The United States is facing an opioid public health crisis. Educating providers is essential for addressing this epidemic. This study sought to understand how physician assistant (PA) programs are educating students in opioid prescribing to avoid addiction.
An Internet-based survey was sent to PA educators about the current landscape of opioid prescribing education (OPE) and opioid addiction education (OAE) at their institutions.
Eighty-eight completed surveys were analyzed to gauge opioid education in PA school: 49 (55.7%) educators have a mandatory OPE in their curriculum with most dedicating one hour to 3 hours (27, 55.1%) on this topic. Mandatory OAE was noted by 44 (50.0%) educators with one hour to 3 hours dedicated being the most common (24, 54.5%) amount of time. The most common method of instruction for both OPE and OAE was didactic lectures.
While some programs deliver OPE and OAE to PA students, the need exists for more programs to adopt this education.
Brian K. Yorkgitis, DO, PA-C, is an assistant professor in the Division of Acute Care Surgery at the University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida.
Bre Garbas, DHSc, MPAS, PA-C, is an assistant professor and director of evaluation in the School of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida.
Debra Cole, MPAS, PA-C, is an assistant professor in the School of Physician Assistant Studies at the University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Florida.
Correspondence should be addressed to: Brian K. Yorkgitis, DO, PA-C, Division of Acute Care Surgery, University of Florida College of Medicine–Jacksonville, 655 W. 8th Street, Jacksonville, FL 32209. Telephone: (904) 244-6631; Email: Brian.firstname.lastname@example.org
The authors declare no conflict of interest.