Program Goals and Mission
In conjunction with institutional leadership, the PA program at CDU has selected five goals and corresponding key performance indicators (KPIs) that support the program mission. The mission of the Charles R. Drew University Physician Assistant program is to prepare a diverse group of uniquely qualified physician assistants who provide excellent medical care with compassion while addressing health disparities, seeking social justice, and improving the health of medically underserved communities.
Our five goals:
- Promote diversity and inclusion in the PA profession.
- Prepare students with the knowledge and skills necessary for entry-level PA practice.
- Prepare students who will apply the principles of community engagement, cultural sensitivity, and health equity.
- Prepare students who will practice medicine in medically underserved shortage areas.
- Engage students, faculty, and staff in active and ongoing professional leadership, advocacy, research, and scholarly activities.
Click here to learn more about our program goals.
Adapted from the PA profession competencies, the CDU PA program competencies* are the overarching summative qualities required of all graduates upon completion of the program in order to be prepared for clinical practice. To ascertain the acquisition of program competencies, the program continuously assesses student learning outcomes. Student learning outcomes are specific and measurable building blocks that need to be attained over the 27 months of study.
- Medical Knowledge – PAs must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of practice. In addition, PAs are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.
- Interpersonal & Communication Skills – PAs must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system.
- Patient Care – PAs must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable.
- Professionalism – PAs must express positive values and ideals as care is delivered. Foremost, professionalism involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own. PAs must acknowledge their professional and personal limitations. PAs must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements.
- Practice-Based Learning & Improvement – Physician assistants must be able to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices.
- System-Based Care – PAs must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care. PAs should work to improve the health care system of which their practices are a part.
Does the CDU PA Program accept AP credits?
Yes, AP credit is accepted. The course must be listed as the subject name and the correct number of units on the official transcript.
Does the CDU PA Program accept courses and labs that are done online?
All required prerequisites must be completed at a regionally accredited university/college. At this time, online courses and labs are accepted to fulfill prerequisite requirements. Please note that online courses must still meet the required number of semester units
I have quite a bit of volunteer experience; however, none in a medical setting. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply! The direct patient care experience on the website is preferred not required. Any other experience you have should be noted and described in detail on your CASPA application.
Can a non-science major apply to your program?
We do not have a specified list of majors required for admission. Many students come from liberal arts backgrounds but complete the required prerequisites as electives for their major or as post-graduate courses.
Does it matter what chemistry courses I take?
Yes and No. To fulfill the basic chemistry requirement for the program, you may take any two college level chemistry courses with lab. However, taking biochemistry and organic chemistry (preferred courses) will enhance your competitiveness for admission.
Can undocumented or DACA students apply?
Yes. Applicants are considered for admission to the CDU PA program without regard to their country of origin. Eligible applicants include U.S. citizens, permanent U.S. residents holding a valid visa, applicants who have been granted Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the time of application, undocumented applicants, and international applicants.