National Academies Workshop Helps Define Lessons Learned from COVID

Physician Assistant Education Association (12/09/20) Lane, Steven

A recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine workshop focused on the COVID-19 pandemic's lessons for health professions education (HPE). Over 900 attendees from 17 health professions considered HPE's adaptation to the pandemic and how the experience might inform sustainable changes. One of the co-chairs of the event, Kansas City University's Darrin D'Agostino, DO, MPH, MBA, said the crisis highlighted a clear need to "evolve from an industrial model to a knowledge model." Georgia Institute of Technology researcher Pinar Keskinocak, PhD, a speaker at the workshop, noted that healthy lifestyle promotion is a critical element in this transition, with stakeholder collaboration especially vital. Innovations cited at the workshop included a practice/academic partnership that channeled 10 nursing practice, education, accreditation and regulatory bodies to find solutions for students who lost their rotations due to the pandemic. D'Agostino acknowledged "a need for leadership to support innovation ... and a systems-based approach to designing education to prepare the future workforce." Essential to this will be will be competencies, like the Physician Assistant Education Association's Core Competencies for New PA Graduates and the revised Competencies for the PA Profession. The American Medical Association's Kimberly Lomis, MD, also noted a competency-based approach allows for more focused lifelong learning. "The pandemic has highlighted the importance of interprofessional education, and the power of a systems-based approach to ensure our curricula accurately reflect PA practice," added Charleston Southern University's Skylar Stewart-Clark, PhD, PA-C.

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