2023 Publishing Award Recipient Takes a Closer Look at PA Retirement Intent
Roderick Hooker is a Retired PA and Health Policy Consultant
May 19, 2023
Roderick S. Hooker, PhD, MBA, PA, is the recipient of the 2023 AAPA Publishing Award as the lead author of “Physician assistant/associate retirement intent: seeking the exit ramp,” published in BMC Health Services Research.
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.
With co-authors Andrzej Kozikowski, James F. Cawley, and Kasey Puckett, Hooker sought to investigate the retirement patterns of PAs within the United States, including PA characteristics, career roles, and intent to depart from clinical practice.
Through an analysis of data collected by NCCPA, the study concluded that most PAs remain clinically active into their seventh decade. The researchers found that 5.8% of respondents indicated they intend to retire within five years.
“Knowing the intentions to retire and the age of retirement of PAs represents a new and significant contribution to the knowledge related to medical career employment patterns. Such information has ramifications for medical workforce planning and estimates of clinical career output,” the authors write.
Rod Hooker is a retired PA and health policy consultant interested in organizational efficiency and health workforce supply and demand. As a PA, he spent two decades with Kaiser Permanente before joining the faculty at the University of Texas with a joint appointment in the Department of Veterans Affairs in Dallas, Texas.
“I began my PA career as a student in the mid-1970s, and when I graduated, there were fewer than 4,000 PAs,” Hooker says. “It was exciting to be on the ground floor of a new profession. ”
After a decade of VA-focused health services research and clinical rheumatology, he moved on to a health policy consulting firm, where his team focused on modeling the supply and demand of healthcare professionals: PAs, APRNs, physicians, and others. Concurrently, he was a consultant to the Ministry of Health in Ontario and New Brunswick, helping to develop the PA profession in those provinces.
Hooker also served as a U.S. Navy corpsman during the Viet Nam war, a tropical biologist in Costa Rica, a Peace Corps volunteer in Tonga, and a Coast Guard Reserve medical officer. His favorite achievement has been co-developing the International Medical Workforce Collaborative, a joint program underwritten by four countries that aimed to share new workforce research findings on medical service efficiency and outcomes of team-based care.
Though he is now retired from clinical practice, Hooker continues to work with his colleagues to advance research on the quality of work by healthcare professionals.
“I think of myself less as a leader and more as a co-investigator in health services research,” he says. “The quality of research on the PA movement is at an all-time high.”
Sarah Blugis is AAPA’s Internal Communications Manager. She can be reached at [email protected]
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