Meharry Medical College to Launch a Physician Assistant Sciences Program

Historically Black Meharry Medical College in Nashville is launching a physician assistant sciences program in the School of Graduate Studies and Research.

A physician assistant is a licensed medical professional who can diagnose patients, perform medical treatments, prescribe medicines and order medical tests, while collaborating with a medical doctor. The Meharry physician assistant sciences program will involve 27 months of training that includes both didactic and clinical phases.

The college is actively recruiting for the first cohort of 25 students, who will enter into one of the nation’s fastest growing professions that is projected to grow 31 percent by 2030. These students will receive training onsite at Meharry’s campus in Nashville, as well as with partnered clinical sites located throughout North Carolina, Tennessee, Ohio, Michigan, California, New York, Indiana, and Mississippi.

The new program will be led by Michelle Drumgold, an assistant professor at the medical school. “Data shows that many people prefer to receive care from someone of their own race, and increasing minority representation among PAs will help us ensure this is possible,” Drumgold said. “While a lot of progress has been made in diversifying our PA workforce, there are still too few minority students considering this wonderful career path. My colleagues and I are working to break down some of the barriers.”

Professor Drumgold is a graduate of Paine College in Augusta, Georgia, where she majored in biology. She holds a master of public health degree from Meharry Medical College and a master’s degree in physician assistant sciences from South College.

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