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Current PA-C with 4 years of clinical experience, mainly ER. I’m interested in getting into the education realm. Many jobs I see posted want some teaching experience. Have done some precepting in the past but my current position doesn’t accept students. Any advice on how to get into education? Any other recommendations for boosting resume with plans to get into higher education? Would becoming a BLS/ACLS instructor help? 

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I would love to do a remote gig or guest lecture.  I did volunteer with my program that was 3.5 hours away, but never heard anything back from them.  I have worked in multiple specialties, serve on the state PA board, and have an MBA and a doctorate. I was a little surprised I never heard anything back.  I know there has been some turnover in that program.  I am in the same boat with precepting as the physician I work with graduated fellowship in 2022 and doesn't want to deal with students just yet.  She has no problem with me doing my own thing out of the clinic.

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What exactly are you looking to do in education ? 

If you are interested in a full time faculty position ... consider applying for one. PAEA jobs board is a great resource. Even if you feel you may be lacking experience. Unfortunately PA faculty salary has significantly lagged behind clinical and industry salaries. I just saw several NY faculty gigs posted which offer salary less than some new grad starting salaries. here is one at Molloy for 85 - 130K based on experience .... new grads are starting at 120's at my hospital.   https://jobs.chronicle.com/job/37619828/full-time-faculty-physician-assistant-program?utm_campaign=google_jobs_apply&utm_source=google_jobs_apply&utm_medium=organic

NY state has a new law where all employers must advertise salary range so this is now public information. Anecdotally I hear some programs are struggling to fill faculty roles with high quality candidates. 

 

Many PA programs need to set academic calendar and ensure proper didactic staffing months in advance. Usually core faculty and a few adjuncts deliver most curriculum. Often times 1 or 2 adjuncts are hired to deliver an entire subject (i.e Emergency Medicine, neurology etc) if the core faculty cannot. It would be a bit overwhelming for the didactic coordinator to organize lets say 15 lectures with 15 random volunteer faculty. So it can be hard to find an open lecture spot for a volunteer who may or may not return the following year. One role where new adjunct faculty can often get involved is physical exam or OSCE / skills assessment, case studies, masters project/research course work. Also I would imagine even if you are delivering a few hours of curriculum you will need to be an employee at the university and complete all necessary HR coursework etc. This maybe like 10 hours of stuff and not worth anybody time if you are doing 2 hours of work a year.  I have two adjunct roles and both require me to do sexual harassments, workplace violence etc every year.

 

I hope I did not come off negative. I love working in PA education and have enjoyed many rewarding and stimulating moments through my current adjunct roles. And while the salary is unfortunate, there is often room to negotiate some nice quality of life perks and release time for clinical part time work to boost involve.  Remember the University is a business ...negotiate with them just as you would any private medical practice or hospital. They are making A LOT of money off of saturating the PA profession. 

 

 

 

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I read about lack of PA faculty, but Idk how true that is. I looked at a job on LinkedIn the other day which had over 50 applicants..

Also I would not feel ethical working for one of those no-name for profit schools that have popped up overnight.

Interestingly, I know a few programs where most faculty seem to come from same niche surgical backgrounds, which makes me question how they are able to teach a wide range of topics..

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I read about lack of PA faculty, but Idk how true that is. I looked at a job on LinkedIn the other day which had over 50 applicants..           I will say anecdotally numerous programs report challenge finding faculty.  Many of the new faculty applicants have no experience and often are looking to get out of clinical practice and it is less about a calling to academia

Also I would not feel ethical working for one of those no-name for profit schools that have popped up overnight.   Some new programs seem to have no business in PA education. I really wish there was a way to cap the number of new programs. 

Interestingly, I know a few programs where most faculty seem to come from same niche surgical backgrounds, which makes me question how they are able to teach a wide range of topics..     Some of the strongest PA programs do not rely on core faculty to each every topic. Employing a diverse group of adjuncts with various specialties. I tell pre PA applicants if the same faculty member is teaching cardiology, neurology, pediatrics, radiology do yourself a favor and do not apply.

Very important to any PA applicant viewing .... find out about clinical rotations (where are they, how established, how are they developed and assessed, exposure to specialties) and didactic lecturers ( are the topics taught by experts in the field? or does someone look up the topic on uptodate the week before).  

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I was talking with a peer after a zoom meeting who works in education.  She stated that they are having a hard time finding qualified people for these positions.  Some candidates find the work vs pay is not worth it.  I know there is a potential resolution pending to require those teaching full-time in academia to also write scholarly works regularly. This may not be an issue for an established program that has canned lectures, but those having to make lecture material from scratch and going through accreditation might find their time suddenly gone.   I think this will drive more people out of education. My closest PA school is about 3-4 hours away, so I do not see myself taking a full-time faculty position.  I would be fine doing something adjunct, but this is just not what most programs are looking for.

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4 minutes ago, NeoTrion said:

Some candidates find the work vs pay is not worth it.

This is the main issue for most people. I have precepted and guest lectured so I have at least peripheral involvement with academics. Going into to it, two immediate issues come to mind:

1. You should expect a significant pay cut. 

2. The cultures of institutions vary widely, especially related to being on tenure track or a contract faculty. Some are cutthroat "publish or perish" places, and others will leave you alone if the program has good outcomes. 

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1 hour ago, CAAdmission said:

The cultures of institutions vary widely, especially related to being on tenure track or a contract faculty. Some are cutthroat "publish or perish" places, and others will leave you alone if the program has good outcomes

I hade an old friend who was a program director at a well respected program for many years. He grew the program from new to a couple of hundred students a year with great pass rates and good boards. They got a new dean in his department and he was replaced by the deans buddy for no reason. Another beloved teacher in the same program was removed after years and years of teaching because someone reevaluated his PhD and it wasn't accredited by an organization the program approved of.

Academic centers can be viper pits full of climbers that will step on your neck for a promotion.

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On 4/14/2024 at 10:42 AM, BB321 said:

Current PA-C with 4 years of clinical experience, mainly ER. I’m interested in getting into the education realm. Many jobs I see posted want some teaching experience. Have done some precepting in the past but my current position doesn’t accept students. Any advice on how to get into education? Any other recommendations for boosting resume with plans to get into higher education? Would becoming a BLS/ACLS instructor help? 

 

On 4/23/2024 at 8:23 AM, NeoTrion said:

I would love to do a remote gig or guest lecture.  I did volunteer with my program that was 3.5 hours away, but never heard anything back from them.  I have worked in multiple specialties, serve on the state PA board, and have an MBA and a doctorate. I was a little surprised I never heard anything back.  I know there has been some turnover in that program.  I am in the same boat with precepting as the physician I work with graduated fellowship in 2022 and doesn't want to deal with students just yet.  She has no problem with me doing my own thing out of the clinic.

I've been getting more into education. How I did it was just apply broadly to positions near me. Just kept searching and applying and eventually got a "part time - temporary" position as course director for pathophysiology, which has led to me being a regular guest lecturer now on topics that I'm more of an expert in. After this I applied for a full time remote teaching position for a DMS program. They didn't want me for full time, but also made me course director for a singe course, I think really as a trial. I've seen lots of friends get teaching jobs at their alma mater if they stayed local to it. That seems to be much easier since they know you a lot better. 

Some relevant information about teaching: Being "part-time" but course director is grueling. It's essentially having 2 full time jobs, it just lasts for a semester.

For live teaching, I was given old lectures to work off of, but if you have a perfectionist personality it is still grueling. I was spending at minimum an 8 hour day every week modifying lectures. Then I had to re-write questions based on what I taught. Writing questions and multiple choice answers that are just the right degree of difficulty and not making an error that throws students off is a bit of an undertaking. Guest lecturing is a lot better, but I've found I've rarely been given the amount of time I felt needed to adequately cover a topic, which is frustrating. Plus the pay is terrible and really only do it for the passion. Per hour worked, I really feel like I'm making elementary teacher pay. Plus managing your clinical schedule to work around the student class schedule is a real pain. 

For remote teaching, it sounds great on paper, but in practice is as much work as live teaching and doing a commute. For me, I found I was not nearly as good of a lecturer recording my class as I was live speaking off the cuff. Lots of time spent editing recordings. Remote teaching, at least for doctoral programs, requires a LOT of discussion assignments, which you have to moderate, further the discussion, evaluate proper citations, etc. It's like grading several essays every week, which is not an insignificant amount of time, especially when you are working full time clinically. Plus you never really get those student "ah-ha!" moments that are rewarding in live classrooms. 

I've decided being the course director is really not for me, at least not while working clinically full time. I do it again since it got me into guest lecture work that I enjoy, but boy was I burning the candle at both ends during that semester both live and online courses. 

Unexpected bonus to teaching: I learned so much from teaching pathophysiology. It made me a better clinician and a better preceptor having to go back and relearn it all to teach, basically reading all of Rubin's Pathology. 

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I concur that constructing quality lectures is an extremely time-consuming process. I was given a course to teach with lecture materials that were 20 years out of date; I did some edits to them but to reconstruct them.. well, I am not a full-time faculty member with the time to do that. Universities view PA programs as cash cows and students pay a pretty penny, however, they will often run on the most skeleton faculty they can get away with per ARC-PA standards 

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On 4/23/2024 at 2:03 PM, PAMalignantHeme said:

What exactly are you looking to do in education ? 

If you are interested in a full time faculty position ... consider applying for one. PAEA jobs board is a great resource. Even if you feel you may be lacking experience. Unfortunately PA faculty salary has significantly lagged behind clinical and industry salaries. I just saw several NY faculty gigs posted which offer salary less than some new grad starting salaries. here is one at Molloy for 85 - 130K based on experience .... new grads are starting at 120's at my hospital.   https://jobs.chronicle.com/job/37619828/full-time-faculty-physician-assistant-program?utm_campaign=google_jobs_apply&utm_source=google_jobs_apply&utm_medium=organic

NY state has a new law where all employers must advertise salary range so this is now public information. Anecdotally I hear some programs are struggling to fill faculty roles with high quality candidates. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Most of programs here in California offers one day for clinical day. Which means you can work clinically. You can probably pull another 30k.

So 130k + 30k = 160k

Which is about California average. 

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On 4/30/2024 at 11:08 AM, NeoTrion said:

there is a potential resolution pending to require those teaching full-time in academia to also write scholarly works regularly.

this would be set a local university or PA program level.  No accreditation agency can say that PA faculty must write scholarly work with some frequency. And almost all PA program I am aware of require faculty to have some evidence of scholarship for promotion. Generally Assistant,  Associate, and then full Professor.  Some require independent research and doctoral degree to move up. Some make it nice and complicated as keeping PA faculty costs down is attractive to the  cash cow that many PA programs are for going broke universities. 

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8 hours ago, PAMalignantHeme said:

this would be set a local university or PA program level.

The fact that a topic is not something that the AAPA House of Delegates should probably not weigh in on rarely seems to stop it from doing so.

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7 hours ago, rev ronin said:

The fact that a topic is not something that the AAPA House of Delegates should probably not weigh in on rarely seems to stop it from doing so.

The HOD, as always, will be hours of virtue signaling and a few minutes looking after the profession.

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13 hours ago, PACali said:

Probably not. The lowest I have seen is $115,000. In CA they are required to post a salary range. 

In the midwest, that would be a pretty high salary for a new faculty member. Range for someone with no experience is more like $90-100k.

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Bottom line is that PA faculty positions, with the possible exception of the program director, pay MUCH less than one could make clinically. I was offered an associate program director position a few years ago at less than 50% of my clinical salary at the time and likely more hours. Thanks , but no thanks. Adjuncts can make significantly more/hr while keeping their day jobs. Not trying to dissuade anyone from going into education, just pointing out that it has to be a passion and a calling, not a way to quick riches.

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I am an old PA with "just a bachelors"............. PA Programs want minimum Masters and often PhD.

But I have over 30 yrs clinical experience and happen to be a magnificent educator.

Nope, can't afford more degrees and they pay nearly ONE HALF of what I make now with no good benefits.

You can look up PA faculty salary online at any state or public university. 

The highest paid state university employee in the State of Washington is a head football coach...................

WHY on earth would I downshift to education while undertaking HUGE educational expenses and a massive pay cut???

The hourly stipend offered for adjunct lecturing is pitiful. Less than $50 an hour and not for prep time - just for straight lecture. 

My bottom line is that there are TOO MANY PA PROGRAMS.

We are churning out grads - often online - without SOLID clinical skills into a market where NPs are killing us by leaps and bounds.

Cut the number of programs in HALF, restructure the education and find quality preceptor sites without making the students find them. 

Then, find employers who will ALLOW their PAs to have students with some benefit to time and quantity of patients.

Meanwhile, I will grow a horn.................

We need to do better.

 

It's a cranky day

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19 hours ago, Reality Check 2 said:

I am an old PA with "just a bachelors"............. PA Programs want minimum Masters and often PhD.

That decision isn't often up to the PA program. It's often up to a faculty senate, bylaws, a provost/chancellor or some other stuffed shirt.

 

19 hours ago, Reality Check 2 said:

Nope, can't afford more degrees and they pay nearly ONE HALF of what I make now with no good benefits.

 

Most places should cover the cost of an advanced degree, at least in house. Some will even cover if you go elsewhere. 

 

19 hours ago, Reality Check 2 said:

Cut the number of programs in HALF, restructure the education and find quality preceptor sites without making the students find them. 

Asking students to find their own sites is a pretty significant ARC-PA breach. A program would get jammed up over that in a heartbeat. If a student finds a site they want to rotate it, doing so is ok. The program cannot mandate that a student must find a site. 

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, CAAdmission said:

In the midwest, that would be a pretty high salary for a new faculty member. Range for someone with no experience is more like $90-100k.

After cost of living Adjustment is probably the same.

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