The first class of Randolph-Macon’s new Physician Assistant (PA) program matriculated on January 3, 2023. Housed in the brand-new Duke Hall, the PA program is the College’s first venture into graduate studies.
PAs are essential members of our healthcare systems, trained to deliver patient-centered care of the highest quality to individuals of all ages and from every background. After completing the 24-month program that combines modern health science preparation and inter-professional training, with infusions of liberal arts and community service, students will be prepared to pass the national certifying exam and obtain state licensure.
The cohort is made up of 24 total students, including 4 RMC alumni. Of those students, 14 are from Virginia, with others hailing from Texas, Illinois, California, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, North Carolina, and Florida.
Trends within the healthcare industry indicate strained health systems, widening health equity gaps, burnt out providers, and patients that feel diminished connections with their care providers. The RMC curriculum specifically targets these trends via focused preparations in patient engagement, cultural competence, telemedicine, self-care, and burnout prevention.
Another goal for the program is to develop a diverse student body of academically qualified PA matriculants, for which this cohort achieves several key benchmarks:
- 17% of the class is the first generation in their family to attend college.
- 25% of the class is from a medically underserved area or a HPSA (health professional shortage area).
- 29% of the class reflects diverse backgrounds.
The third floor of Duke Hall is dedicated to the PA program and provides its students with the ideal environment to hone their craft. The building features a skills lab, exam rooms, a student lounge and café, group meeting rooms, and offices.