12 month clinical phase. There are several
prerequisites to admission including having an undergraduate degree. Eight prerequisite courses, including anatomy,
physiology, and microbiology. Patient care experience
of at least six months, but averages closer to two years as well as completing the GREs. Common ares of patient
care prior to PA school include nurse assistants,
medical assistants, EMTs, medical scribes, and clinical
research coordinators. The didactic phase of
the programs consists of several courses that span the 12 month pre-clinical phase. Those courses are listed here. The didactic phase curriculum involves a variety of instructional
strategies from reading, to classroom and small group activities, as well as simulated patient encounters, early clinic based encounters, multiple reflective activities
as well hands on learning in laboratory and dissection
anatomy lab settings. Evaluation methods are
similarly robust and regular to ensure students
acquire the skills needed for the clinical phase of education. During a didactic phase of training the students acquire proficiency
in the following scales to ensure they are ready
to apply that foundation of knowledge during the
clinical phase of education. The clinical phase of education lasts approximately 12 months in duration, beginning with a Bridge
to Patient Care course, followed by 10 rotations with at least one of those rotations being
in an underserved area. Students also return to
the program regularly for written and practical
examinations on call back days. Students have a non-clinical course, called Evidenced Based Practice
two and conclude the year with a summative course
called Senior Seminar. The clinical experiences
during the clinical phase consist of seven required rotations and two elective clinical courses, as well as a non-clinical course
Evidenced Based Practice two. A majority of the courses
are four weeks in duration, except for Internal
Medicine and Primary Care which are eight weeks in duration. The clinical education of
Duke PA students takes place in a variety of clinical
settings and communities throughout North Carolina,
the United States, and often the world. Approximately 50% of
clinical placements are within the Duke health
system with many placements occurring in regional health
systems, private practices, health departments, as
well as with the VA. Students participate in
learning in urban, suburban, and rural settings to ensure
that they have great breadth and depth to their experience
during their training. During the clinical phase of
training students continue to acquire proficiency in
a variety of essential, clinical skills to help
ensure that they are prepared for clinical practice as new providers who are licensed by the
state medical board. The Duke PA program continues
to achieve its mission to educate caring, competent
health care providers. Our alumni and new
graduates work in a variety of health care settings and many practice in underserved areas. While program faculty
continue to contribute to educational, clinical,
and health services research. The Duke PA program and its
students extend sincere thanks to our dedicated clinical
preceptors who contribute so much to the education
of Duke PA students. Please contact us if you need additional information or have questions. And for additional preceptor
development resources and videos, visit the following website.

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