Novice physician assistant learning during the transition to practice: A Q study

J. Glenn Forister, Dominique T. Chlup

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose The purpose of this study was to describe how novice physician assistants (PAs) transfer learning from formal training into clinical practice. Methods This Q study was conducted as a part of a larger mixed-interpretive investigation of the experiences of novice PAs during the first 2 years of practice. A set of 45 statements was naturally sampled from 10 previously conducted semistructured qualitative interviews with novice PAs. Fifteen different novice PAs then sorted the statements. The data were analyzed using by-person factor analysis (Q methodology). The resultant factor array was used to generate a summary, a sketch, and a monologue for each shared social perspective. Results Three shared social perspectives concerning transfer of learning during the transition to practice emerged: (1) partnership, (2) self-reliant, and (3) insecure perspectives. Novice PAs sharing the partnership perspective experienced few, if any, individual or environmental obstacles to transfer of learning. Novice PAs sharing the self-reliant perspective experienced environmental obstacles-but few, if any, individual obstacles-to transfer of learning. Novice PAs who shared the insecure perspective experienced both individual and environmental obstacles to transfer of learning. Conclusions The results of this study describe variability in the novice PA experiences of learning transfer during the first 2 years of practice. The results have implications for PA educators and those involved in helping novice Pas develop as clinicians.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-26
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume28
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2017

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