History and Mission

The Physician Assistant Program


Our History

The Harlem Hospital Physician Assistant Program was founded in 1970 as a joint project of the Harlem Hospital Center and the Columbia University School of Public Health. Our Program is one of the oldest in the country, founded only five years after the birth of the profession. The Program was developed to train individuals with prior health care experience to practice primary care in communities of greatest need. The first class was admitted in 1971, graduating in 1973. 

In 1972, the Program developed an academic affiliation with Antioch College which continued until the New School for Social Research assumed responsibility from 1974-1978. In 1978, the Program partnered with the Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education of the City College of New York (CCNY) and now is The CUNY School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program.



Our Mission

The mission of The City University of New York School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program is to improve the health of underserved communities and to eliminate healthcare disparity by providing increased access to physician assistant education to students from traditionally underserved populations. Through education and mentoring, we will create a highly skilled workforce that provides primary health services to the communities of greatest need.

Meeting Our Mission



CUNY School of Medicine working Alumni

The CUNY School of Medicine PA Program encourages graduates to practice primary care in health workforce shortage communities.  The PA program is located within the Central Harlem Community and fosters a strong connection between students and the surrounding community and healthcare institutions.


CUNY School of Medicine PA Alumni

The CUNY School of Medicine PA Program is a mission-driven program, attracting students with a commitment to providing excellent care in underrepresented areasIn a recent survey of five alumni classes nearly half of responding graduates work in underserved areas.



Last Updated: 04/27/2020 16:34