Primary Care Specialty Track
The University of Toledo
Physician Assistant Program
Primary Care Specialty Track
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
Health Resources and Services Administration
Affordable Care Act (ACA)
Expansion of Physician Assistant Training Program (EPAT)
The University of Toledo Department of Physician Assistant Studies provides a Primary Care Specialty Track option for students that are accepted into the Physician Assistant Program. After being notified of acceptance into The University of Toledo Physician Assistant Program, all accepted incoming students are invited to apply for membership in the Primary Care Specialty Track at the beginning of July. Five students are chosen annually to participate in The University of Toledo Physician Assistant Program Primary Care Specialty Track.
In 2010, legislation (Affordable Care Act) was passed to increase access to healthcare for all Americans. The need for primary care is expected to grow because of this expanded health care coverage for un-insured and under-insured individuals. To meet this need, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) originated a funding grant opportunity to expand the number of physician assistants (PAs) practicing primary care medicine. The Expansion of Physician Assistant Training (EPAT) Program, a $32 million five-year investment, is aimed at increasing the number of PAs who work in the primary care fields of family medicine, general internal medicine and general pediatrics. The University of Toledo Physician Assistant Program (UT PA Program) was awarded an EPAT grant funded for $1,009,880.00 over five years, beginning in August 2011.
The purpose of this grant is to increase student enrollment in The University of Toledo Physician Assistant Program and to increase the number of Program graduates who will practice in primary care. The mission of the UT PA Program is to provide a comprehensive didactic and clinical educational program necessary to develop highly skilled, well-educated, primary-care-oriented PAs who are capable of providing high-quality, cost-effective, patient-centered health care services. This is congruent with the HRSA EPAT initiative to increase the population’s access to health care by providing a diverse, culturally competent healthcare workforce to improve access to primary care especially to previously un-insured and under-insured individuals who are now covered by the Affordable Care Act.
The UT PA Program established the UT PA Program Primary Care Specialty Track to increase annual enrollment by five students in order to secure the EPAT grant funding and increase the number of PA primary care providers. Through this grant, the UT PA Program plans to award exactly five new matriculating students with a membership in the UT PA Program Primary Care Specialty Track which provides each member with $44,000 in federal grant funding distributed equally over two years. Twenty-two thousand dollars of funding will be provided to each member of the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track in August of the first and second year in the UT PA Program. The application cycle for the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track is only open to individuals who have already been offered acceptance into the UT PA Program.
Primary Care Specialty Track Program
The University of Toledo Physician Assistant Program (UT PA Program) developed a comprehensive plan for the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track. The Primary Care Specialty Track award recipients will receive exactly $22,000 annually for the first two years (twenty-four months) of their PA training for those entering the UT PA Program between the Fall Semester (August) 2011 and 2014. The five recipients of the Primary Care Specialty Track awards who matriculate into the UT PA Program in Fall Semester (August) 2015 will receive exactly $22,000 for only the first year of their PA training. All awards will be decided upon and disbursed prior to September 1 of the year of matriculation into the UT PA Program. For each class of PA students matriculating after Fall Semester (August) 2015, the UT PA Program will still continue the Primary Care Medicine Specialty Track (five awardees annually). These students will still be given the opportunity to apply for and participate in the Primary Care Specialty Track; however, these students will not receive specific EPAT grant funding. There will be an attempt to find some special funding (University, state or federal grants), but this is neither guaranteed nor necessary for the Primary Care Specialty Track to continue. Thus, five incoming students from each class after Fall Semester 2015 will have the opportunity to receive the Primary Care Specialty Track distinction.
Each student in the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track will take all of the same didactic courses as the remainder of the students in the UT PA Program and will attend the UT PA Program for a total of twenty-seven months. Students in the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track who decelerate in the UT PA Program will receive funding for exactly the first two years of their study in the UT PA Program. Students in the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track who voluntarily leave the program or are dismissed from the program will only receive funding for the period of time they were in the program. Students who fail to fulfill any of the obligations of the Primary Care Specialty Track will be dismissed from the Track and thus, only receive funding for the period of time spent in this Track. Students with other issues (medical leave, etc.) will be evaluated on an individual basis. Upon graduation from the UT PA Program, members of the Primary Care Specialty Track will receive special recognition at graduation in addition to being awarded a Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Toledo.
Members of the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track will be provided with abundant information about and exposure to primary care medicine. Upon being awarded membership in the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track, each student must agree to the stipulations in the Primary Care Contract (there is a sample version of this contract at the bottom of this webpage). The Primary Care Contract provides details of student responsibilities and participation in the Track. The UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track program is aimed at increasing the matriculating class size in the UT PA Program, with the goal of addressing the well-documented primary care provider shortage and lack of access to care in underserved populations in Lucas County, neighboring counties, the state of Ohio and the United States as a whole.
The UT PA Program encourages new matriculating students (students who have already been offered and accepted the offer to attend the UT PA Program) to apply for the prestigious UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track. All application information discussed below must be submitted electronically in one email. Application documents may be submitted as pdf or Microsoft Word attachments. The letter of recommendation must be submitted as a Word document or scanned and sent as a pdf. Again, all application information must be submitted together as one email. There may be one or more attachments to the email that contain application information, but all information must be received in the same email. The Primary Care Contract will only be completed by the five individuals who are offered entry into the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track.
A complete application includes all of the following:
- UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track Form
Applicants must submit the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track Form. This form includes gathering the applicant’s demographic information and a listing of primary care experiences. The primary care experiences include background in family practice, general internal medicine, or general pediatrics. Those applying for the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track do not need to be from a healthcare professional shortage area, medically underserved area/population, or have primary care experience. No signature is necessary, as submission of the application via email signifies that the applicant is providing true and honest information.
- 500 Word Essay
Each applicant must submit an original essay related to the following prompt:
Why are you applying for the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track?
In addition, please address each of the following in your essay:
Commitment to primary care
Commitment to underserved population
The PA role in primary care
- Letter of Recommendation
The application cycle is open annually from July 1 – July 8 only.
Applications must be submitted to the Primary Care Specialty Track Principal Investigator (Professor Gardner) via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) between the dates of July 1 and July 8 only.
All application information must be submitted electronically in one email. The email should have the subject heading of “Primary Care Specialty Track.”
Please note: Applications submitted prior to or after the application cycle dates will not be considered. In the event that fewer than five complete applications are received, the fund distribution will be at the discretion of the UT PA Program.
Submitted applications will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
- UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track Form:
- 500 Word Essay:
- Letter of Recommendation:
Consideration will be given to applicants from a health professional shortage area, medically underserved area/population, and those from an economically disadvantaged background.
Applicant primary care experience (role/job title and number of hours)
Spelling and grammar
Maturity of writing and organization of thoughts and ideas
Content, in relation to prompt
Average evaluation numerical score of recommendation
Qualities noted in written recommendation
Consideration will be given to applicants with a letter from licensed master degree or higher primary care provider (PA, MD, DO, or NP)
Consideration will be given to applicants with a long-standing relationship with the evaluator
Following the evaluation of the application, the top five scoring applicants will be contacted to formally accept entry into the UT PA Primary Care Specialty Track by signing the Primary Care Contract.
Primary Care Contract (SAMPLE)
I, ________________________________, hereby agree to be a member of The University of Toledo Physician Assistant (UT PA) Primary Care Specialty Track and fulfill the requirements and stipulations as set forth below.
Primary Care Mentoring Program
Primary Care Clubs and Organizations
Primary Care Elective
Professionalism and Academic Standing
Feedback and Data Gathering
Questions: Phone: 419-383-5408, Email: email@example.com