Mission

The mission of the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science (CDU) Physician Assistant (PA) Program is to support the University’s Mission and College of Science and Health Mission by preparing 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.

Program Goals

Goal 1: Prepare students with the knowledge and interpersonal communication skills necessary to practice with professionalism, compassion, and a commitment to patient advocacy within the healthcare system and community

HOW WE DO IT: TALKING THE TALK

  • Curriculum: Coursework includes MPA 505 Professional Roles & Responsibilities; MPA 524 Psychosocial Dynamics in Healthcare, MPA 506 & MPA 515 Medical Spanish, MPA 641 Medical Ethics & Health Law; Social medicine, healthcare disparities and LGBTQ issues threaded longitudinally across the curriculum
  • Service Activities: Students will engage in course-related and volunteer service activities throughout the curriculum.
  • Developing Community Leaders & Social Advocates: Students are going to engage with community leaders and change makers.

WALKING THE WALK

  • Curriculum: Students successfully completed and designed service-learning projects (https://youtu.be/yWKvmu601tM).
  • Service Activities:
    • Students, faculty, and staff participate in service learning; dozens of opportunities (with more in the works) throughout the year. Examples include community health and nutrition education events, volunteerism at residential substance use treatment facilities, high school career fairs, farmers markets, vulnerable population outreach events, community beautification events and more!
    • Class of 2018 developed and implemented the CDU-PA Social Justice Club
    • 3 Program Staff Members, 6 students from the Class of 2021, and 10 students from the Class of 2020 manage the Learning and Healing Garden at CDU- “Straight Outta the Garden”. The garden revitalization project was a university wide collaboration project involving students, faculty, and staff from Saturday Science, the School of Nursing, since then, we have developed a garden club and received at University Mini Grant for our efforts.
  • Developing Community Leaders & Social Advocates:

Goal 2: Prepare students to be providers of culturally competent care for diverse and underserved – populations, committed to the reduction of healthcare disparities.

HOW WE DO IT: TALKING THE TALK

  • Training: Students will be trained at clinical sites located in medically underserved areas (MUAs) and federally designated Health Professions Shortage Areas (HPSAs).
  • Curriculum: Students will complete MPA 506 & MPA 515 Medical Spanish and encounter a variety of cultures throughout the curriculum; emphasis is placed on using evidence to challenge unproven racial/ethnic/gender & religious medical stereotypes.
  • Service: Students will engage in clinically related volunteer and service activities
  • Providers: Students will become providers in diverse and underserved populations.

WALKING THE WALK

  • Training: All students completed one or more rotations in a federally designated Health Professions Shortage Area (HPSA) or Medically Underserved Area (MUA).

    • CO2018: 100%
    • CO2019: 100%
    • CO2020: 100%
  • Curriculum: Students successfully completed 6 units of instruction in Medical Spanish and Conversational Spanish.
  • Service: Faculty and Class of 2019, 2020, and 2021 students’ partner with organizations, such as TENA, Homies Care, TrapMedicine to health screenings and health literacy information. These initiatives target the issues of homelessness, nutrition, and mental health in underserved communities.
  • Providers: 60% of the Class of 2018 graduates' practice in a federally designated underserved/under resourced population.
  • Class of 2019 practice information is pending.

Goal 3: Train graduates that apply the concepts of preventative and therapeutic medical nutrition therapy to the comprehensive care of patients.

HOW WE DO IT: TALKING THE TALK

  • Curriculum: All students will complete MPA 642 Medical Nutrition Therapy; nutritional concepts are also threaded throughout the curriculum.
  • Graduates: Graduates will apply the concepts of preventative and therapeutic medical nutrition in their practice.

WALKING THE WALK

  • Curriculum: Class of 2018 and 2019 have successfully completed MPA 642. Class of 2020 and 2021 will take the course in their 3rd year.
  • Graduates: 66% of the Class of 2018 graduates apply the concepts of preventative and therapeutic medical nutrition therapy. To date no graduates have completed Certified Nutrition Support Clinician Training.

Goal 4: Prepare students to be practitioners of evidence-based medicine, able to meet the growing need for primary care providers in a variety of medical settings.

HOW WE DO IT: TALKING THE TALK

  • Primary Care Focus: The primary care needs of patients requiring specialty care are emphasized throughout the curriculum.
  • Scholarship: Students apply the concepts of evidence-based practice to all aspects of patient evaluation and management during both the didactic and clinical phases of training.
  • Grants: Promote collaboration between faculty, staff, and students, to obtain local, federal, and state sponsored funding opportunities.

WALKING THE WALK

  • Primary Care Focus:

    • 45% of class of 2018 selected clinical electives in primary care specialties.
    • 30% of class of 2019 selected clinical electives in primary care specialties.
    • 80% of 2018 graduates practice in primary care.
    • Class of 2019 practice data is pending.
  • Scholarship:
    • 100% of Class of 2018 students completed and presented clinical posters at the Poster Day at CDU
    • Class of 2018 students selected to present community outreach projects at Urban Food Systems Symposium http://www.urbanfoodsystemssymposium.org
    • 100% of Class of 2019 completed produced submission-eligible scientific posters based on medical literature.
    • 100% of Class of 2019 submitted scientific posters to AAPA 2020 conference.
    • 50% of Class of 2019 submitted to AAPA were accepted. These posters were also submitted to PAEA Education Forum 2020.
    • Grants: Faculty, Staff, and students collaborated to obtain sponsored funding.
  • HRSA Primary Care Training and Enhancement in Collaboration with College of Medicine:
    • 2019-2023 ($400,000)
  • Song Brown:
    • 2017- ($79,998)
    • 2019- ($120,000)
  • Move Your Feet Then Eat:
    • 2018- CDU Mini Grant ($2500)
    • 2018-City of Hope ($5000)
  • LAHLA:
    • 2018- CDU Mini Grant ($2500)
    • 2019- CDU Mini Grant ($2000)
    • 2020- CDU Mini Grant ($1900)
  • Homeboy Institute:
    • 2018- CDU Mini Grant ($1000)
  • Pre-PA Conference:
    • 2018- CDU Mini Grant ($2500)
    • 2019- CDU Mini Grant ($2500)

Goal 5: Provide students with a learning environment that is student-centered, engaging and innovative in its teaching approach, training students to be life-long self-directed learners

HOW WE DO IT: TALKING THE TALK

  • Learning Environment: All courses in the curriculum will incorporate innovative, interactive learning models; examples include music, art, dance, team-based learning, problem-based learning, in-class quiz competitions, hands-on skills workshops and more.
  • Students are provided with an environment that promotes use of cognitive, visual, audio and tactile senses.
  • Student Engagement: Students provide ongoing program feedback about the program’s effectiveness
  • Life-Long Self-Directed Learners: Students are encouraged to participate in state and national Professional Organizations.

WALKING THE WALK

  • Learning Environment:
  • Students have incorporated art, dance, music and holistic wellness concepts into many community health education programs and presentations
  • Cutting edge technology in the classroom includes high-fidelity simulators and the 3D virtual anatomy dissection table.
  • Student Engagement:
  • 100% of Class of 2018 graduates believe that the CDU PA Program provided a student centered, engaging, and innovate environment.
  • Life-Long Self-Directed Learners:
  • Students volunteer for program, state and national leadership opportunities.

The PA Program is in the process of setting benchmarks for these program goals