New Survey of Physician Assistant Programs in Michigan Highlights Challenges With Clinical Education

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 23, 2022

PRESS CONTACT: Ana Hornburg 517-908-8229 or ana.ho[email protected]


LANSING, Mich. – Today, Michigan Health Council (MHC) released the "2022 Physician Assistant Clinical Rotation Survey". This first-of-its-kind survey included findings from 10 physician assistant programs across the state of Michigan. The results highlight clinical education requirements and costs, an area of data that has seen growing interest as the demand for physician assistants increases in Michigan and nationwide.


"Earlier this year, we released a report on the PA workforce that showed us how demand was outpacing supply," said Michelle Wein, Director of Research at MHC. "With this survey, we aimed to take a closer look at the barriers our educational programs may be currently facing."


One of the most interesting findings, explained Wein, was the lack of preceptors in Michigan. When there are not enough preceptors to teach students, it can make clinical education more competitive and therefore more difficult to schedule among programs.

“Michigan universities understand that PAs are an ideal solution for high-quality healthcare access," said Thadd Gormas, Executive Director of Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA). “With this data, we can see why too many Michigan-educated PAs are leaving to practice medicine in other states."


Senate Bill 999 was recently introduced to help incentivize physician and physician assistant preceptors during the clinical education process. If passed, this bill would create a tax credit for those who dedicate their time to precepting physician and physician students in Michigan. Similar legislation has already passed in Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, and South Carolina.


"There have been a few studies on clinical rotations at the national level, but nothing that delved down into our state's current needs," said Melanie Brim, President and CEO of MHC. "We saw the opportunity to explore a new space that could help our partners make informed decisions."


In addition to the issues with finding preceptors, the survey also found that most physician assistant programs and/or their students had to pay for clinical rotations in some capacity. It also found that Women's Health and Pediatrics rotations were the most difficult to place, though struggles exist across all specialties.

To download the full report, you may visit mhc.org/insight.

Michigan Health Council (MHC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization on a mission to create products and provide services their partners rely on to build healthcare workforce capacity. Learn more at mhc.org.

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