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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Health Workforce

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Helping Veterans Become Physician Assistants

How It Works

Helping veterans with medical training transition to the civilian healthcare workforce addresses two issues: creating a primary healthcare workforce equal to the nation's needs and assisting those who sacrificed so much for America to find a job worthy of their talents.

To make it easier for veterans to leverage their military medical training to become physician assistants, HRSA is giving additional review points to applicants that can demonstrate strategies to helping veterans enter, succeed in, and graduate from their education programs.

HRSA is working to identify and help replicate model programs that offer expedited curricula, enhanced recruitment, retention, and mentoring services for veterans and will provide technical assistance to the nation's 164 accredited physician assistant education programs. We intend to increase the number of HRSA grantees with veteran activities starting with the FY2012 competition, pending available funds.  

Physician Assistant Training Grant Programs

In FY 2010 and 2011, HRSA awarded 57 new grants that will invest $45 million by 2016 to help accredited physician assistant education programs introduce new quality curricula.  Seven of these grantees have enhanced recruitment, retention and/or mentoring services for veterans and 23 are located within 100 miles of a military base.

In FY 12, HRSA awarded thirteen new grants to accredited physician assistant education programs.  In the first of these grants’ five year project period, HRSA invested $2.5 million. Eleven of the new grant awards have recruitment, retention, and mentoring activities targeting veterans.  Many have relationships with regional military and/or veteran facilities, use Veterans Affairs community assessment data, and provide student clinical experiences at military or veterans’ hospitals and clinics.

Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project collects, preserves, and makes accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans so that future generations may hear directly from veterans and better understand the realities of war. You can help.