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Marshall’s first class of physician assistant students starts clinical rotations

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The first class of students in the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Physician Assistant program began clinical rotations this week. Clinical rotations are the component of their education in which they participate with medical care teams in multiple medical specialties such as pediatrics, internal medicine and other disciplines.

“It felt like a dream, and my jaw actually hurt from all the smiling I was doing under my mask,” said Mackenzie Galli, class of 2023, from Allentown, Pennsylvania. "Our instructors in the program prepared me for today, and I can’t thank them enough. I am eager to continue learning and growing throughout rotations.”

Chosen from a competitive group of nearly 600 applicants, the 25 students began the 28-month program in January 2021. Due to COVID-19, lectures were initially virtual, and labs were conducted in small, socially distanced groups. After completing four semesters of rigorous academic work that incorporated patient experiences at the Hershel “Woody” Williams VA Medical Center in Huntington, they begin rotations in Marshall Health clinics in the Marshall University Medical Center and Marshall Health – Teays Valley location.

“I am beyond proud and confident in the ability of these students,” said Ginger Boles, M.S., PA-C, founding director of the physician assistant program. “Their dedication, work ethic and professional drive will serve them well as they go through clinical rotations and continue on to graduation in 2023.” 

The U.S. Bureau for Labor Statistics projects physician assistant employment growth of more than 30 percent in this decade.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to this program, which appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

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Contact: Michele McKnight, Assistant Director of External Affairs, Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy, 304-691-1713


Date Posted: Friday, May 13, 2022