Physician Assistant Program

Welcome to the Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program!

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant (PA) Sciences master’s degree program is a rigorous, full-time, 28-month, 7-semester, academic professional degree program that includes basic science and clinical coursework, clinical skills training, and supervised clinical practice instruction. Due to the rigors of the program, outside employment is highly discouraged while enrolled.

The development, implementation, and integration of the PA program into the rich and vibrant Meharry Medical College community truly commemorates a historical time in the expansion of medical education at this institution. The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program will strive to add to the standard of excellence in medical education that is the foundation of Meharry Medical College.

With the initial class size of 30, state-of-the-art simulation lab, Augmented and Virtual Reality (AR/VR) teaching platforms, and supportive community-based partners, the program is able to fulfill its intention to prepare graduates for a successful and rewarding career. Our goal is to engage, support, and prepare highly skilled PAs as primary care clinicians and public health policy advocates to the underserved communities in TN, the nation, and the world.

Meharry Medical College is excited to add this new chapter to its legacy of preparing healthcare providers to serve those in need.

The school has applied for Accreditation-Provisional with a conditional meeting scheduled for September 2018. Pending receipt of formal Accreditation-Provisional, the first PA class will start in the spring of 2019 with anticipated graduation of the first class in the spring of 2021.

Kenneth A. Mitchell, MPAS, PA-C

Program Director

Mission & Vision

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program is committed to recruiting, educating, and graduating PA’s that provide compassionate, high quality, medical care as an integral part of the healthcare team. True to the heritage of Meharry, emphasis will be placed on providing PA educational opportunities to people of color, the disadvantaged, and others regardless of race or ethnicity who are committed to increasing health care access and improving the health and well-being of minority and underserved communities.

 

Mission:

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program is committed to recruiting, educating, and graduating PA’s that provide compassionate, high quality, medical care as an integral part of the healthcare team. True to the heritage of Meharry, emphasis will be placed on providing PA educational opportunities to people of color, the disadvantaged, and others regardless of race or ethnicity who are committed to increasing health care access and improving the health and well-being of minority and underserved communities.

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program is committed to recruiting, educating, and graduating PA’s that provide compassionate, high quality, medical care as an integral part of the healthcare team. True to the heritage of Meharry, emphasis will be placed on providing PA educational opportunities to people of color, the disadvantaged, and others regardless of race or ethnicity who are committed to increasing health care access and improving the health and well-being of minority and underserved communities.

Our Goals

The MMC PA Sciences programs goals are in line with the MMC School of Graduate Studies and Research strategic goals, which specifically address educational excellence to include the following:

 

  1. To provide a quality educational program that meets the accreditation standards of the ARC-PA.

 

Metrics: Accreditation statement, PANCE scores, attrition, student and preceptor evaluations, institutional support (budget, personnel and facilities), and student to faculty ratio.

Benchmarks: <5% attrition, PANCE >85%, budget at or above median for size/Academic Health Center, evaluations 3.5 or higher.

 

  1. To understand the evolving complexity of the health care system and contribute to the positive transformation of health care to minority and underserved communities.

 

Metrics: Graduate and alumni surveys, job placement, course surveys, and self-assessment surveys.

Benchmarks: Applicable survey average score of 3.5 or higher, percentage of graduates placed in Medically Underserved Area’s greater than thepre-matriculate percentage from MUA’s, percentage of graduates placed in MUA’s greater than the national average reported in NCCPA and AAPA annual reports.

 

 

  1. To graduate professionally competent PA students who are prepared to enter the PA workforce.

 

Metrics: Summative evaluation, job placement, and PANCE pass rate.

Benchmarks: 100% summative evaluation pass rate, 100% ultimate PANCE pass rate at 1 year, and 90% job placement rate as a PA.

 

  1. To provide caring, nurturing, and compassionate learning environment modeling the professional behaviors required of PA graduates.

 

Metrics: Student course surveys, student professionalism performance, summative performance, preceptor evaluations, employer survey, student self-assessment.

Benchmarks: 100% of students with 2 or less professionalism infractions, survey 3.5 or more, 100% student performance on summative professionalism OSCE.

 

 

  1. To educate students to apply clinical data obtained from the medical history, physical examination, and ancillary data, utilizing technological resources appropriately with discrimination, to form a differential diagnosis for the patient condition.

 

Metrics: Preceptor surveys, employer survey, student self-assessment surveys, and summative evaluation.

Benchmarks: Course survey average of 3.5 or greater and 100% pass rate on summative evaluation.

 

  1. To recruit and matriculate students from diverse and/or disadvantaged backgrounds.

 

Metrics: Admissions data.

Benchmarks: Higher demographic numbers than the average matriculation of peer institutions, national PAEA matriculate averages, and equal to or greater than the American Community Survey data.

 

  1. To provide quality Continuing Medical Education (CME) programs.

 

Metrics: Number of CME program offered and participant survey results.

Benchmarks: Program survey quality questions with 3.5 or higher average.

What is a PA?

In the Mid-1960’s, Physicians and Educators recognized the shortage and uneven distribution of primary care physicians to expand the delivery of quality medical care. Physician Assistant (PA) are trained in graduate medical education to provide medical care in a various medical specialties including:

  • Primary Care
  • Internal Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Surgical Subspecialties
  • Pediatric and Pediatric subspecialties
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Urology

 

PA’s practice primarily on healthcare teams under the supervision of physicians with the latitude to practice largely with autonomy. The PA profession is governed by State medical and PA boards which delegates the authority permitting flexible and customized team practice.

Meharry Medical College will be fully compliant with all reporting standards as defined by the ARC-PA. Because our program has yet to accept or graduate our first cohort of student’s, data demonstrating our success related to our defined goals is not available. All factually and accurate data will be published as soon as available.

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the Physician Assistant Sciences Program requires the applicant to successfully complete the following prior to matriculation:

 

Degree Requirement

Successful completion of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. Any major is acceptable.

 

No advanced placement will be granted.

 

Required Undergraduate Prerequisites

47 hours of course work is required from the following list. These courses may be planned or in progress during the application process. All prerequisite course work must be successfully completed by July 15th of the year prior to intended entry.

 

 

Biological Sciences – (minimum of sixteen semester hours)

  • Biology – 4 sem hrs
  • Human Anatomy – 4 sem hrs
  • Human Physiology – 4 sem hrs
  • Microbiology- 4 sem hrs
  • Immunology and Genetics are strongly recommended.

NOTE: Anatomy and Physiology may also be taken in an 8 sem hr combined course.

 

Chemistry – (minimum of sixteen semester hours)

  • General or Inorganic Chemistry with lab – 8 sem hrs (one year sequence)
  • Organic Chemistry with lab – 4 sem hrs (one year sequence recommended)
  • Biochemistry (lab recommended) – 4 sem hrs

 

Psychology – (minimum of six semester hours)

  • General Psychology – 3 sem hrs
  • Upper-Level Psychology – 3 sem hrs

 

Mathematics – (minimum of three semester hours)

  • Statistics – 3 sem hrs
  • Algebra is strongly recommended.

 

English – (minimum of six semester hours)

  • English Composition – 3 sem hrs
  • Additional Writing or English Composition – 3 sem hrs

 

Required course work graded Pass/Fail or credit obtained by College Level Examination Program (CLEP) Examination or Advanced Placement (AP) will not be accepted for any of the 47 hours.

 

Academic Criteria

1. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.75 (A=4.0) is required.

 

2. Grades below “C” are not accepted for transfer to Meharry Medical College (e.g., D+, D, D-, F).

 

3. If a course were repeated, the higher of the two grades will be used accordingly in the evaluation of the application.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
The General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (verbal, quantitative and analytical writing) is required.

 

4.  Scores of the Graduate Record Examination must have been acquired within the last 5 years.

 

*Prior healthcare experience and community service/ volunteer experience are not requirements for admissions to the program but are considered during the admissions process.

 

Accreditation Status

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2019, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the September 2018, ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received.

Admissions Process

All MMCPA Sciences Program applications are processed through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applications and supporting documents for the 2018 admissions cycle must be submitted and completed on or before the final application deadline of August 1, 2018 for admissions consideration.

 

Sample Application process:

 

1. Create CASPA login

 

2. Complete CASPA Application

 

3. Submit supporting documents – Official transcripts – Personal statement – 3 letters of recommendation

 

CASPA is designed to streamline the application process allowing an applicant to submit one standardized application containing the required information for submission to multiple programs. Please read all application instructions provided by the CASPA application services.

 

To review details about the CASPA application process or to check the status of your CASPA application, visit www.portal.caspaonline.org.

 

If you have specific questions about the CASPA application, please contact CASPA directly at caspainfo@caspaonline.org.

If you have MMC PA Sciences Program specific questions please contact us at pa-admissions@mmc.edu.

Emails requesting admissions information sent directly to MMCPA faculty or staff are not reviewed.

 

4. A supplemental application link will be required of qualified applicants.  One will be notified of this supplemental component accordingly.

Tuition and Fees

Cohort 1

Spring 2019

Summer 2019

Fall 2019

Spring 2020

Clinical Year

Total

Credit Hours

29

26

15

13

46

129

Estimated Tuition

15,000

15,000

15,000

15,000

45,000

105,000

*Estimated medical equipment cost is $1,032.00.

Financial Aid

 

Financial Planning:

Each year, students who need federal and state financial aid must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and the Meharry Medical College Financial Aid Application (MAP).

Types of Financial Aid Available to Physician Assistant Student

Federal Stafford Loan

A borrower must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment for at least six semester hours and must be working toward a degree or certificate

Grad Plus Loan

The Graduate PLUS Loan is available to independent graduate and professional students. This loan requires credit approval by the Department of Education, as well as a FAFSA submission.

For more information, contact the Meharry Medical College office of Financial Aid.

Accreditation Status

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2019, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the September 2018, ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received.

PANCE Statement

Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant program will be fully compliant with Fair Practices regarding reporting of first-time pass rates on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). We will report the most recent five-year data for the first-time graduate performance in a timely manner, as results are released to us from the NCCPA. Because our program has not yet graduated its first cohort (expected first cohort start date of January 2019 and will graduate in May 2021), we have no data to currently report. Data is expected for reporting purposes in spring of 2022.

Policies coming soon.

Kenneth Mitchell

Kenneth Mitchell, MPAS, PA-C

Founding Program Director

Wayne Moore

Wayne Moore, M.D., FACEP

Medical Director

Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians

Todd J. Doran, MS, Ed.D., PA-C

Associate Program Director

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Michelle Drumgold, MSPH, MPAS, PA-C

Clinical Education Director

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Will Wyatt, MA

Program Manager

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Coming Soon!

To download the full pamphlet, click here.

Apply to be a preceptor.

Point of Contact: 
Michelle Drumgold MSPH, MSPAS, PA-C
Clinical Education Director
mdrumgold@mmc.edu
615-327-6751

Thank you for your interest in
the PA Program!

Please submit any questions or concerns you have about our program, here.