The physician assistant teaching fellowship: A model for faculty recruitment.
PURPOSE: the rapid growth of the number of physician assistant (PA) programs in the last two decades has resulted in a heightened demand for qualified and experienced PA faculty. Barriers to recruitment and retention of faculty include the need for diverse teaching experiences and the lack of available mentors. METHODS: in order to provide a structured experience for training potential faculty for careers as PA educators and to address the barriers to recruitment and retention of new faculty, our institution has offered a PA teaching fellowship since 1998. RESULTS: the teaching fellowship has met its goal of increasing the pool of qualified PA faculty, as nine of the 11 graduates were hired full-time into PA teaching and program administration positions. Curriculum projects developed by the fellows have been incorporated into our curriculum and have been shared with other PA programs. CONCLUSIONS: the PA teaching fellowship is a valuable strategy for developing teaching skills, promoting professionalism among PA educators, increasing the pool of available and qualified PA faculty, and overcoming barriers to retention. This model may be useful to other institutions.
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