Boston University Launches Physician Assistant Program: More than 1,000 applications already received

Contact: Gina DiGravio, 617-638-8480,

(Boston) – As millions of Americans gain health insurance coverage over the next decade, the need for health care providers continues to grow. According to the Association of American Medical Colleges the U.S. will have 91,500 too few physicians to treat the country’s medical needs. In an effort to combat this ongoing problem, Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) has established a new Master of Science Physician Assistant (PA) degree program.

The program, administered by BUSM’s Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, will matriculate its first class of 28 students in April 2014. To date, more than 1,000 applications have been received for the inaugural class. The 28-month (seven semesters) program, housed in the School’s Division of Graduate Medical Sciences, includes 12 months of traditional lectures and seminar sessions in medical sciences and pathophysiology, while the second 16 months will provide clinical education in hospitals and clinics, and two months dedicated to their thesis proposal.

“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,” said Mary Warner, MMSc, PA-C, 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.”

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 US Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is among the fastest growing profession with an expected increase in PA positions of 30 percent during this decade. There are nearly 84,000 physician assistants practicing in the United States and the average salary is $92,460.


For more information, visit the PA program website at