2022 Publishing Award Recipient Uncovers Reasons PAs Leave Their Jobs

Harrison Reed is a PA Practicing in a Surgical ICU and is a Clinical Editor at JAAPA

May 18, 2022

By Sarah Blugis

Harrison Reed, PA-C
Harrison Reed, PA-C

Harrison Reed, PA-C, is the recipient of the 2022 AAPA Publishing Award as the lead author of “Reasons PAs leave their jobs,” published in the Journal of the American Academy of PAs (JAAPA).

“PA turnover and the impact of our workplace environments is an important topic,” Reed says. “My co-authors and I embarked on this project because we felt there was a real need to explore this aspect of the PA profession, one that did not receive enough attention. We felt the topic needed to be highlighted for the good of the profession and healthcare at large.”

The Publishing Award is granted to a PA who published, during the prior calendar year, a new clinical or research article expressing original and/or scientifically rigorous ideas substantiated by best practices, and contributing to the advancement of the PA profession.

The article notes that employee turnover carries a heavy financial burden for healthcare organizations – and although some previous research has uncovered some factors associated with turnover, the reasons PAs were leaving their jobs were not fully understood.

One key finding of Reed’s research, which utilized data collected from a 2019 AAPA survey, was that the most common reasons PAs leave their jobs are: better/work life balance (16.8%), moving to a new location (16.7%), better management/leadership/environment (reasons related to toxic/abusive environment) (13.6%), and better compensation/benefits (11.9%).

Reed and his co-authors conclude that reasons related to toxic/abusive work environments may be the most practical and important to address, especially as a toxic workplace environment can lead to poor outcomes in healthcare settings.

“PAs are among the most dedicated professionals you will find within healthcare or outside of it,” Reed says. “Individually and collectively, we are deeply invested in the health outcomes of our patients and I think that shows in our daily work.”

Currently, Reed works full time in the surgical ICU at Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He was recently full-time faculty at George Washington University and still teaches there occasionally. Reed is also currently a clinical editor for JAAPA.

He grew interested in the PA profession, he says, after his initial love of caring for animals grew into a more profound sense of purpose to take care of people.

“The PA profession was a natural fit for someone who loved medicine, but wasn’t quite sure where it would take him in life,” Reed says. “I love to see how PAs contribute to their profession and their communities in a variety of ways, not just clinically but as leaders, advocates, researchers, educators, and more.”

2022 AAPA Award Recipients

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