NYSSPA President Submits Testimony to NYS Higher Education Committee
Wednesday, July 29, 2020
NYSSPA president, Maureen Regan, MBA, PA-C, FACHE, DFAAPA, submitted written testimony on July 28, 2020, to a joint meeting of the NYS Higher Education Committee regarding the adverse impact that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have on PA students and the 24 PA programs across the state, as well as the newly graduated PAs entering the workforce.
2020 PA students were restricted from clinical rotations due to concerns over PPE, restrictions that will likely cause a ripple effect for 2021 students due to a limited amount of rotation sites and the possibility that those who have returned could be displaced again by another surge. In addition, 2020 graduates have also been adversely affected due to the 1600 hour NYSED licensure requirement for PAs, a requirement other states have permanently set aside in lieu of an ARC-PA competency based curriculum and successful completion of a certification exam. Newly graduated PAs were also adversely affected as testing sites were closed that left graduates of ARC-PA accredited programs unable to obtain a license despite the urgent need for practitioners.
Because of these concerns, the submitted testimony included the following three recommendations:
NYSSPA is closely monitoring the situation and will keep members advised of future developments. Members are also strongly encouraged to contact their legislators about this important issue.
- The ARC-PA focuses on competency rather than time on clinical sites, thus NYS requirements should not dictate time on clerkships when an objective certification exam is also mandated. This should be permanently set aside, not just during a state of emergency.
- PA students should be included in all state of emergency language issued by the Governor or the Legislature that references medical students. PA students should be included in the definition of essential personnel.
- The NYS Commissioner of Health should waive the need for a supervising physician’s name/signature on a Limited Permit for PAs during a designated health crisis.