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Mounting Interest in the COM’s new Physician Assistant Program

May 3, 2013

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Classes won’t start until the fall of 2015, but already the College of Medicine’s new Physician Assistant Program is drawing interest.

Nearly 300 prospective applicants turned out for the program’s first open house held April 12 over two sessions at the FIU Stadium Club. They heard from Dr. Pedro Gutierrez, associate dean and founding chair for the PA school; Dr. Sheldon Cherry, medical director of the PA school, and PAs Cecilio Padron and Ivan Baez who provided first-hand accounts of what it’s like to practice one of the most popular professions in the country.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that PAs will be the second-fastest-growing profession in the next decade, with employment of physician assistants expected to increase 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. In 2012, Forbes magazine rated the Physician Assistant Degree as the number one Master's Degree for jobs.

By combining the present medical model and utilizing some of the same resources already in place, the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine will be able to help meet the upcoming demand for health care providers while at the same time creating a collaborative College of Medicine/Physician Assistant Program which will be unique in the nation. And, FIU will be able to partner with other local institutions of higher learning, to help them breach the gap to award a Master’s degree level to their students.

For more information contact Jessica Bertematti at 305.348.6567 | E-mail: