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MU School of Medicine announces director for new physician assistant program

November 13, 2018

HUNTINGTON — Ginger Boles will join the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine as director of its new physician assistant program, the university announced last week.

“Physician assistants are one of the fastest growing professions in the country and often serve as the front-line primary care provider in rural and underserved communities,” said Dr. Bobby Miller, vice dean for medical student education at the School of Medicine. “We are thrilled to bring Ginger on board and soon offer physician assistant education at Marshall.”

Physician assistants are medical professionals who examine, diagnose and treat patients. According to the American Academy of Physician Assistants, 75 percent of physician assistants receive multiple job offers upon graduation.

“We strive to train a medical workforce that serves Appalachia’s unique health care challenges,” said Dr. Joseph Shapiro, dean of the school of medicine. “This new program supports that mission.”

Before joining Marshall, Boles served as the physician assistant residency training director at the Louis A. Johnson Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Clarksburg, West Virginia; the program director and clinical coordinator for the physician assistant program at Alderson Broaddus University in Philippi, West Virginia; and the physician assistant clinical education coordinator at Charleston Area Medical Center. Boles has been a certified physician assistant since 1993 and worked in that role at Stonewall Jackson Memorial Hospital, CAMC, West Virginia University’s J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, Thomas Memorial Hospital and St. Francis Hospital. Boles has her master’s and bachelor of science degrees from Alderson Broaddus University.

“I’ve lived in West Virginia most of my life and have spent much of my career involved with physician assistant education,” Boles said. “I am excited to join the Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and coordinate the development of its new physician assistant program.”

The Marshall Board of Governors approved the new program in April. The goal is to have 20 students in the first class in January 2020. Ten students would be added to the class the subsequent years until there are 50 students a year.

The physician assistant program will include both didactic and clinical components and take approximately 27 months to complete. Graduates of the program will receive a master of medical science, physician assistant.

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