Physician Assistant Educator Competencies.

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The rapid expansion of physician assistant (PA) programs over the past decade has led to a shortage of experienced PA faculty. This has prompted many faculty development initiatives to help provide the skills needed by new faculty making the jump from clinical practice to academia. Faculty development is a key necessity in health professions education because many of the professionals attracted to the educator role are primarily trained as clinicians. Although this issue has been extensively evaluated by our colleagues in medical, nursing, and health education and various faculty development interventions have been implemented, this has not been done in the PA profession. In an effort to correct this, the Physician Assistant Education Association assembled a task force of experienced PA educators and charged them to evaluate the literature on faculty competencies in health professions education and to develop a set of PA educator competencies to help codify the essential knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors that faculty need to be successful in their academic roles.The task force met its charge by engaging in an extensive review of the literature, developing a competency framework and proposed competencies, and soliciting the input of a diverse panel of experts in PA education to vet the proposed competencies. Using the insights and recommendations from the expert panel, the task force refined the competencies-resulting in the framework of PA educator competencies presented in this document.






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Zaweski, Joseph, Betsy Quick Melcher, Mona Sedrak, Mary Von and Sara Fletcher (2019). Physician Assistant Educator Competencies. The journal of physician assistant education : the official journal of the Physician Assistant Education Association, 30(1). pp. 47–53. 10.1097/jpa.0000000000000240 Retrieved from

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Betsy Quick Melcher

Assistant Professor in Family Medicine and Community Health

Betsy Melcher is an assistant professor in the Department of Community and Family Medicine at Duke University. She serves the PA program as an academic coordinator and supports the development, administration, and assessment of the preclinical-year curriculum. She also teaches across a spectrum of topics, including prevention, orthopedics, anatomy, pediatrics, and emergency medicine. She has led multiple national and international presentations on interprofessional education (IPE). Prior to joining the faculty at Duke in 2010, Betsy practiced clinically in family medicine and continues to have clinical interests in primary care, sports medicine, and orthopedics. She has also provided clinical service at Duke with the PASS Clinic (2012-2018) and most recently as a PA with the Duke Center for Smoking Cessation (2018-). 

Betsy completed her master’s degree in sports health care at the Arizona School of Health Sciences in 2000 and practiced as an athletic trainer at North Carolina State University prior to becoming a PA. She currently serves as the founding facilitator of the PAEA Special Interest Group on IPE, Lead facilitator for PAEA Workshop - Faculty Skills 101, member of NCAPA Student Affairs Committee and Education Development Panel, and several committees in the PA program at Duke. 

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