Shenandoah University Professor Awarded PAEA Research Grant

Winchester, VA – Distinguished Professor and Director of the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program Anthony A. Miller, M.Ed., PA-C, was recently awarded the 2017 Faculty Generated Research Grant from the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), along with C. Jayne Brahler, Ph.D., associate professor of physical therapy at the University of Dayton.

“As we continue to recognize that the key to health professions education is not simply memorizing a great number of facts, the importance of examining how to determine critical thinking skills rises to the top,” said Miller. “I am hopeful this research will help to illuminate how critical thinking skills impact the success of physician assistant studies students.”

The grant is an opportunity for researchers to gain support for their investigation of a question of critical interest to PA education and/or the profession. The pair’s research will explore two questions:

1) Do Health Science Reasoning Test scores predict PA student didactic year success as measured by persistence, number of course grades less than “B,” and end of the post-didactic/pre-clinical grade point averages (GPAs)?

2) Is there a significant difference in changes in PA student abilities to think critically as measured by the Health Science Reasoning Test, based on the pedagogical model a program uses?

Miller and Dr. Brahler’s winning proposal was chosen through a rigorous two-phase, blinded process. A panel of reviewers from the PAEA Research Council and the Grants and Scholarship Review Group comprise the review board.