Issue Background

Higher Education

As the national demand for PA services grows and the nation's population becomes more racially diverse, empowering PA programs to train providers with the capacity to provide culturally competent care will become increasingly crucial.

However, according to a recent PAEA survey:

  • Only 3.4% of first-year PA students are African American compared to 12.2% of the general population
  • Only 7.4% of first-year students are Hispanic compared to 16.3% of the general population.

HR 1603, the Physician Assistant Higher Education Modernization Act, would begin to address this issue by providing grants for PA program development to:

  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Predominantly Black Institutions
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), and
  • Rural institutions

Additionally, HR 1603 would simultaneously address the nation's shortage of primary care providers and PA faculty members by making students eligible for new incentives when serving in these capacities.

PAEA supports providing Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Predominantly Black Institutions, Hispanic-Serving Institutions, and Rural-Serving Institutions with grants for PA program development and incentivizing PA students to serve as primary care providers or as PA faculty.