Boston University Launches Physician Assistant Program

More than 1,000 applications have been filed already.

Boston University School of Medicine image provided.

Boston University School of Medicine image provided.

Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is establishing a new Master of Science Physician Assistant (PA) degree program which will begin in April 2014. To date, BUSM says that more than 1,000 applications have been received for the inaugural class.

The seven-semester program was created in an effort to help combat the doctor shortage that the U.S will face over the next decade. “We believe that the shortage of primary care providers and the growth prospects for this career path, combined with the excellent reputation of BU School of Medicine, has resulted in the exceptional response to our program,” says Mary Warner, the founding director the program and assistant professor of medicine at BUSM. “Consistent with the mission of the BU School of Medicine, we seek to educate physician assistants who will produce exceptional outcomes while caring for a diverse population of patients, including those from vulnerable communities and to cultivate leaders who will advance the physician assistant profession.”

According to BUSM, the Physician Assistant profession, which began in 1965 at Duke University, was developed to address the primary care shortage in rural and underserved areas. Physician assistants practice medicine with physician supervision. The profession now includes medical providers in a variety of health-care delivery settings and in virtually all medical and surgical specialties.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, physician assistant is one of the fastest growing professions in the U.S. with an expected increase of an additional 30 percent during this decade. There are nearly 84,000 physician assistants practicing in the U.S. and the average salary is $92,460.