Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP)

The Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP) is a fast-tracked, three-year medical school curriculum leading to the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) degree.

Physician Assistants (PA) undergo rigorous didactic medical curriculum, as well as at least one year of clinical rotations to obtain the entry-level master's 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 are designated as “undeclared” meaning students enrolled may take a residency of their choice. The other six slots are “primary care” requiring the student to commit to undertake a residency and practice for five years in family practice, general internal medicine, pediatrics or OB/GYN.   The APAP pathway is available at the LECOM Erie and Greensburg campuses.

Application Requirements

Applicants to the program must:

  1. Be a Certified Physician Assistant.
  2. Have a minimal GPA of 2.7.
  3. Have completed at least one physics and one organic chemistry course with lab.
  4. Have obtained a minimum of 23 on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)*
  5. Be US citizens or have permanent residency

*Recognizing that alternative measures can be used demonstrate the ability to handle challenging curriculum and that GPA is more predictive of successful completion of medical school, LECOM has started a small pilot where we now consider alternatives for outstanding applicants who have not taken MCAT. The LECOM Academic Index Score uses undergraduate and graduate GPAs in formula calculation with ACT and/or SAT Critical Reading and Math scores in consideration of offering interviews.