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Physician Assistant Department

Steeping in History, Committed to the Future

While our program is one of the oldest in the nation, we are continually looking forward to cutting-edge research and advancements within this exciting field so that our graduates excel in the quickly growing PA job sector.

Physician Assistant Department

The Physician Assistant Department’s PA program, one of the nation’s oldest and largest, is pledged to providing students with the most current and finest preparatory training available. Employing continuous curricular analysis, assessment of the best clinical practices, and utilization of state-of-the art in educational technologies, program graduates are eminently prepared to undertake their roles as professional health care practitioners.
The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing and highly regarded professions in the country. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has consistently ranked the profession among the 30 fastest growing occupations. We are committed to providing the education and training needed to enter this exciting job sector.
We offer a Physician Assistant Master’s (PA) Program and a PA Post-Professional Master’s Program. Please explore our web pages for a wealth of information about our programs, students, faculty, research and clinical practice.


Master of Health Science - Physician Assistant
As a PA, you will complement the practice style of the supervising physician or physicians.

The PA Post-Professional Master's Program
Receive personalized professional development through an adult learner model.

Physician Assistant Faculty

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History of Physician Assistant Program

News & Events



Juanita Gardner, MPH, PA-C, clinical assistant professor in the Physician Assistant (PA) Department at Drexel University, is leading an initiative to diversify the student body within the department. With changes in policy that make health care more accessible, like the Affordable Care Act, Gardner is taking action to ensure that future PAs represent the patient populations they will one day treat.

Gardner is spearheading a recruitment process that embraces diversity and inclusion. “We are trying to make ourselves visible at different types of events, both within the local community and outside of the community, including attending health fairs or career fairs geared toward pre-health students,” she said.

The goal is to raise awareness about the PA profession and recruit students from a variety of backgrounds, including national origin, language, race, disability, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status and family structures to name a few.

 “Our program is geared toward working with underserved communities,” said Gardner. “And a lot of communities that are underserved are usually the groups that fit the definition of being diverse. We feel that it is important for our student population to represent the populations and communities which we hope they will one day practice in.”

To achieve this goal, Gardner has used some traditional and non-traditional strategies. “We partner with the Physical Therapy Program and recruit at historically black colleges and universities and in communities where we may find students that represent a variety of backgrounds,” she said. “Once a year we visit Spellman College, Clark University, Delaware State, Rutgers University and Morehouse College for their health care and career-related events. We discuss our program offerings and try to interest students in the PA profession.”

Additionally, Puentes Hacia el Futruro Elementary and Middle School, Belmont Academy Charter School, Wissahickon Elementary School, Mercy Vocational High School and Allen M. Stearne Elementary School have partnered with the Drexel University Physician Assistant Program to introduce their students to careers in health care. The partnership aims to provide a pipeline of future health care providers from diverse communities.

Building diversity continues through the application review process, and requires close examination of student records. Attracting both a non-traditional and diverse student body means taking into account circumstances that may have impacted students’ GPAs, learning experiences and other aspects of their applications.

This extra attention, though, has significantly enhanced PA students’ experience. “Some of our students have not been exposed to populations, cultures, or other parts of society. So I think with our program working toward increasing diversity, it not only enriches the student as a person, but also helps to prepare them to be able to go out and treat and help patients that are different than they are. In doing so, it has given students a broader perspective of a world outside their own and exposed them to the needs of the patients they may be seeing and how to effectively address those needs.”


Corey Beausoleil, MHS ‘15, a board-certified physician assistant, recently joined the staff of Vidant Neurosurgery-Greenville in Greenville, North Carolina.

Rosemary Dunn, DrNP, RN, MS ’95, DNP ‘11, the CNO at Hahnemann University Hospital, received the GEM Award in the category of “Advancing and Leading the Profession.”

Kenneth Korber, PA, MHSc, BS ’91, the chief learning officer at Health Education Group, has published a children's book series, The Musical Adventures of Grace.

Margo N. Orlin, PT, PhD, FAPTA, MPT ’86, PhD ’03, was selected by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) as a Catherine Worthingham Fellow. Dr. Orlin is associate professor, Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, at Drexel.

Scott Richards, PhD, PA-C, DfAAPA, MS ’94, was named the founding chair and program director for the Physician Assistant Program at Emory & Henry College. 


The White Coat Ceremony for physician assistant (PA) students at Drexel University was held on Thursday, September 3, 2015. This momentous occasion marked the conclusion of the didactic phase of the PA class of 2016’s education and the beginning of the clinical phase.

Clay Warnick, MD, medical director of the Congestive Heart Failure Clinic at Chester County Cardiology Associates and medical director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and co-medical director of the Heart Failure Program at the Chester County Hospital, addressed students at Mandell Theater. He noted that the White Coat Ceremony is meant to welcome “those embarking on their medical careers to the community of practitioners by giving them a powerful symbol of compassion and honor. It also gives them a standard against which they must measure their every act of care to the patients who trust them.”

Patrick Auth, PhD, chair of the Physician Assistant Department, is confident in the abilities and hearts of the PA Class of 2016. He said, “This is a remarkable class of physician assistant students, characterized by their dedication to the community, commitment to providing high quality healthcare for their patients and the spirit to support each other to be the best PAs possible.”

Congratulations to the students, and best of luck during the next chapter of your educational journey.

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