Project Access Toolkit

Project Access is an outreach recruitment program that aims to encourage high school students from underrepresented minoritized groups to consider the PA profession as a career. Our primary goal is to increase the number of underrepresented PAs, provide more accessible primary care, and eliminate health disparities. We aim to help students become competitive candidates for PA programs by preparing them early in their education.

Project Access: My PA Path with Alicia Bolden, DMSc, MPH, PA-C

Frequently Asked Questions

Underrepresented minoritized groups in medicine (URMs), are individuals who are underrepresented in medicine compared to their population in the United States — particularly African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Native Americans.

Together, these groups make up nearly a quarter of the U.S. population today and are expected to make up a third of the population within 30 years — but only 7% of physicians and 12-13% of PAs are from one of these groups.

Individuals from economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds are also disproportionately underrepresented in the medical profession.

We would like a diverse profession and encourage students of all backgrounds to consider the PA profession as an option for them. We are trying to actively recruit from underrepresented in medicine groups because they are much less represented in the PA profession, and the PA profession itself is less well known in medically underserved communities.

The short duration of the program (26 months average) and lower cost (<$90,000), also makes the profession more viable to people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Our country is growing more diverse every day, and it’s becoming especially important for clinicians to provide culturally responsive health care. Although all clinicians aim for cultural competency, underrepresented in medicine PAs and physicians are more likely to provide that care.

Underserved populations in the United States have many reasons why they have less access to quality health care and are more likely to experience health disparities compared to white Americans on nearly every health indicator, including health care coverage, life expectancy, and disease rates. Studies show minoritized PAs and physicians are more likely than white physicians to practice in medically underserved areas, and they are more likely to care for underserved, poor, underinsured, and uninsured people.

Our main goal is to help students understand that people of color are needed and can succeed in the PA profession. Bring in a few medical props from your practice and try to share your experiences about getting into a PA program and practicing medicine. You’ll need at least 20 minutes, but no more than an hour. Work together with the school and teachers to find a time frame that works best for them and their students.


Did you just do a Project Access event in your city? Please share and provide feedback on your experience through this form!