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Until now, the role of the Emergency Medical Services Physician Assistant (EMSPA) has not been clearly defined. Like many fields of medicine, there are opportunities that an EMSPA can be utilized to add value to an EMS system enhancing patient outcomes. SEMPA’s new Guidelines for the Emergency Medical Services Physician Assistant has been created to help define how those EMSPAs could be utilized. The guidelines also address the level of education and recommended training of those PAs interested in this growing field of pre-hospital medicine.
The emergency medicine physician assistant (EMPA) plays a critical role in providing emergency care as a member of the physician-led health care team in rural communities throughout the United States. And the PAs working in America’s rural critical-access hospitals require special skills, training and experience that are unique in that environment.
SEMPA’s goal with its new Guidelines of the Rural Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant is to establish a benchmark by which a PA can obtain appropriate education and training with the appropriate skills to thrive in the rural environment and provide the highest quality emergency medicine care for these patients.
These guidelines address the growing demand for extended and standardized training of physician assistants in emergency medicine entering into the marketplace. Additionally, the model of the MD-PA team in delivering care remains a highly effective tool in responding to the need for ever-increasing emergency medicine care. As such, the future will require closer collaboration, partnership and innovation by all involved to meet the ever-evolving challenges within emergency medicine.
SEMPA’s goal in developing an EMPA postgraduate educational standard is to create a consistent and expected outcome for those employing the individuals who complete these programs. SEMPA’s definitive desired outcome is to shape an educational process that demands, promotes, and results in EMPA’s offering the exceptional level of care that their patients deserve. SEMPA strongly encourages physician groups, hospitals and educational institutions to adopt training and educational opportunities to prepare physician assistants seeking to practice emergency medicine.
Portions of the document have been adapted from other documents that are already in place in graduate medical education. A list of references can be found at the end of the document.