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Explosive Growth in British Physician Associate Education Since 2008

Ritsema, Tamara S., MPH, MMSc, PA-C/R; Roberts, Karen A., MS, PA-C/R; Watkins, Jeannie S., PG Cert, PA-R

The Journal of Physician Assistant Education: March 2019 - Volume 30 - Issue 1 - p 57–60
doi: 10.1097/JPA.0000000000000233
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Physician associate (PA) education in the United Kingdom has grown substantially since the establishment of 4 PA education programs in the late 2000s. From those 4 programs in 2008, the number of universities educating PAs fell to a nadir of 2 programs in 2012 and then rose to 29 by the end of 2017. Due to program closures, the number of students enrolled in the early years fluctuated substantially. In 2008, 43 students entered PA education; in 2010, only 17 students started PA training, but in 2017, the number of students enrolled in PA programs soared to 853. Early in the course of PA education, programs were only offered in the greater London and West Midlands areas of England. As of 2017, PAs were being educated in all 4 countries of the United Kingdom, although the explosive growth in the number of programs is expected to slow as 2020 nears.

Tamara S. Ritsema, MPH, MMSc, PA-C/R, is an assistant professor in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences in Washington, DC, and an adjunct senior lecturer in Physician Associate Education at the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education at the St. George's, University of London, in London, England, in the United Kingdom.

Karen A. Roberts, MS, PA-C/R, is a reader in Physician Associate Education at the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education at the St. George's, University of London, in London, England, in the United Kingdom.

Jeannie S. Watkins, PG Cert, PA-R, is a senior lecturer in Physician Associate Education at the Institute of Medical and Biomedical Education at the St. George's, University of London, in London, England, in the United Kingdom.

Correspondence should be addressed to: Tamara S. Ritsema, MPH, MMSc, PA-C/R, Department of Physician Assistant Studies, George Washington University School of Medicine, 2100 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20037. Telephone: (202) 994-7644; Email: Tritsema@gwu.edu

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Copyright © 2019 Physician Assistant Education Association
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