Now, for something not so popular with some of my colleagues. PA residencies. They've been around for years, and I believe there are now 48 or 49 programs. The Baylor/Army EM residency program is 18 months and awards a doctoral of science degree, or a DSc at it's completion. I think someone mentioned that it contains 5600 clinical residency hours, and 516 didactic hours.
The point of this discussion, is that the PA profession is changing. Our roots were based in experienced health care workers, at the beginning, military medics, who could recieve additional training and be a complement to the physician. Medicine, and PA training have changed however. Physicians, healthcare policy wonks, and even the market itself is starting to see more and more PA's practicing with more indirect physician supervision. PA's are increasingly becoming practice owners, and hiring supervising docs to work with them. We have branched far from our initial purpose, which was to provide primary care in rural and underserved areas, and are now working in almost every single specialty, including interventional radiology.
Concomitantly, programs have transitioned from a certificate or associates based training, to the majority being held at a Master's degree level. This has meant more and more younger students coming straight from undergraduate into PA school with nominal, if any prior healthcare experience.
Should we mandate mandatory residency training? I am thinking this is an idea whose time may be upon us. Not all of them need to, or should offer a Doctoral degree. But I think any PA who wishes to practice outside of primary care, should complete a residency.
BTW-this is not a very popular idea with a lot of PA's
Here's a link to an article about the Baylor/Army program.
Here's another that needed to be resurrected.