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Abstract

Purpose: This qualitative study aims to identify the characteristics physician assistant (PA) students find most important for effective teaching by faculty in physician assistant programs. With this information, physician assistant faculty can enhance their teaching effectiveness in the classroom and optimize the environment for student learning. Faculty may also use the data obtained from this study to increase the likelihood of their retention or promotion as student input regarding teaching effectiveness is frequently one of the variables used in faculty evaluations.

Methods: Physician assistant students from three physician assistant programs were emailed a survey that asked for their response to an open-ended question: “What are the most important qualities or characteristics for physician assistant faculty to possess for effective teaching in a physician assistant program?” The responses were categorized using Marsh’s Students’ Evaluation of Educational Quality framework.

Results: Respondents most frequently listed individual words or phrases that corresponded to the categories of individual rapport and organization.

Conclusions: Physician assistant faculty who possess good individual rapport and organizational skills are more likely to be viewed as effective teachers by physician assistant students. Faculty that are lacking those skills could enhance their teaching effectiveness and the opportunity for advancement in their physician assistant program by improving their individual rapport with students and their organizational skills.

Author Bio(s)

Jennifer Forbes, MHS, PA-C, is an Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Utah. She was an Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at Idaho State University at the time the research was conducted.

Talia Sierra, MPAS, PA-C, is an Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at Idaho State University.

Jane Trapp, MS Ed, PA-C, is a Clinical Associate Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at East Carolina University.

Thomas Parish, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, is a Professor of Physician Assistant Studies at Eastern Virginia Medical School.

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