Evaluation of a diversity intervention funded by Title VII

J Physician Assist Educ. 2010;21(4):4-17. doi: 10.1097/01367895-201021040-00001.


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to evaluate an intervention intended to make an impact in heightening the cultural training of health care-focused high school and physician assistant (PA) students, increasing the number of underrepresented minority faculty and preceptors, and increasing the number of minority/disadvantaged applicants and ultimately graduates from the PA program.

Methods: A parsimonious design was developed to assess program components, including PA student instruction of leading health indicator/career information in low-income high schools; affiliating with a diverse faculty; implementing a PA race-neutral application process; and PA student retention activities.

Results: The ability of the project to strengthen and expand the cultural training of health care students was demonstrated in the number of participants (high school students [n = 549]; PA students [n = 163]) in the diversity intervention. The scores from the leading health indicator and health care career knowledge tests were above average among high school students. The cultural competency evaluation indicated PA student awareness of health disparities before and after the intervention. Thirty-five percent of each PA class received exposure to underrepresented minority clinicians. The underrepresented and disadvantaged applicant pool increased during the grant project. The number of accepted underrepresented minority matriculates was maintained.

Conclusions: The project was successful in terms of heightening the training of health care students as measured by the number of participants and their performance on surveys. Exposure of PA students to underrepresented minority faculty was limited. The number of underrepresented minorities increased in the applicant pool; however, the number of underrepresented minorities accepted remained constant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Career Choice
  • Cultural Competency / education*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Physician Assistants / education*
  • Program Evaluation