New Physician Assistant program at Marshall University earns accreditation-provisional status

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted accreditation-provisional status to the new Physician Assistant program at Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine.

Accreditation-provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation- provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class, or cohort, of students.

“Accreditation is a critical step in establishing a strong, quality Physician Assistant program,” said Program Director Ginger Boles, M.S., PA-C. “I am proud of the group of talented individuals we have brought together as principal faculty in this new program at Marshall University. We were pleased with our site visit in March 2020 and confident in our ability to showcase the program we’ve established. Now, our undivided attention turns toward completing our first application cycle and welcoming the first class of students in January 2021.”

Marshall’s Physician Assistant program, 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.

“We intentionally built this program as part of our medical school using the medical school training model because physicians and physician assistants work so closely as part of a health care team, especially in rural settings,” said Bobby L. Miller, M.D., vice dean of medical education at the School of Medicine. “Shared faculty, collaboration and joint clinical rotations will go a long way in helping prepare both our physician assistant and medical students for the real-world experiences that lie ahead.”

Applications for enrollment must be submitted online through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants ( and verified by Oct. 1, 2020. 


Photo: Pictured left to right are members of the faculty and staff of Marshall University’s Physician Assistant program—Benjamin Spurlock, M.S., PA-C, principal faculty; Denise Chambers, M.S., PA-C, principal faculty and clinical skills director; K. Dean Wright, MPAS, PA-C, clinical coordinator; Ginger Boles, M.S., PA-C, program director; Diana Maue, program manager; and Kimberly Brooks, administrative assistant. Not pictured is Medical Director Stephen L. Wilson, M.D.

Date Posted: Monday, July 20, 2020