The need for greater diversity in the PA profession

Bettie Coplan, Shani Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Leading organizations committed to improving health and healthcare in the United States agree that a more diverse healthcare workforce is needed to combat widespread disparities affecting underrepresented minority and underserved populations. Until the 1990s, a higher proportion of underrepresented minorities entered PA programs than other healthcare professions programs, such as medical school. However, in recent years, the PA profession has struggled to increase diversity among its ranks. This article reviews the rationale for greater diversity in the PA workforce, discusses the obstacles that underrepresented minority students and PA educators face, and makes recommendations to address diversity. The PA profession's rapid growth presents an opportunity to expedite change through community outreach, sustained commitment to diversity, research, and policy change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-58
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Physician Assistants
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • PA
  • diversity
  • healthcare workforce
  • racial
  • underrepresented minority
  • underserved

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nurse Assisting


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