PA program characteristics and diversity in the profession

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Objectives:The primary objective of this study was to identify PA program characteristics that may be associated with higher or lower percentages of underrepresented minority students in PA programs.Methods:Data from the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) 2002-2003 and 2012-2013 annual surveys were analyzed. Bivariate correlation coefficients and multiple regression modeling were used to identify relationships between program characteristics and percentages of black and Hispanic students.Results:The percentage of white matriculants in PA programs increased from 76.5% in 2002-2003 to 81.8% in 2012-2013; the percentage of black students decreased from 6.2% to 4.4%. Multiple linear regression revealed a modest negative relationship between master's degree and percentage of underrepresented minority students and a modest positive relationship between percentages of underrepresented minority employees and underrepresented minority students.Conclusions:Further research is needed to identify strategies to increase underrepresented minority participation in healthcare professions programs.

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