Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP)
LECOM now offers an opportunity for Certified Physician Assistants (PA-C) to earn the osteopathic medical degree in three years.
The Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP) is a fast-tracked, three-year medical school curriculum leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Students accepted for APAP who interested in pursuing a primary care specialty, such as family practice and general internal medicine, must make a commitment to completing an osteopathic internship and residency upon graduation.
Physician Assistants undergo rigorous didactic medical curriculum, as well as at least one year of clinical rotations to obtain the entry-level masters degree for the profession. Some PAs express a desire to return to medical school, citing the desire to practice independently, the need for professional growth and development, the need for increased medical knowledge and the ability to do more for their patients as reasons to do so. Cost and time away from clinical practice are identified as major barriers. By accelerating the medical school curriculum to three years instead of four years, LECOM reduces the cost and time away from clinical practice for PA-Cs within this pathway by one quarter.
APAP currently has 12 slots for this pathway. Six slots will be designated as primary care (family practice, general internal medicine, pediatrics or OB/GYN). Participants will be required to complete osteopathic primary care internship and residency upon graduation. The APAP pathway is available at the Erie and Greensburg campuses.
Applicants to the program must:
- Be Certified Physician Assistants.
- Have obtained a minimum of 23 on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).
- Have a minimal GPA of 2.7.
- Complete an osteopathic residency
- Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine