Does PA or medical education have some of the same hot-button issues we see in NP education?
There has been a great deal of teeth gnashing about NP education. The complains generally relate to a few of the following in combination:
1. Online programs
2. Part time programs
3. No experience required
Usually the gaze is then cast on PA and MD education where supposedly none of these problems exist. Let's examine that idea with the caveat that I am no expert in PA/MD education, but I often see a lot of posts from folks who have discernibly less awareness.
1. Online programs
PA programs such as UND, Red Rock, Yale, Lock Haven, MCPHS and others offer programs that are either distance learning or a hybrid curriculum where some courses are online while campus visits are required similar to Vanderbilt's NP program.
2. Part Time
While I don't know of any part time allopathic/osteopathic programs (although some will allow 5 years to lighten the intensity), there are some part time PA programs such as Drexel, Rutgers, University of Detroit,
3. No Experience Required
There is much teeth gnashing about direct entry MSN programs despite evidence supporting the practitioners they educate. How about on the PA/MD/DO side?
To point out that MD/DO applicants need not have experience is just asinine because of residency. However it possible for MD/DOs to practice without a residence in many states. They might practice independently as a general practitioner or they not be independent, functioning more like a PA.
16% of programs require 1000-2000 hours of healthcare experience (less than 1 year full time)
40% require no experience
44% of programs require somewhere between 8 and 500 hours
The experience requirements, where they exist, vary from shadowing to volunteering to paid professional experience.
There have long been plenty of for-profit medical schools
outside of the US that accept applicants who couldn't get into US schools. They are US accredited, so their graduates do practice in the US. The first for-profit medical school in the US opened 10 years ago and more have followed.
I am not aware of a for-profit PA program... yet...
When I look at these for categories of concern, it turns out most of them are in PA and MD/DO education. However, they seem to less prevalent and the online learning shift is coming from the elite-end of education while in NP education, these changes started at the lowest common denominator (which, not coincidentally, are the for-profits).