Physician Assistant Program

Welcome to the Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences Program!

The Meharry Medical College Physician Assistant Sciences (MMCPA) program is a rigorous, full-time, 29-month, 7-semester, academic professional degree program that includes basic science and clinical coursework, clinical skills training and supervised clinical practice instruction leading to the Masters in Physician Assistant Sciences (MPAS) degree. 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 commemorate 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 all Meharry Medical College programs.
With an inaugural 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 June 2019. Pending receipt of formal Accreditation-Provisional, the first PA class will start in January 2020 with an anticipated graduation of the first class in the spring of 2022.
Kenneth A. Mitchell, MPAS, PA-C
Founding Program Director

Mission & Vision

MMC PA Sciences Program Mission Statement

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.


MMC PA Sciences Program Vision

The MMC-PA Program will contribute to the Meharry Medical College mission and national reputation by:

  • Developing an effective and innovative generalist PA educational program the equips our graduates to provide team-based patient centered care in a rapidly changing health care environment.
  • Educating highly capable physicians assistants possessing strong clinical and leadership skills.  Meharry PA students and graduates will contribute to strengthening PA roles, and join in the local and national healthcare policy debate on increasing health care access and eliminating health care disparities.
  • Socializing PA students to see themselves as advocates and leaders in public health/population health issues, health policy development and the delivery of ethical and culturally competent health services.
  • Engaging in meaningful community and research activities that contribute to improvements in patient care.
  • Maintaining a commitment to diversifying the nation’s PA work force.

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.

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 2020, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the September 2019, 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

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Will Wyatt, MA

Program Manager

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Michelle Drumgold, MSPH, MPAS, PA-C

Clinical Education Director

Coming Soon!

Instructional and/or Clinical Interest Volunteer

Thank you for your interest in
the PA Program!

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