April 8, 2024

Black and Hispanic Representation Declined After Increased Degree Requirements for Physician Assistants

The physician assistant (PA) profession is among the least racially and ethnically diverse health professions requiring advanced education. Between 1995 and 2020, the percentage of Black PA graduates fell from 7% to 3.1%, while Hispanic representation increased from 4.5% to 7.9%. PA programs that transitioned from bachelor’s to master’s degrees experienced a 5.3% point decline in Black representation and a 3.8% point decline in Hispanic representation.

This article examines the impact of transitions to master’s degrees for PAs on Black and Hispanic representation between 1995 and 2020, using the federal Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System and individual universities as the unit of analysis.

Don’t have access to the full text? Email jordan_herring@email.gwu.edu to request a pdf version.

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