The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2019 American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Meeting (AAPA 2019) in Denver, Colorado. Clinical Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading physician assistants. Check back for the latest news from AAPA 2019.


Physician assistant (PA) students who are men or from an underrepresented minority (URM) group experience more stress as well as less sense of belonging at their school than their peers, according to research presented at the American Academy of Physician Assistants 2019 annual meeting held May 18 to 22, 2019, in Denver, Colorado.

Members of the researcher team from the Physician Assistant Education Association conducted a study to assess whether gender, race, ethnicity, or student type affect students’ perceived stress or their sense of school membership.

Continue Reading

A total of 4050 matriculated students and 2718 graduating students were asked to complete the Perceived Stress Scale, short form; graduating students also completed items from the Psychological Sense of School Membership (PSSM) scale.

Women comprised approximately 75% of the population in both the matriculated and graduating groups. URMs, identified as Hispanic or white individuals of more than one race, comprised approximately 24% of the matriculated population and nearly 18% of the graduating population.

Related Articles

Results suggested that students who were men, had a URM status, or were graduates reported significantly more stress than their female, non-URM, or matriculated counterparts. Graduating students were also found to report significantly lower PSSM. No statistical significance was identified between gender and URM interactions.

“Findings are similar to patterns found among medical students and college students in the STEM field,” the authors noted.

For more coverage of AAPA 2019, click here.


Frias D, Yuen CX. Stress and belonging: differences in educational experiences among diverse PA students. Presentation at: The American Academy of Physician Assistants Annual Meeting; May 18-22, 2019; Denver, CO. Poster 277.