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May 4, 2022

The groundbreaking launch of 32 medical careers

The SpartanPA Medicine Program will focus on increasing patient access to care in underserved areas

The inaugural cohort of the Physician Assistant Medicine Program will make history in mid-May, launching the medical careers of 32 students.

“We are very proud to see the culmination of years of hard work, innovative interprofessional curriculum designing and partnership-building come together with the launch of this new master’s degree,” says Dean Andrea Amalfitano. “The incoming class is diverse, intelligent and full of leaders. This is yet another way that our college will work to improve patient access to care throughout Michigan and the region, and I have no doubt that these students will make an impact immediately.”

During orientation on May 16-17, students, faculty and staff will begin to shape the future of improved health access, especially in rural and underserved areas around the state.

“One of the goals of the program is to increase patient access to care in Michigan,” says John McGinnity, director of the PA Medicine Program. “Our students will rotate through the majority of the larger medical systems in the state—including those that the college partners with, such as Henry Ford Health System, Sparrow Health System, Spectrum Health, Mercy Health, Bronson and Beaumont Health. Additionally, we have worked on establishing new clinical training sites to place our students in areas of need within Michigan. We want to focus our work in the numerous Michigan counties with health professional shortage area designations, such as in the Upper Peninsula.”

“We also know patients want providers who look like them and understand their experiences,” McGinnity continues. “One-third of this class meets disadvantaged status. We’re working toward the goal of our student population reflecting that of the state of Michigan. We endeavor to create pathways to medical education for students who are underrepresented in medicine.”

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