Pfeiffer program sees many departures

Published 7:38 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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Like a young child, Pfeiffer University’s physician assistant program in downtown Albemarle has had growing pains.

The most noticeable perhaps for the less than five-year-old program is the low retention of professors.

“We knew before launching the PA program that programs of this type have a high rate of turnover. In fact, the average PA professor’s tenure is just three years according to a recent study,” Gary Veazey, interim director of marketing/communications and director of creative services for Pfeiffer University, wrote in an email. “Consistent with these trends, we have also experienced increased turnover in this area and have had 8 resignations in the PA program since August 2022. We have had four faculty resignations in the past month. One of those open positions was filled on Friday and other announcements will be forthcoming.”

Although the resignations may be alarming to some, Veazey brings up a few high points.

“After a thorough search last year, we were pleased to have Dr. Scott Fisher join the University as our program director. Under his leadership, the class of 2023 graduated with an outstanding first-time PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certification Exam) pass rate. Pfeiffer’s 97% pass rate far surpasses the 89% national average last year. While we lament the departure of some of our talented employees, we look forward to watching Dr. Fisher continue to build an outstanding team.”

Veazey said since students are not in the classroom portion of the studies at the moment, “we do not anticipate any negative impact from employee transition.”

“The program remains in compliance with ARC-PA standards and will continue to support our students as they work to become physician assistants serving our rural communities,” he said.