James Van Rhee recruited to lead Physician Associate Program

James Van Rhee, M.S., PA-C, has joined Yale School of Medicine as director of the Physician Associate Program and a member of the Department of Internal Medicine faculty.

Van Rhee began his career as a physician assistant (PA) at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit in 1989. He moved to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Mich., the following year, and in 1996, he joined the new Physician Assistant Program at Michigan’s Grand Valley State University as its first academic coordinator; he later headed the Physician Assistant Program at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo. He was named the first chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Wake Forest University in 2006, and he became the founding program director for a new Physician Assistant Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in 2009.

Throughout his academic career Van Rhee has maintained an active clinical presence, working in internal medicine and oncology. For 10 years Van Rhee has served as project director for the PACKRAT (Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge and Rating Assessment Tool) exam, and has been a site visitor for the Accreditation Review Commission on Physician Assistant Education for more than 10 years. He is currently chair of the commission. For 16 years, Van Rhee has been the course director for a national PA board review course, and he is the author of Physician Assistant Board Review: Certification and Recertification, published by Elsevier.

He has authored numerous articles on PA education and problem-based learning and has presented at both the national and local levels on a variety of clinical and educational topics. In 1999, he received a six-year Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) training grant to evaluate the use of problem-based learning in PA education. In 2007, he served as co-principal investigator on a three-year HRSA training grant to develop a health literacy curriculum for PA students.

Van Rhee earned his B.S. degree in medical technology at Grand Valley State University, and after several years working in the laboratory, he attended the University of Iowa Physician Assistant Program. In 1998, he earned an M.S. degree in Physician Assistant Practice from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in North Chicago, Ill.

David Brissette, M.M.Sc., PA-C, served as interim program director of the Physician Associate Program during the search process.

This article was submitted by Michael Fitzsousa on August 26, 2013.

James Van Rhee, MMSc, PA-C

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James Van Rhee

Associate Professor in the Physician Associate Program, Department of Internal Medicine; Director, Physician Assistant Online Program