With the growing number of PA programs nationwide comes the need to prepare a diverse pool of PA faculty and academic leaders. Using data from the 2019 PAEA Faculty and Director, Lucy W. Kibe, DrPH, PA-C, and colleagues assessed the likelihood of being in an academic leadership role by demographics, years in PA education, and having a doctoral degree. The findings were reported at a poster presentation at the American Association of Physician Assistants (AAPA 2022) conference held May 21 to May 25, 2022, in Indianapolis.

Findings show that racial/ethnic groups that are underrepresented in medicine (URIM) comprise less than 10% of all PA faculty. The URIM status is defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges as “those racial and ethnic populations that are underrepresented in the medical profession relative to their numbers in the general population.” Among PA faculty holding academic leadership positions (defined as program director, academic director, and clinical director), men and women as well as URIM and non-URIM faculty were equally represented.

Of the 956 respondents, most PA faculty (81%) did not have a doctoral degree. Program directors were significantly more likely to have a doctoral degree (47%; adjusted odds ratio, 2.38). The percentage of PAs who were academic directors or clinical directors did not differ by doctoral status. Overall, PA faculty with greater years of PA education were more likely to be program directors or academic directors, but not clinical directors.


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Despite URIM faculty being grossly underrepresented in PA education, they were more likely to have a doctoral degree than non-URIM faculty (25% vs 19%). The authors speculated that this may be attributable to the “do twice as much phenomenon.”

The study authors concluded that advanced academic training opportunities are needed for all PA faculty. Additionally, there is a critical need for strategies to increase URIM faculty. Matriculating more URIM students will provide this pipeline, the authors concluded.

Reference

Kibe LW, Kayingo G, Klein A, Schrode KM. Academic leadership in PA education: a cross-sectional analysis of the association with doctoral degree, gender, and minority status. Poster presented at: AAPA 2022; May 21-25, 2022; Indianapolis, IN.