With 268 PA programs currently operating in the US and over 50 more expected to start within the next few years, more and more PAs are finding themselves in the classroom instead of the clinic. Many PAs who are on faculty have excellent medical training; however, creating active learning sessions, preparing for accreditation, and engaging students are now skills they rely upon daily.
The University of Lynchburg’s DMSc PA Education Concentration (PAEC) was designed to give PA faculty the skills to succeed in academia. The curriculum aligns with the PA educator’s competencies outlined by PAEA: teaching, learner-centeredness, communication skills, professionalism and role-modeling, program and curriculum design and implementation, program evaluation, scholarship development, leadership, and mentorship.
“I have found the program material to be especially relevant and beneficial to me beyond my expectations. The knowledge I am gaining in the DMSc program has had a direct impact on my influence as a program director and faculty member.”
– Ami Steele, MMSc, PA-C
PA Education Concentration Curriculum
The coursework includes three main areas of focus to support PA educators’ professional development:
- Faculty development in creating instruction, student assessment, advising, course directing, curriculum development and accreditation occurs in the PA 990, PA 991 and PA 992 courses.
- Engagement in scholarly work occurs through the The PA 960 Evidence-Based Medicine and PA 966 Doctoral Project course.
- Application of doctoral course-work to the individual’s own work setting occurs via the PA Education Practicum course series.
Lynchburg’s PA Education Concentration enrolls twice a year in July and January. Students can complete the degree in 12 or 15 months.
First 12-week academic term:
Second 12-week academic term*:
Third 12-week academic term*:
(+/- First Elective)
Fourth 12-week academic term*:
And one of the following (PA 992 or PA 993):
(+/- Second Elective)
*Students who prefer to complete the program in five terms (15 months) should postpone their electives to a fifth term. Students must take a total of two electives.
**Students who started the program before April of 2022 will complete the Doctoral Project course series (PA 961-963).
Student Learning Outcomes – PA Education Concentration
Upon completion of the Lynchburg DMSc PA Education Concentration, graduates will be able to
- Apply learning-theory and the medical education literature to advance student learning and improve program effectiveness by training within fellowship competencies on:
- Student Centeredness
- Professionalism and Role Modeling
- Program and Curriculum Design and Implementation
- Program Evaluation
- Design, develop, and execute projects that improve student learning outcomes, program curriculum or operations, and accreditation compliance or program self-assessment.
- Develop professional medical writing skills to advance the PA profession.
PA Education Concentration
DMSc students commonly work full-time in PA education to complete the PA Education Practicum courses. However, PAs who spend 160 hours per 12-week term focused on educational activities are eligible for enrollment and completion of the PA Education Concentration.
If you are a PA who does not meet those requirements but is interested in PA Education, consider enrolling in the Medical Education Certificate. This 3-course certificate is designed to allow clinically practicing PAs or current doctorally-educated PA faculty the option to complete doctoral level coursework designed to meet their development needs.