Learning needs of physician assistants working in hospital medicine

Haruka Torok, Christina Lackner, Regina Landis, Scott Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background: Hospital Medicine is growing rapidly, and the number of physician assistants (PAs) in this field is expected to grow. However, there is no available data related to the learning needs of PA hospitalists. Objective: To conduct a needs assessment for PA hospitalists who may be embarking on a hospitalist career. Design: Cross-sectional survey based on the Core Competencies in Hospital Medicine. Setting/PARTICIPANTS: A sample of hospitalist PAs working in the United States. Measurements: Amount of experience with core diagnoses and procedures, preferences for additional training that would have prepared them to function as hospitalist PAs. Results: Sixty-nine PAs responded (response rate, 67%). Among the core clinical conditions, respondents had the most experience in managing diabetes and urinary tract infections and were least experienced with health care-associated pneumonias and sepsis syndrome. Over 90% rarely performed core competency procedures other than electrocardiogram and chest X-ray interpretations. The top 3 content areas that PA hospitalists believed would have helped to better prepare them to care for inpatients were palliative care (percent of PAs who agreed or strongly agreed: 85%), nutrition for hospitalized patients (84%), and consultations (64%). Almost all (91%) indicated that they would have been interested in formal postgraduate hospital medicine training even if it meant having a lower stipend during the first year on the job. Conclusions: This is the first national data on self-perceived learning needs of PA hospitalists. The results may prove helpful for both PAs entering hospitalist careers and for the physician groups looking to hire them.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)190-194
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of hospital medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Leadership and Management
  • Internal Medicine
  • Fundamentals and skills
  • Health Policy
  • Care Planning
  • Assessment and Diagnosis


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