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    • Lynn Scherer
      • Lynn Scherer, PA-C
      • Title: Program Director, EM Physician Assistant
      • Message
      • “Why would I want to be part of a PA postgraduate residency program?” You may be a current physician assistant student, a recent graduate, or an experienced physician assistant considering a residency or postgraduate program and find this question surfacing over and over again. Among some of the other questions might be:

        • Why not just take a job in emergency medicine and learn it from my employer?
        • What advantages will this residency offer me and how will it help my career?
        • Will I get a certificate or advanced degree from the training?

        In emergency medicine, physician assistants serve many roles, including those in: Pre-hospital; triage; patient care within the emergency department (ED); and selective administrative functions. Furthermore, physician assistant providers in emergency medicine are not limited to practicing only in emergency departments. We provide emergency care for patients in other settings, including, but not limited to, critical care units, prehospital situations, ground or air transport of patients, and disaster relief situations. Emergency medicine PA’s serve patients in communities of every type and size. As a result, there currently is a de facto recognition of specialties within the PA profession. We are experiencing an unprecedented evolution as a profession as evidenced by the increasing specialization and subspecialization of PA’s. In addition, the increase in specialty organization (Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistants – SEMPA) membership is being recognized by our larger national organizations. 

        The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) is a premier emergency medicine organization that promotes the highest quality of emergency care and is the leading advocate for emergency physicians, their patients, and the public. ACEP has long valued the use of PA’s within the emergency setting and has begun to set forth criteria to shape the skill set suggested of PA’s to work in the emergency setting. A position statement posted by ACEP states: “PA’s working in EDs should have or should acquire specific experience or specialty training in emergency care, should participate in a supervised orientation program, and should receive appropriate training and continuing education in providing emergency care. They should possess knowledge of specific ED policies and procedures. PA’s must be aware and participate in the performance improvement activities of the ED.” I believe as PA’s we will, and should continue to, move in this direction of specialty training in order to provide better overall patient care in the unique emergency setting.

        Residency programs such as ours provide intense, organized educational training that offers the participant a wide variety of experiences. In a relatively short time you are able to develop increased confidence and experience that would otherwise take years to attain. This experience will allow you to start your career with a higher level of responsibility. If you are an experienced PA, it may provide an opportunity for you to change specialty areas or to significantly advance your skills and knowledge in your current employment. At the completion of the EM PA Residency you will be awarded a postgraduate certificate of completion. 

        The Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Residency Program at Einstein allows PA residents the opportunity to train for a career in emergency medicine. Residents are paid an annual stipend , are provided life, professional liability insurance, flexible spending account, retirement benefits, laundry service, and free parking. Medical, dental and vision plans are also offered, as well as continuing medical education funds. All residents receive paid time off. 

        The PA emergency medicine residency at Einstein will enhance the knowledge of PAs in the field of emergency medicine through various disciplines receiving hands-on training in emergency medicine ENT, ophthalmology, orthopedics, intensive care, trauma, radiology, gynecology, and pediatric emergency medicine. Also each resident is provided the opportunity to participate in ACLS, PALS, ATLS, Basic Disaster Life Support and Advanced Disaster Life Support training. Following the resident’s completion of the required 18-month residency, with faculty approval they will be eligible to participate in an additional six-month mini-fellowship in a focus area of their choice (e.g. ultrasound, EMS). Participating PA residents are expected to uphold the Medical Center's core values of teamwork, communication, honesty and integrity as they grow to become competent and confident emergency medicine Physician Assistants. 

        The questions that you have in front of you regarding your training are important ones. I believe that our profession is heading in a direction where you will need to be specialty trained in order to be competitive for emergency medicine positions. I think our patients deserve our utmost dedication to having exceptional experience in our specialty. There is no better place to enjoy that experience than at Einstein. We have a top-notch medical residency that has been around for decades and has a proven track record. We have a multitude of specialty training areas such as toxicology, research, and disaster medicine. We are dedicated to providing quality care for our patients and to ensuring the best training, mentoring, and professional support for our residents. This is the place where emergency care and emergency medicine training exceeds expectations.

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