Overcoming Challenges in PA Education

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

After spending 30 years working in various PA programs at several universities, I saw a major flaw in the Physician Assistant Program system—there was an unnecessary sink or swim atmosphere. Many PAs who switch from clinical work to academic teaching aren’t provided enough support; they struggle to navigate the complex academic world, often without a mentor. Personally, I felt this struggle, too, and considered returning to clinical work because it was easier.


I knew if I considered leaving because of the unnecessary difficulties, others probably felt the same. If I retreated to the clinical world, nothing would change; the cycle would continue. I didn’t want that.



First, there was a gap between facilitating faculty growth and ensuring the PA program maintained its accreditation. Intent on bridging this gap, I began studying how the coalescence of research and statistics might enhance advanced assessment practices. Soon this led to embedded scholarship, which is what shifted my perspective.


Second, it was evident there were not enough qualified individuals to fill leadership needs of PA programs. PA program directors were constantly overwhelmed, causing burnout that soon led to dropping out of the profession.


These two issues seemed the most pressing and detrimental to PA programs and PA education overall; if PA program directors keep leaving, if faculty wasn’t growing, and if accreditation was withdrawn or put on probation, what chance did the PA profession have? How can these issues be resolved, fixed, not brushed under the rug?


That’s when it became clear what the PA education world was missing: expert consulting and coaching. With personalized consulting, PA programs have a chance to improve and fix sometimes unknown issues.



Massey & Martin, LLC was created to provide consulting for PA programs to implement or improve faculty development, especially for newer faculty just entering academics; to incorporate advanced assessment practices to ensure compliance with accreditation; and to provide leadership development for PA program directors.


Helen and I both have a passion for helping PA programs. We are both PAs and have worked in several positions at a few PA programs—we have an insider understanding of the challenges programs must overcome. We know what works. We know, because we have the experience.


What can Massey & Martin, LLC do for YOUR PA program?

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