It has become quite obvious recently that PAs are in short supply. New graduates in my neck of the woods have many employment options, and starting salaries appear to be very good. In the world of PAs, life is good.
However, whenever the PA job market gets really hot, recruiting and retaining PA educators gets even more challenging than usual. In my opinion, the reason for this is that clinical salaries typically are more responsive to supply and demand forces than salaries in academic institutions, so when demand increases, clinical salaries rise faster than academic salaries. Those rapidly increasing salaries offered by easy-to-find clinical positions will attract many PA faculty back to full-time clinical practice, leaving many faculty positions vacant. The PA faculty shortage cuts across the entire academic landscape, which needs more qualified program directors, didactic coordinators, clinical coordinators, as well as core PA faculty.
The faculty shortage was hard to ignore at the recent PAEA education forum in Philadelphia; an entire display board was dedicated to posting academic vacancies, the conference materials included a whole book of available faculty jobs, and deans and program directors in active recruitment mode were everywhere.
From my vantage point, we have definitely reached a PA faculty shortage crisis.