Holistic Admissions and Underrepresented Minorities in Physician Assistant Programs

Bettie Coplan, Michael Todd, James Stoehr, Gerri Lamb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this study was to assess holistic review use in physician assistant (PA) programs and determine whether a relationship between holistic review and underrepresented minority (URM) matriculation exists.MethodsUsing data from the 2016-2017 Physician Assistant Education Association annual survey of PA programs, we examined the frequency of holistic review use across PA programs. Bivariate correlation analyses and binary logistic regression were used to examine relationships between holistic review practices and program percentages of first-year underrepresented racial and ethnic minority students.ResultsMost PA programs (169/219 [77.2%]) reported using holistic review, and its use modestly correlated with percentage of students who were underrepresented racial minorities (rho = 0.16, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.02-0.30) or Hispanic (rho = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.06-0.33). Using several holistic review elements related to program commitment to diversity modestly correlated with percentage of students who were underrepresented racial minorities (rho = 0.25, 95% CI = 0.10-0.39) or African American (rho = 0.20, 95% CI = 0.04-0.34). Additionally, the odds of a first-year student being an underrepresented racial or ethnic minority were slightly higher in PA programs using holistic review (OR = 1.56, 95% CI = 1.23-1.99 and OR 1.33, 95% CI = 1.09-1.62, respectively).ConclusionsPA program use of holistic review practices was modestly associated with percentage of URM students. Further research is needed to identify elements that are most effective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-19
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Volume32
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medical Assisting and Transcription

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