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Factors Predicting Physician Assistant Faculty Intent to Leave

Coniglio, David EdD, PA-C; Akroyd, Duane PhD

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: September 2015 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - p 113–122
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000031
Research Article

Purpose To examine demographic, human capital, organizational, and environmental factors and their ability to predict physician assistant (PA) faculty intent to leave their current position.

Methods The study was a nonexperimental, cross-sectional predictive design. A random sample of 994 PA faculty drawn from the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) database was invited to participate. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the respondents. Exploratory factor analysis was used to determine construct validity of the variables. Multiple regression analysis was used to examine the predictive ability of the independent variables on PA faculty intent to leave.

Results The survey response rate was 34.5% (343/994). Data from 271 respondents were available for analysis (27.1%). Exploratory factor analysis identified 6 factors: the independent variables workload, autonomy, distributive justice, role conflict, and organizational support, and the dependent variable intent to leave. Mean Likert scale score for intent to leave was 3.06, indicating a low intent to leave. Regression analysis demonstrated a significant effect of the combination of independent variables on PA faculty intent to leave (F = 9.86, P < .0001). The R2 was 0.40, indicating that approximately 40% of the variance in intent to leave was accounted for by the combination of independent variables in the model. Significant contributors were organizational support (β = −0.41, P < .0001), role conflict (β = 0.15, P < .01), and age (β = −0.13, P < .05).

Conclusion The results of this study demonstrate that organizational support, role conflict, and age are significant predictors of PA faculty intention to leave. These results have implications for faculty development and retention efforts.

David Coniglio, EdD, PA-C, is an associate professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Practice at Campbell University, Buies Creek, North Carolina.

Duane Akroyd, PhD, is a professor in the College of Education at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina.

Correspondence should be addressed to: David Coniglio, EdD, PA-C, Department of Physician Assistant Practice, College of Pharmacy & Health Sciences, Campbell University, Buies Creek, NC 27506. Telephone: (910) 814-5532; Email:

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2015 Physician Assistant Education Association
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