Enrollment and demographic characteristics of physician’s assistant students

Reginald Carter, Joyce Emelio, Henry Perry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The authors in this paper describe enrollment trends and provide demographic information for a representative sample of physician’s assistant (PA) students enrolled during 1978-1982 in 46 PA programs accredited by the American Medical Association. In February 1983, there were 2,871 such students enrolled in 54 primary care and three surgeon’s assistant programs. The typical PA program, which is two years in length, provides six to nine months of preclinical course work and nine to 15 months of clinical experience. Most programs are based in either medical schools or four-year colleges and offer baccalaureate degrees. From the demographic information obtained by the authors from this sample, the typical PA student is 28 years old and has three to four years of college and one to two years of prior health care experience. There has been a steady increase in the enrollment of women and individuals with four or more years of college. More than half of the PA students enrolled in 1983 were women. Former military medical corpsmen, who once predominated the PA profession, now represent only a small proportion of the PA student population. Most PA students continue to want to practice with family practitioners in small communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)316-322
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1984
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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