VA Boston Healthcare System


Veteran to Physician Assistant Pilot Program

Program Director – Laura Fiore PA-C MPAS


VA Boston currently has a well-established Physician Assistant training program affiliated with several local academic centers. The VA Boston PA Training Program, provides direct clinical training opportunities to over 185 PA trainees annually and is currently partnered with five accredited PA training programs and are supportive of this initiative.


Veterans Caring for Veterans

An important and exciting opportunity exists at the VA Boston Healthcare System working with our Veterans interested in a career as a Physician Assistant.


The program addresses two of the country’s critical needs:


  1.  A shortage of Primary Care and Mental Health providers/physician assistants

  2.  Serious employment and career development challenges for veterans that have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan.


Who is eligible?

This program is open to those Veterans whom have already been accepted into one of our 5 Boston area PA Program affiliates and place them in a VA focused clinical experience at VA Boston.


We are also looking to assist Veterans who are interested in a career as a PA but do not currently meet the minimum criteria for application into an accredited PA Program. We are here to help and have a team of VA faculty whom are our veteran mentors and affiliate institutions faculty who will be able to provide specific guidance as to the educational requirements as it relates to the successful submission of a CASPA application, PA Program interview and the acceptance process.


You may meet one of the following phases in the path to becoming a Physician Assistant!

On-Line Program

Veterans who have not completed PA Program pre-requisites or a BA/BS degree


- Offer PA Program entry level pre-requisite online via a partnering PA program affiliate

-Offer Bridge Program for BS degree for entry into Master’s level PA program


-Mentoring at local VA medical facility in pre- PA student phase and preliminary acceptance into Veteran to PA Program

Unique Educational Components


  1. Clinical practicum experiences may begin in year 1 of the PA program at VA Boston Healthcare System with experienced VA faculty Veteran mentors.

  2. A preparatory-PA training program to be offered by PA Program affiliates providing online pre-requisite coursework concurrent with the mentoring program at local VA facility for students accepted into pre-PA phase of program.

  3. Veteran PA Applicants who meet the minimum PA Program pre-requisites to be granted automatic interview with selected PA Program affiliates.

  4. Veteran PA students enrolled in program will be offered a minimum of 3 clinical rotations at VA Boston up to maximum of 6 during the clinical year. Stipends to be granted based on funding availability.

  5. Seek opportunities for clinical practicum sites to be expanded to other VA facilities in VISN 1 where the students reside.



For questions related to this program please contact:

*When applicable based on institutional review, Veteran candidates may be eligible to receive college credits for military/life experience as well as applicable college credits via ACES program.


Benefits of the Veteran to PA Program

Veterans and the VHA are the direct beneficiaries of this unique program.

  • Partnering Veteran PA Students with experienced VA Clinical Faculty and PA Program Veteran Mentors throughout Veterans PA Education

  • Locating additional academic and financial resources available to Veterans to increase PA Program enrollment opportunities.

    • On-line pre-requisites offered by partnered institutions

    • ACES – College credit for Military coursework and certifications

    • Yellow Ribbon Program offered by Academic Affiliates

    • Office of Academic Administration Stipend Program

  • Veterans Preference - Increased employment opportunities within VHA

Pathway I

Veteran PA Student

Veterans who have completed  a BA/BS degree with all completed PA Program entry level pre-requisite credits enabling them to start immediately upon acceptance by accredited PA Program


- Mentoring at local VA medical facility upon entry into PA Program

Pathway II

Bridge Program 

Veterans who have completed PA Program entry level pre-requisites who need to obtain a BS degree for entry into Master’s level PA Program -


- Mentoring at local VA medical facility upon acceptance into Veteran to PA Program

Pathway III

Program Director – Laura Fiore PA-C MPAS

© 2017 by Thomas Fohr