EXCLUSIVE: Group That Trains Physician Assistants To Be ‘Anti-Racist’ Defended Race-Based College Admissions

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Sarah Wilder Social Issues Reporter
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The group Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), which trains physician assistants (PA), held “anti-racism town halls,” according to leaked emails obtained exclusively by the Daily Caller.

PAEA is a membership-based group that represents PA educational programs. The group conducts learning programs at schools that train PAs across the country, including various professional development workshops.

The anti-racism events took place in September and provided “a space for PA students, faculty, and staff to share their stories, experiences, and feelings on racism that continues to pervade the fabric of the country,” according to an email.

“In 2021 and 2022, participants offered important solutions for creating a more inclusive culture and safer learning environments for minoritized PA educators and students. We are excited to continue the conversation and create opportunities for dialogue this year,” an event description reads.

The group has an outspoken commitment to “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” offering a toolkit to medical organizations eager to, “meet the diversity and inclusion accreditation standard.” Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) introduced a “Diversity Standard” for PA schools to comply with in 2020. (RELATED: Here’s How Universities Plan To Skirt The Supreme Court’s Likely Ban On Race-Based Admissions)

PAEA was outspoken against the Supreme Court’s ruling against affirmative action in Students for Fair Admission v. Harvard, expressing “profound disappointment,” in an email seen by the Caller.

“As advocates for equitable access to education and a diverse health workforce, we firmly believe that race-conscious admissions policies are essential for creating a level playing field and dismantling systemic barriers that have historically marginalized underrepresented groups.”

Laura Morgan, program manager at Do No Harm, told the Daily Caller that PAEA’s focus on alleged racism would do nothing to help address the lack of “qualified providers in many parts of the country.”

“Because they often work in areas where resources are limited, PAs really have to know their stuff,” she said. “This means it is vital for their training programs to focus on admitting the best candidates who have earned their way into the program based on their academic merit and achievements rather than identity politics. Their future patients are far more interested in knowing that their PAs are knowledgeable about how to diagnose and treat their medical problems than about how many ‘anti-racism town halls’ they attended.”

PAEA did not immediately respond to the Caller’s request for comment.