Edwards School of Medicine Welcomes Inaugural Physician Assistant Class

Special to HNN Provided by Marshall University

Huntington – Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine welcomed its inaugural class of physician assistant students this week during a virtual orientation.

The students were selected from an applicant pool of nearly 600 to fill a complete student cohort of 25. Other interesting statistics about the class include:

  • 72% are females; 28% are males
  • 52% are from West Virginia
  • 20% hold a bachelor’s degree from Marshall University

 “Our faculty and staff are excited to begin working with this diverse group of students as they become a collaborative group,” said Ginger Boles, M.S., PA-C, founding director of the physician assistant program, in a university-issued press release. 

The Physician Assistant program at Marshall, housed in the Robert W. Coon Education Building on the campus of the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, includes both didactic and clinical components and takes 28 months to complete. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, 75% of physician assistants receive multiple job offers upon graduation.

Classes begin Monday, Jan. 11. Due to COVID-19, all lectures will be held virtually until further notice. Labs will be held in person in small, socially distanced groups.

“Despite the necessary adjustments, we are confident that curriculum delivery this first semester will be solid,” Boles said. “Our first cohort of students will be ready to advance through the program and toward their careers as physician assistants.”

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. granted accreditation-provisional status to the new physician assistant program in July 2020.