A deficit of 41,000 general surgeons by 2025 is predicted by the Association of American Medical Colleges (33% of the predicted physician shortage).1. The number of new graduating allopathic general surgery residents has remained stable for more than 25 years.2 Of these newly graduated general surgery residents, up to 77% are entering a fellowship program in surgical subspecialties.3 This shortage of general surgeons is a threat to the accessibility of general surgical care in the United States.
The reduced number of surgical residency positions for physicians and the limitation on weekly work hours for physician residents has impacted the workload for surgeons. Currently, approximately one-quarter of practicing Physician Assistants (PAs) work in a surgical practice. PAs with training in surgical practice can improve patient access to safe, evidence-based, and cost-effective surgical care.
Lincoln Memorial University is developing a second Physician Assistant (PA) Program in Knoxville, Tennessee. This program is applying for accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The program will be a full-time, 27-month curriculum leading to a Master of Medical Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. In addition to developing a strong base of medical knowledge and skills necessary for primary care practice, students will also receive focused instruction in the concepts and skills required for entering surgical practice.
Students will have the opportunity to learn in a state-of-the-art medical school with anatomy and medical simulation laboratories that rival those of much larger universities. The curriculum is being developed by experienced PA educators, surgical and primary care PAs, surgeons, physicians, and health care administrators to provide the most relevant content for entry into surgical practice. The didactic phase will focus on clinical concepts and procedural skills important in general surgery and wound care, orthopedic and neurosurgery, and cardiothoracic and vascular surgery. In addition to required supervised clinical practice experiences in primary care practices, students will have the opportunity to complete 12 weeks of their supervised clinical practice experiences in a surgical practice.
Student candidates may apply to the program via The Central Application for Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA: https://caspa.liaisoncas.com/applicant-ux/#/login ) beginning in the spring of 2019. If you are interested in learning more about the admission requirements or program curriculum, please contact Stephanie Hull, EdS, MMS, PA-C via email at stephanie.hull@LMUnet.edu.
Our clinical partners are indispensable in the professional development of our PA Students. We are looking for health care professionals with an interest in lending their experience and expertise to developing and refining curriculum content, presenting surgical and medical topics, facilitating small group discussion, and providing supervised clinical practice experiences for our PA Students. Please contact Stephanie Hull, PA-C via email at stephanie.hull@LMUnet.edu or phone at 865.352.9868 for more information.
University Regional Accreditation
Lincoln Memorial University is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate, baccalaureate, masters, specialist, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404.679.4500 for questions about the accreditation of Lincoln Memorial University.
The Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine-Knoxville Physician Assistant Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Lincoln Memorial University-DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine-Knoxville Physician Assistant Program anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2020, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the September 2019 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation – Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.
The Lincoln Memorial University – DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine – Knoxville Physician Assistant Program will not commence in the event that Accreditation – Provisional is not received.