Background: The advantages of a specialized training program have led to over 84 postgraduate training programs for Physician Assistants (PAs) covering over 25 specialties. Employee lateral mobility is more prevalent within the PA profession, which allows PA providers to switch between medical specialties. The versatility of PAs promotes higher turnover rates compared to physician counterparts. These high turnover rates can result in increased institutional burden. Postgraduate PA programs provide pre-employment exposure to more in-depth medical training, enabling a well-rounded knowledge base of the PA’s roles and responsibilities, minimizing turnover rates.

Purpose: The goal of this survey study is to identify PA graduates’ perceptions of their retention rate, job satisfaction within a given specialty, factors influencing a PA’s decision to change their specialty, and specialty preparation provided by postgraduate training programs and specific educational training.

Methods: A mixed method design was utilized to survey both program directors and graduates of PA postgraduate training programs.

Results: Of the 398 postgraduate program graduates, 196 (49%) accepted a job within the institution where they trained. Across all postgraduate training programs, 87% of graduates have not changed their specialty since program completion. Ninety-six percent of respondents felt their postgraduate training gave them an accurate preview of employment in their specialty of interest, and all postgraduates would recommend a postgraduate training program to a new PA graduate.