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Applicants flood Penn State Medicine's new physician assistant program

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More than 1,900 people applied for 30 slots in a physician assistant program that starts in May, Penn State College of Medicine said.

This will be the first class of the 24-month graduate program, which will emphasize preparing students to provide preventive health care services and care for both acute and chronic disease. Physician assistants are licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of physicians.

"Our new PA program will prepare a pool of diverse and dedicated professionals for careers in providing high quality patient-centered care," Dr. Terry Wolpaw, vice dean for educational affairs, said in a news release. "The program will also enhance collaboration at the College of Medicine, bringing opportunities for students in all of our programs to learn about, from and with each other."

The college said those who have been accepted into the program include the following:

• A four-time Olympic athlete.

• A former professional baseball player.

• Three military veterans.

• A professor from Penn State's College of Engineering.

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