Mission & Goals

The mission of the Howard University Physician Assistant Program is to recruit and prepare compassionate and competent physician assistants with expertise in clinical decision-making, problem solving, and research for the enhancement of the health of the public and the advancement of the profession on local, national, and international levels. The Program promotes critical thinking, self-inquiry, active learning and service within the context of responsible and ethical behavior. In addition, the Program provides an educational experience of exceptional quality to students of high academic potential with particular emphasis upon the provision of educational opportunities to promising Black students and other ethnically diverse minority students. Further, the Program is dedicated to attracting and sustaining a cadre of faculty who are through their teaching and research, committed to the development of health care professionals and to the quest for solutions for delivery of quality health care in the United States and abroad.


Educational Philosophy
The Program’s educational philosophy promotes excellence in education by instilling in our graduates attributes of medical competence, ethics, intellectual leadership qualities, and professionalism to meet the demands of direct patient care, community responsiveness and professional growth.


Goal #1:
To recruit and educate qualified and motivated Black and other ethnically diverse minority students to assume leadership roles in the Physician Assistant profession.

Success of the Program in achieving goal #1:

The program has maintained enrollment of African Americans and other ethnically diverse minorities at 85% each academic year. 2%of graduates are employed in leadership roles locally and nationally. Leadership roles that have been or are currently occupied by graduates are: Deans, Program Directors, Faculty, Program Officers, Chairman and Minister of Health.

Goal #2:
To produce competent Physician Assistants, who are ethical, culturally sensitive, critical thinkers, researchers, effective communicators, and active life-long learners.

Success of the Program in achieving goal #2

Problem-solving skills, critical thinking, and active learning strategies have been incorporated into many courses throughout the curriculum. All courses will incorporate these components in course syllabi by the end of the Fall 2014 semester.

Goal #3:
To recruit, retain, and advance a cadre of faculty members who are competent in the basic medical sciences and clinical practices deemed essential for training and education of Physician Assistants.

Success of the Program in achieving goal #3:

The principal faculty is a cohesive network of five individuals committed to values of excellence in education, teamwork, diversity, personal and organizational growth. Faculty are provided 20% release time for professional development to enable them to acquire higher degrees, conduct research, and gain expertise in their respective knowledge and skills. This has been in effect since Fall 2005.

Faculty attrition statistics indicate that retention within the program is steady. The program lost one(1) faculty member in 2008 secondary to death. No loss of faculty has occurred since 2008. Faculty attrition is below the national average. According to the PAEA 22nd Annual Report, most programs on an average lost slightly over 1.0 faculty member per year. Faculty attrition has been stable over the past six years. The low attrition and faculty satisfaction survey results suggest that faculty are satisfied with their employment at Howard University.