University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Physician Assistant Education


Dr. Laura Witte, PhD, PA-C



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review the use of pre-matriculation programs in the early educational process of various medical professionals' curricula. The goal is to examine the benefits of these programs on student success and how this could be beneficial in Physician Assistant (PA) education.

Methods: An online PubMed literature search was conducted with the terms “pre-matriculation program,” “pre-matriculation course,” and “bridge program.” Additional searches were performed in the Journal of Physician Assistant Education (JPAE) and Google Scholar with the same search terms. A total of seventeen pertinent articles were used as the basis of this article.

Results: There was a lack of research found in PA education on pre-matriculation programs and courses. Most of the research data occurred in medical school and pharmacy school education programs. These studies showed the benefits of varying length pre-matriculation programs on student success.

Conclusion: The intense pace of graduate medical programs such as PA school consistently limits students’ study time with a review of basic sciences principles due to large amounts of new medical information. Pre-matriculation programs are a logical method to improve success with students by addressing basic science principles, test-taking, and study skills that can enhance students’ understanding, performance, and later retention of knowledge. Pre-matriculation programs in PA education would likely benefit students in helping them adjust more quickly to this massive learning curve and amount of information.


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