Assessment of the Diversity and Inclusion Culture in a Physician Assistant Program

Lori Parlin Palfreyman, Jennifer Joseph, James Scott Parrott

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: Physician assistant (PA) programs aim to foster a collaborative culture that enables stakeholders to feel included, empowered, and valued. The purpose of this study was to explore the cultural climate of diversity and inclusion in one PA program to identify areas of strength and to serve as a baseline needs assessment for future program initiatives. METHODS: The study used a cross-sectional, descriptive approach for PA survey data (N = 85) to assess perceptions of diversity and inclusion of PA program students, faculty, and staff. RESULTS: The respondents largely agreed that the program created an inclusive learning environment (92%), the curriculum positively affected their understanding of diversity and cultural responsiveness (84.6%), and the program had an adequate amount of inclusivity for all program stakeholders (87%). Some faculty members (25%) and students (6.2%) disagreed that faculty were open to diverse political beliefs, and 35% of the respondents believed that more emphasis could be put on religious diversity. A few students (7.7%) perceived faculty as not supportive of non-native English language speakers; students of color (11.5%) were more likely than White students (5.1%) to have this perception. CONCLUSIONS: This study largely met the goal to create a professional environment of mutual respect and, ultimately, a climate of inclusiveness. It also identified opportunities for new initiatives to meet the needs of all program stakeholders. Follow-up research that distinguishes faculty from students and a multicenter study to explore perspectives based on demographic differences would be timely and useful.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)164-170
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Physician Assistant Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Assessment of the Diversity and Inclusion Culture in a Physician Assistant Program'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this