Recognition is growing within the medical academic community that future clinicians will need the tools to understand and influence health policy decisions. With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, future clinicians will need not only clinical competence for successful practice but also an understanding of how health systems function. Although the fourth edition of the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education contains provisions and stipulations for the teaching of health topics in general and health policy specifically, physician assistant (PA) educators retain little consensus regarding either learning objectives or specific rubrics for teaching these important concepts. In this article, we discuss approaches for teaching health policy, delineate useful educational resources for PA faculty, and propose a model curriculum.
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