Nevin Manimala Statistics

Physician Assistant Program Policies to Assess and Address Student Reports of Mistreatment During Clinical Training

J Physician Assist Educ. 2022 Aug 1. doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000451. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Many physician assistant (PA) students experience mistreatment in clinical learning environments, and accredited PA programs are required to define, publish, and make readily available policies and procedures for student reports of mistreatment. The purpose of this study is to describe the prevalence, content, and dissemination of program policies to address students’ reports of mistreatment involving preceptors during supervised clinical experiences.

METHODS: To conduct a national policy analysis, the investigators included 10 new survey items in the 2019 Physician Assistant Education Association annual program survey. Deidentified data were analyzed by using descriptive statistics.

RESULTS: The program response rate to the survey items was 99% (232). Approximately 76% of PA programs reported having a learner mistreatment policy. Policy content across programs varied widely, and several student reporting mechanisms were available. Program directors, clinical faculty, and institutional leadership were most likely to be involved in the management of reports. A majority programs actively assessed for mistreatment and most did so through clinical course evaluations and at the end of each clinical phase course. Most programs disseminated information about policy to faculty, students, and preceptors at least once a year.

DISCUSSION: The descriptions of policy content, procedures, and dissemination increase educators’ understanding of current policies across PA programs in the context of renewed efforts to write or revise policy that is specific to mistreatment. The authors discuss key policy priorities to define mistreatment, offer a range of confidential reporting mechanisms, review the management of reports, and consider how to optimize dissemination strategies.

PMID:35917472 | DOI:10.1097/JPA.0000000000000451

By Nevin Manimala

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