A call to action: Integrating public health into physician assistant education to improve rural health
There is an increasing shortage of rural health care providers. Additionally, in March 2012, the Institute of Medicine released a report entitled Primary Care and Public Health: Exploring Integration to Improve Population Health. To address the shortage issue, Campbell University College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences has developed multiple health sciences programs including Physician Assistant in 2011 and Public Health in 2012. To address the call to integrative action, these programs combine a range of approaches to intentionally interweave public health (PH) into the physician assistant (PA) curriculum. PA students participated in collaborative cases with PH students and faculty, PH students taught PA students about the role of PAs in public health, PH faculty lectured in multiple PA classes (including Evidence-based Medicine and Behavioral Medicine) and students and faculty from both programs engaged in a service-learning project to provide oral and medical health services to underserved children in our rural county. Moreover, we have developed a dual-degree program where select students will develop public health research projects at a clinical site in their PH year and then hone clinical skills in the same site during their subsequent PA rotations. Campbell has developed a unique and innovative approach to integrate public health into primary care provider training while immersed in our local rural community. Campbell hopes to develop well-rounded clinicians, who work collaboratively to improve rural health.
Other professions or practice related to public health
Public health or related education
Explain a unique and innovative method to incorporate public health into physician assistant education.
Keyword(s): Rural Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am an assistant professor of public health who helped design the integration of public health into the PA program and have facilitated each of the activities described. Additionally, my research interests include best practices in health education and the implementation of systems change.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.