Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery – Practice Opportunity: Advanced Practice Provider Training

March 2020 – Vol. 39, No. 2

Trina Sheedy, MMS, PA-C
Director at Large, SPAO-HNS
Workshop Director, ENT for the PA-C annual meeting

Laura Kirk, MSPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA
Director at Large, SPAO-HNS
Co-Director, ENT for the PA-C Annual Meeting

Kristi Gidley, PA-C, MSHA
President-Elect, SPAO-HNS

Healthcare quality and value remain a hot topic in 2020. The final 2020 Physician Fee Schedule Rule issued by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) included many notable changes, some positive and some less so. One change that benefits physician assistants (PAs) and their physician colleagues is the elimination of unnecessary administrative burdens and outdated supervisory language that no longer reflect current practice models. We anticipate ongoing legislative efforts to enhance the care team model—not to devalue any member of the care team but rather to complement the skill sets, efficiency of work, and training of each healthcare provider.

The Society of Physician Assistants in Otorhinolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery (SPAO-HNS) recognizes the importance of education, training, and collaboration in order to ensure that the care team provides exceptional patient care. During the talk “Advanced Practice Providers in ENT: Justify, Recruit, and On-Board for Success” at the AAO-HNSF 2019 Annual Meeting & OTO Experience in New Orleans, Louisiana, audience members were polled regarding their areas of interest in learning about advanced practice providers (APPs). The overwhelming answer was “training and onboarding APPs.” Whether you are looking to hire a PA or a nurse practitioner (NP), ensuring proper training in our specialty is a top priority.

SPAO, in partnership with the AAO-HNSF and the American Academy of PAs (AAPA), provides an exceptional training opportunity for APPs and physicians at the annual ENT for the PA-C education meeting. Our 10th Annual Conference is April 2-6, 2020, in San Francisco, CA, and is hosted by the University of California San Francisco Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. This conference boasts three days of lectures addressing subspecialty topics including: adult and pediatric general ENT, otology, laryngology, rhinology, sleep medicine, head and neck surgery, and facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Core and advanced lecture tracks focus on evidence-based practice, clinical pearls, practice management, and professional growth, all within a care team model. Lectures are given by leading physicians in the field as well as experienced ENT PAs. With an anticipated offering of 116 hours of continuing medical education (CME) (38 maximum hours per participant), this conference is essential for any APP in their first five years of practice in otolaryngology, while offering differentiated learning for more experienced clinicians.

In addition to didactic teaching, the meeting is unique in offering numerous opportunities for hands-on practice of ENT skills and procedures in simulation environments. ENT for the PA-C 2020 will offer 72 hours (maximum 16 per participant) of workshops with skill-building simulations of flexible and rigid endoscopy, management of epistaxis, cerumen disimpaction, foreign body removal, myringotomy, PTA drainage, suturing, vertigo testing and maneuvers, vestibular rehab techniques, videostroboscopy, trach management, ENT ultrasound, and billing/coding. Workshops have a low participant-to-proctor ratio to provide high-quality learning and maximize one-on-one instruction.