Chatham University utilizes a hybrid model of Problem-Based Learning, lecture, and on-line activity that challenges students to be self-directed and prepares students for the evidence-based, problem-oriented world of clinical medicine. Through actual patient cases, students develop learning issues, research topics using the most up to date resources, work in teams and receive feedback on knowledge base as well as professionalism to prepare them for primary care, problem-focused clinical practice
Knowledge: When encountering an unfamiliar problem, the student will be able to build, organize, and articulate the basic science knowledge and concepts which can explain the problem and which can then be employed to resolve the problem.
Clinical Reasoning: The student will demonstrate the ability to use the clinical reasoning process in the investigation and solution of medical problems.
Self-Directed Learning and Self-Assessment: When a student encounters a problem that he or she is unable to explain, the student will be able to design and implement satisfactory learning strategies, monitor the adequacy of personal knowledge and skills, assess the effectiveness of the self-directed learning strategies used, and critically assess the learning resources for adequacy, quality, and credibility.
Professional Clinical and Interpersonal Skills:
The student will demonstrate:
-Appropriate interview and physical examination techniques
-Effective interpersonal skills while interacting with patients, peers, faculty and others
-I want to be a PA because I want to be able to practice medicine with a high level of autonomy, but be able to reference back to my supervising physician when needed.
-I want to be a PA because I want to increase my scope of practice and I want to be more involved with my patients. Although I highly respect nurses and the work they do ( I observe this first-hand since I work with them at the hospice, the health center, and the emergency department), I want to be involved in the more diagnostic aspect of medicine. I know being a PA rather than a doctor, nurse, NP I can increase that scope of practice sooner, with less debt, as well as incorporating some things that are of interest to me like the science behind medicine and the team based approach. I'm also drawn the values behind the profession like making healthcare more patient centered with team medicine, the importance of preventative services and increasing accessibility where it is needed like in medically underserved areas.
-As I have matured and experienced more while working in various jobs in healthcare, I know for certain that medicine is for me. I have observed and interviewed individuals in several healthcare fields--physicians, nurses, NPs, and PAs--and found that I am most drawn to the PA profession for many reasons. First, I like the collaborative aspect of being a PA and working in a health-care team. Yet, I also like the autonomy the PA profession would provide me. I am impressed by the number of specialties available to PAs. Finally, I have a good deal of respect for the profession and was very impressed by the PAs I shadowed and have spoken with.
-MCPHS, Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, is one of the oldest pharmacy (PharmD) schools in the country.
-While it is a small school, they have the 6th largest endowment in the country.
- The facilities, mostly located in about three buildings which sit across the street from a hospital, are absolutely immaculate. The buildings are new and gorgeous. The technology is STATE OF THE ART. The labs are set up like hospital rooms, with top of the line simulation "dummies" who do all the things a real patient would do. All the equipment you would find in a hospital room are in the labs and fully functional. The classrooms are also state of the art, with clickers being connected to the overhead projector so that students can answer questions Jeopardy style! Everything inside this school is clean, modern, and visually impressive. The staff are incredibly friendly and kind.
- This school is a school that focuses solely on graduate health professions. At the Worcester campus, all of the programs are accelerated, so the student body averages between the ages of 26-28 and everyone at the facility has a prior degree.
- Located near 7 other colleges. The school is across the street from a new hospital (St. Vincents), there are other state and psychiatric facilities close by, and UMASS Memorial Hospital is a five minute drive. The area is heavily populated by biotechnology companies, so healthcare and science is what draws people to this city.
- It is 40 minutes from Boston and 40 minutes from Providence, RI, and there is a train station close to the school which can take you to these places. The drive from NY is about 3 hours. It is even closer to CT.
-First, I continue to keep shadowing PAs in different specialties to get as much patient exposure as possible. One time, I asked a PA if I could shadow her again after having a great experience the first time. She told me I was more than welcome to come in, however, she may not be seeing as many patients and will be doing a lot of office work. Although hesitant at first, I still went in for the day. It ended up being a great learning experience. I was able to have many on-one-one conversations with the PA and ask her many questions about the profession. She told me all about her journey of becoming a PA and all the various specialties she has worked in. She described the different relationships she has had with her supervising Physicians as well as her different duties and responsibilities. Shadowing also allows me to learn firsthand the current challenges of the PA profession.
-I also read PA forums online and even have an application on my smart phone called PA insider. I read it while walking to class, sitting on the bus, or even while laying on the couch watching TV with my roommates. It reveals a lot about the PA profession, how to become a PA, and what to expect during and after school. It's informative, easy to use, and well designed.
-Lastly, I talk to all the PA students I know - Several of the previous PA Club Executive Board members are currently in school or now certified. I have an email thread with several of them and contact them whenever I have questions. They are all very passionate about the profession and therefore always willing to talk about their experiences and share information about the PA profession
-In a clinical setting, most are not able to tell the difference between a PA and a NP because they are very similar in terms of job duties, however, there are differences in how they get there.
-An NP needs to be an RN first. Once they complete their RN and practice for a bit, they can go on to apply for their masters or doctorate program for Nurse Practitioner.
-In contrast, most PA programs require a bachelors in any subject, prior health care experience in a variety of healthcare settings (i.e. EMT, CNA, RT) and then you get your masters as a Physician Assistant.
-Furthermore, NPs are trained in the nursing model vs PAs which are trained in the medical model. The medical model is a disease model that is filled with pathology, clinical medicine, pharmacology, pathophys, and treatment. It focuses on the anatomical and physiological and biochemical malfxn as the cause of a disease. They are "disease-oriented." This model treats humans as complex systems of anatomical parts and physiological systems. It is more of an evidence-based approach. PAs are trained in this model and are trained to care for pts along theri entire lifespan.
-In contrast, the nursing model focuses on a patient's mental, emotional, and physical needs. This model accounts for the whole patient, not just the disease or the condition of the patient. It's a more systemic approach. The Nursing model consists of 5 parts: 1) activities of living, 2) dependence-independence continuum, 3) patient's life span, 4) factors influencing activities of living, 5) individuality in living.
-Another difference is that in some states, NPs can practice independently without the supervision of a physician, whereas PAs always practice under a supervising physician.
-Lastly, PAs are generalists whereas NPs can be either generalists or specialists. In certain states, if NP wants to perform NP duties within a specialty, then they must obtain a national certification within that specialty to perform. A PA however is more of a generalist, and can usually switch bw specialties with more realtive ease. However, there are residency programs available for PAs in more specialized areas such as cardiothoracic surgery, oncology, etc.
1.) More demand for PAs: As a result of numerous provisions designed to expand health insurance coverage, millions more Americans will now be insured, with the number likely to continue to increase for years to come. While it's beneficial to both individuals and society to have more people with health coverage, this new wave of healthcare consumers will exacerbate the already increasing physician shortage. Consequently, in the coming years, the system will likely rely more on health professionals such as PAs, and more will be expected of them.
2.) Recognition as primary care health providers: The ACA recognizes PAs as an essential part of the solution to the primary care shortage by formally acknowledging them as one of the three primary care health providers.
3.) Expansion of PAs: The ACA commits to expanding the number of PAs by providing financial support for scholarships and loan forgiveness programs, as well as by funding the training of 600 new PAs.
4.) Development of new payment models: Another provision of the ACA that has already, and will continue to, affect PAs is the development of new payment models such as accountable care organizations and patient-centered medical homes, which focus heavily on coordination of care. PAs will play a large part in this coordination, as the health workforce continues to adopt an increasingly team-oriented approach to care provision.
5.) Incentives for primary care: The ACA implemented new primary care incentives through which PAs can benefit. Through 2016, Medicare will provide a bonus of 10 percent for certain services provided by primary care providers, which PAs are eligible to receive.