Date of Award

Fall 10-12-2004

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Donna DeGracia

Second Advisor

Dawn B. Ludwig


Background: This study was completed to better understand the use of postgraduate education in the physician assistant profession. This research project gathered information to better understand how physician assistants have utilized postgraduate education in their careers. The potential benefits of a postgraduate education were also examined from the perspective of the physician assistant. The overall goal was to determine the benefits of a PA postgraduate education. Methods: For this research project, a survey was completed by practicing physician assistants who attended the Minnesota Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA) Conference/North Central Regional Meeting that was held on March 27-29, 2003. This study utilized a non-experimental, descriptive research design that described various trends and perceived benefits regarding postgraduate physician assistant education from the perspective of the physician assistant. Results: Because of the small sample size, the data collected was difficult to interpret statistically. However, through descriptive statistics important findings included the following: respondents reported that many of the specialties could benefit from a postgraduate education and respondents believed they would receive various benefits with participation in a postgraduate program. This study was unable to determine a relationship between an increased salary or increased job satisfaction between PAs with and without a postgraduate education. Conclusions: Further research, throughout the United States, to determine the level of participation and the benefits received would be helpful to address how PAs have used postgraduate education in their professions.


SC 11.PAS.2004.Cotter.J