Featured Associate: University of Maryland Baltimore

The University of Maryland Baltimore (UMB) Physician Assistant (PA) program welcomed its 2024 cohort and their families to campus in early June, marking a new era for the 27-year legacy program. These 40 students are the first PA class that will be trained on UMB’s campus for the entirety of the 25-month, 116-credit hour program.

The program, first accredited with Anne Arundel Community College (AACC) in 1996 and graduating its first cohort in 1998, began its transition to UMB in 2014. The UMB Graduate School partnered with AACC creating a collaborative PA Program that was deliberate and intentional in its transition, changing sponsorship from AACC to UMB January 1, 2020. The partnership between institutions came to a bittersweet close June 30, 2022, with the ARC-PA formally approving the program as the UMB PA Program July 1, 2022.

Students in the 2024 cohort participated in a comprehensive 2-day orientation that included campus tours, opportunities to meet PA faculty and staff, and an overview of life as a PA student. On the second day of orientation, students were joined by their families for a celebration of the start of their new journey. Students, families, faculty and staff enjoyed a cookout on the lawn of Pharmacy Hall, where the students will attend classes.

As students arrived on campus and classes got underway, Program Director Dr. Cherilyn Hendrix expressed her amazement at the growth of the program over the years, reflecting on her longtime involvement and the progress she has seen. Dr. Hendrix’s leadership role dates back to her time as a student in the program, when she was selected as Class President of the 2003 cohort, later joining the faculty in 2008 and returning as Program Director in 2017 to lead the transition to UMB. Reflecting on this transition, Dr. Hendrix noted that the future of the program is incredibly bright: “Workforce development is key in Maryland, and our program is well-positioned to continue to be a national leader in producing PA graduates. From my humble beginnings as a PA student, to now as an Assistant Dean and Program Director of this very program, I would not want to be anywhere else.”

For more information on the University of Maryland Baltimore PA Program, please click here.