Diversity, Equity & Inclusion | M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical to the PA profession and the patients who receive care. Racism is a public health issue and the Carroll University PA Program is committed to work together to stand against racism and endeavor to provide equitable opportunities for students and faculty, and equitable care for our patients. The PA Program strives to create and maintain an inclusive environment in which our students learn.
The ARC-PA defines diversity as: Differences within and between groups of people that contribute to variations in habits, practices, beliefs, and/or values. The inclusion of different people (including but not limited to gender and race/ethnicity, age, physical abilities, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status) in a group or organization is an essential component of the definition. Diversity includes all the ways in which people differ, and it encompasses all the different characteristics that make one individual or group different from the another. [Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education. 5th edition. Published November 2019]
To help address racial health disparities, many scholars recommend increasing the number of underrepresented minorities into the health professions. A 2019 report by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) revealed that 86.7% of practicing PAs are white, 6.3% are Hispanic, Latinx, or Spanish in origin (compared to 18.5% in the U.S general population), 6% are Asian, and 3.6% are Black or African American (compared to 13.4% in the U.S. general population). [National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc. 2019 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants: An Annual Report of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Published April 2020]
Carroll University and the PA Program embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through the University Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the PA Program Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, administrators, faculty, and students strive to:
- Address Structural Inequality
- Collect data and evaluate campus and program climate with respect to student and faculty perception and experience
- Incorporate diversity throughout the curriculum
- Require faculty training in the realm of diversity
- Identify and secure clinical rotations for patient-student interactions in medically underserved populations
- Recruit admissions committees reflective of the diversity our program is seeking in the student body
- Strengthen the holistic admissions process that considers the “whole” applicant that includes experiences, academics, and attributes with respect to our program’s mission while promoting diversity
- Participation in the Health Careers Opportunity Program (HCOP), funded by HRSA, that creates support systems and development opportunities for students in high school, college, and graduate schools in underrepresented populations, which will prepare them for acceptance into collegiate allied health programs, including PA. The goal is to increase the number of individuals serving in integrated health care professions in medically underserved communities
- Continue outreach and recruitment efforts to maintain and grow diversity within the PA profession
Carroll University and the PA Program supports their mission by providing holistic student support, leading efforts that cultivate a welcoming and inclusive campus community and creating cross cultural experiences that foster meaningful interactions between individuals of diverse cultures, social identities, perspectives and experiences.