Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients

A mixed methods study

Mark P. Christiansen, W. David Robinson, Jenenne A. Geske, Helen E. McIlvain

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Medical students' attitudes toward underserved patient populations have been shsown to become less favorable as they progress through their education. Since physician assistants (PAs) provide a significant portion of the primary care services in the United States, it is important to examine the attitudes of PA students in order to inform future educational designs and health care policies. The purpose of thismixed methods study was to explore PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients to determine whether their attitudes, like those of medical students, change during training, and to explore factors that influence students' attitudes. Methods: PA students at the University of Nebraska PA Program participated in the study, which utilized qualitative individual interviews and focus groups as well as a quantitative survey instrument to assess changes in attitudes over time. Results: Students' attitudes remained stable during the didactic phase of the PA program. However, attitudes showed a significant change during the clinical phase of the program. Qualitative themes included perceptions of the students regarding underserved patients, the health care system, and plans for future careers. Conclusions: PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients do change - primarily during the clinical phase of training. Exposure to underserved patientsmay contribute to negative attitudes and cynicism in students and may result in fewer students choosing to practice in underserved settings. Further research needs to be conducted, focusing on educational and policy efforts to minimize this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)14-20
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume20
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Physician Assistants
Vulnerable Populations
assistant
physician
Students
student
Medical Students
Health Systems Plans
medical student
health care
Delivery of Health Care
Health Policy
Focus Groups
didactics
Primary Health Care
Patient Care
career
Interviews
Education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medical Assisting and Transcription
  • Education

Cite this

Christiansen, M. P., Robinson, W. D., Geske, J. A., & McIlvain, H. E. (2009). Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients: A mixed methods study. Journal of Physician Assistant Education, 20(4), 14-20.

Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients : A mixed methods study. / Christiansen, Mark P.; Robinson, W. David; Geske, Jenenne A.; McIlvain, Helen E.

In: Journal of Physician Assistant Education, Vol. 20, No. 4, 2009, p. 14-20.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Christiansen, MP, Robinson, WD, Geske, JA & McIlvain, HE 2009, 'Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients: A mixed methods study', Journal of Physician Assistant Education, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 14-20.
Christiansen, Mark P. ; Robinson, W. David ; Geske, Jenenne A. ; McIlvain, Helen E. / Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients : A mixed methods study. In: Journal of Physician Assistant Education. 2009 ; Vol. 20, No. 4. pp. 14-20.
@article{88114043d1cf45469c9519afd48475fb,
title = "Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients: A mixed methods study",
abstract = "Purpose: Medical students' attitudes toward underserved patient populations have been shsown to become less favorable as they progress through their education. Since physician assistants (PAs) provide a significant portion of the primary care services in the United States, it is important to examine the attitudes of PA students in order to inform future educational designs and health care policies. The purpose of thismixed methods study was to explore PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients to determine whether their attitudes, like those of medical students, change during training, and to explore factors that influence students' attitudes. Methods: PA students at the University of Nebraska PA Program participated in the study, which utilized qualitative individual interviews and focus groups as well as a quantitative survey instrument to assess changes in attitudes over time. Results: Students' attitudes remained stable during the didactic phase of the PA program. However, attitudes showed a significant change during the clinical phase of the program. Qualitative themes included perceptions of the students regarding underserved patients, the health care system, and plans for future careers. Conclusions: PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients do change - primarily during the clinical phase of training. Exposure to underserved patientsmay contribute to negative attitudes and cynicism in students and may result in fewer students choosing to practice in underserved settings. Further research needs to be conducted, focusing on educational and policy efforts to minimize this effect.",
author = "Christiansen, {Mark P.} and Robinson, {W. David} and Geske, {Jenenne A.} and McIlvain, {Helen E.}",
year = "2009",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "20",
pages = "14--20",
journal = "Journal of Physician Assistant Education",
issn = "1941-9430",
publisher = "Physician Assistant Education Association",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evaluating physician assistant students' attitudes toward underserved patients

T2 - A mixed methods study

AU - Christiansen, Mark P.

AU - Robinson, W. David

AU - Geske, Jenenne A.

AU - McIlvain, Helen E.

PY - 2009

Y1 - 2009

N2 - Purpose: Medical students' attitudes toward underserved patient populations have been shsown to become less favorable as they progress through their education. Since physician assistants (PAs) provide a significant portion of the primary care services in the United States, it is important to examine the attitudes of PA students in order to inform future educational designs and health care policies. The purpose of thismixed methods study was to explore PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients to determine whether their attitudes, like those of medical students, change during training, and to explore factors that influence students' attitudes. Methods: PA students at the University of Nebraska PA Program participated in the study, which utilized qualitative individual interviews and focus groups as well as a quantitative survey instrument to assess changes in attitudes over time. Results: Students' attitudes remained stable during the didactic phase of the PA program. However, attitudes showed a significant change during the clinical phase of the program. Qualitative themes included perceptions of the students regarding underserved patients, the health care system, and plans for future careers. Conclusions: PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients do change - primarily during the clinical phase of training. Exposure to underserved patientsmay contribute to negative attitudes and cynicism in students and may result in fewer students choosing to practice in underserved settings. Further research needs to be conducted, focusing on educational and policy efforts to minimize this effect.

AB - Purpose: Medical students' attitudes toward underserved patient populations have been shsown to become less favorable as they progress through their education. Since physician assistants (PAs) provide a significant portion of the primary care services in the United States, it is important to examine the attitudes of PA students in order to inform future educational designs and health care policies. The purpose of thismixed methods study was to explore PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients to determine whether their attitudes, like those of medical students, change during training, and to explore factors that influence students' attitudes. Methods: PA students at the University of Nebraska PA Program participated in the study, which utilized qualitative individual interviews and focus groups as well as a quantitative survey instrument to assess changes in attitudes over time. Results: Students' attitudes remained stable during the didactic phase of the PA program. However, attitudes showed a significant change during the clinical phase of the program. Qualitative themes included perceptions of the students regarding underserved patients, the health care system, and plans for future careers. Conclusions: PA students' attitudes toward working with underserved patients do change - primarily during the clinical phase of training. Exposure to underserved patientsmay contribute to negative attitudes and cynicism in students and may result in fewer students choosing to practice in underserved settings. Further research needs to be conducted, focusing on educational and policy efforts to minimize this effect.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=77349098810&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=77349098810&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 14

EP - 20

JO - Journal of Physician Assistant Education

JF - Journal of Physician Assistant Education

SN - 1941-9430

IS - 4

ER -