25th Annual Report Published, New Survey
By Mei Liang and Steven Lane
All faculty at PAEA member programs will
soon receive a copy of the Twenty-Fifth
Annual Report on Physician Assistant
Educational Programs in the United
Again this year, the PAEA Board of Directors
approved funds to provide a copy to each
faculty member; in the past, the practice has
been to mail two copies of the report to all
programs that responded to the survey. The
report can also be downloaded from the Data
and Research section of the PAEA website.
Previous editions of the annual report going
back to 1998 are also available, along with
other data resources.
Enforcement of Survey Completion
This will be the last
year that copies of the report will be mailed
to all faculty regardless of whether or not the
program responded to the survey. It has long
been a requirement of the PAEA bylaws that all
member programs must provide data for the
annual report survey. The PAEA board has made
the decision to begin more rigorous enforcement
of this requirement, including revoking
memberships for those programs that fail to
respond. Almost all national associations of
health professions education programs have
achieved a 100% response rate to their annual
surveys, and it is essential for PAEA to
achieve this as well. In order for the
Association to effectively advocate for the
profession in national workforce dialogues and
to compete effectively for federal resources,
we must develop and communicate high-quality
information about our programs and profession.
Programs will have ample time to respond to
the survey and will receive prior notice of
noncompliance, according to procedures recently
adopted in the PAEA
Policies and Procedures
Manual and also spelled out
in the cover letter to program directors that
accompanies the 25th Annual Report. As always,
programs are welcome to contact PAEA staff for
assistance with completing the survey.
2010 Survey Cycle Opens
The new cycle of the PAEA Annual Program
Survey began last week and will run through
September 30. Program directors
will receive a message this
week notifying them of the beginning of
the new cycle. The survey portal is located at
Please contact Mei Liang at email@example.com;
(703) 548-5538, ext. 313, with any questions.
Preliminary data will be reported during the
PAEA Annual Education Forum in October.
Highlights from the 25th Annual
The survey was sent to 142
programs in June 2009 and 93 percent of
programs responded to some or all sections of
the survey. The survey closed in December 2009.
Some highlights from the report follow:
- Carnegie classification of PA programs’
sponsoring institutions was introduced in the
25th Annual Report. The largest percentage of
institutions were research universities (33%),
followed by master’s level institutions (30%)
and medical schools or schools of other health
- The percentage of programs that awarded a
master’s degree as their highest credential was
87%, up from 82% for the 2007–2008 academic year.
- Average program length was 26.9 months.
- Average program budget was $1,276,432, and
median budget was $979,198. Mean budget was
down 2.9% from the previous year.
- Average resident tuition for the
professional phase of the program was $50,567,
4% higher than the previous year.
- A background check was required by 73% of
programs upon matriculation (up from 69% in the
previous report), while 35% of programs
mandated drug testing (26% in previous report).
- About 40% of the programs offered
international rotations, none of which were
- Only 7% of programs paid clinical sites to
precept their students.
- Average student/faculty ratio was 15:1,
median ratio was 14:1.
- Average faculty salary was $84,876; average
staff salary was $39,536.
- About two-thirds of faculty did clinical
work, with an average of 14 hours per week.
- The average first-year class enrollment was
46, while average total enrollment was 106.
- Total first-year enrollment for all PA
programs in the 2008–2009
academic year was 6,312.
- A total of 5,375 PA students graduated
across the country in 2009.
- The average reported salary for 2008
graduates was $76,066 across PA programs, with
a median of $75,000.
It has been brought to PAEA’s attention that
two programs were inadvertently left off the
list of programs in Appendix 1 of the
report — Yale
University and York College of the City
University of New York. PAEA deeply regrets the