Primary Care Physician Assistant Program Director

March 17, 2022
Priority Deadline to Apply:
June 10, 2022
University of Southern California

Position Description

University of Southern California, in partnership with the national search firm Scott Healy & Associates, invites applications and nominations for the position of Primary Care Physician Assistant Program Director. The Director of the Physician Assistant Program reports directly to the Chair of the Department of Family Medicine and to the Vice-Dean for Health and Biomedical Sciences Education. This position is a 12-month administrative position with a faculty appointment through the Keck School of Medicine. The PA Program Director serves on the Department of Family Medicine’s leadership committee and may serve on various University and School Committees. The Program Director is responsible to lead the PA Program through the accreditation process with the ARC-PA.

The Program Director is responsible for leadership of the PA Program, its faculty, and students. The program is comprised of a medical director, twelve full-time principal faculty; two part-time instructional faculty; thirteen professional full time staff positions including a Director of Admissions; Director of Operations; a Clinical Education Administrator; and a part time Communications Strategist, and 60 students in each of three classes.


Enrollment Planning and Management:

  • Oversee the management of a recruitment and retention strategy for marketing the program to graduate students including a comprehensive focus on best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in alignment with the sponsoring institution
  • Oversee the management of the admissions process which includes systems for collecting and processing applications, offering selected student’s interviews, actual interview of students, offers of acceptance, and matriculation data management
  • Prepare enrollment projections
  • Meet with potential applicants during recruitment events
  • Oversee the website and ensure it contains pertinent information regarding the program, pre-requisite courses, health care experience requirements, and academic requirements (science GPA, overall GPA, and scores of standardized examinations) including all ARC-PA required components as per the 5th edition of the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education
  • Manage the matriculation process to ensure a well-qualified, diverse class of graduate students
  • Oversee scholarship awards and identify new opportunities for scholarship funds including donor relations, grants, and external scholarships

Budget Planning, Development, and Management:

  • Work with the Department of Family Medicine finance team to develop an annual budget and make appropriate suggestions for having sufficient resources for program operation
  • Develop capital expenditure plan, prioritize, and recommend acquisitions when appropriate
  • Work with members of the Department of Family Medicine and the Keck School of Medicine in the area of shared resources whenever possible
  • Recommend facilities modifications and renovations
  • Identify and seek external funding and grants, whenever possible

Management of Program Affairs:

  • In conjunction with the PA faculty and staff, establish program mission, goals, vision, and program competencies for successful program completion
  • Responsible for the recruitment/retention, orientation, and supervision of the medical director, program principal and instructional faculty, and administrative support staff
  • Conduct faculty/staff meetings and establish committees, as needed
  • Ensure that proper databases, records, and documents are maintained and updated, as needed
  • Ensure appropriate safety measures are implemented in all locations where instruction occurs
  • In conjunction with the Department of Family Medicine Merit Review Committee, participate in the evaluation of program personnel with respect to annual performance goals and job descriptions
  • Ensure that all PA personnel and student policies are consistent with federal and state statutes, rules, and regulations
  • Oversee and assist in the securing and maintaining of clinical affiliates
  • Ensure that equipment and facilities are maintained
  • Submit an Annual Accreditation Report to the Chair, Department of Family Medicine

Academic Leadership:

  • Teach appropriate courses within the PA Program
  • Ensure curriculum/program revision and update to keep pace with technologic and scientific advances, current PA standards of practice, and educational theory/practice
  • Support the ongoing faculty promotion process by establishing goals and providing appropriate support in achieving those goals annually
  • Assign/approve non-instructional activities for faculty
  • Promote academic excellence and innovation and ensure program meets/exceeds accreditation standards
  • Oversee the tracking of enrolled and graduating students consistent with ARC-PA requirements
  • Manage/develop accreditation documents including the annual report and any required documents for ongoing self-study or accreditation site visits

Personal and Professional Leadership:

  • Set personal and professional goals and encourage program personnel to do the same
  • Encourage community and professional service
  • Demonstrate computer and audiovisual literacy
  • Maintain clinical competency
  • Balance teaching role with other responsibilities

Student Service:

  • Provide leadership for student recruitment, selection, advising, teaching, assessment, and retention
  • Oversee/update didactic and clinical student manuals along with appropriate program personnel when required

Represent the Program to External and Internal Constituencies:

  • Represent the program at university/medical center functions
  • Initiate and maintain liaison with external agencies and institutions
  • Represent the program to the lay and professional community
  • Facilitate alumni relations


Successful applicants will display strong leadership, organization, budget development, and communication skills, as well as technology literacy, interpersonal ability, time management and self-motivation. In addition, successful candidates will demonstrate evidence of working successfully with diverse populations and meet the following: 

Required Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree from an accredited Physician Assistant Program;
  • At least three years of experience in higher education;
  • Must hold current or emeritus status certification by NCCPA;
  • Eligible for licensure in California; and
  • Leadership and administrative experience in higher education.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Doctoral degree from an accredited institution
  • Successful track record in PA education
  • Proven success in the recruitment/retention of diverse faculty, staff, and students
  • Proven commitment to gender equity and diversity, equity, and inclusion

About The Institution

About the PA Program: The Primary Care Physician Assistant (PA) Program is a U.S. News & World Report top 10 academic professional graduate program within the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, a leading private research university. It has a rich 50-year history of recruiting, educating, and graduating a diverse group of students. Located in Alhambra, CA, at The Alhambra, a lush campus, the program enjoys a supportive institution with a strong medical school and top-tier research facilities. PA students are welcomed within the institutional teaching hospitals including the LAC+USC Medical Facility, which is a world-class teaching hospital with a Level-One trauma center, Keck Medical Center of USC, the USC Norris Cancer Hospital, and an assortment of other top-tier teaching hospitals and private practices located throughout Los Angeles and Orange County.

About The Department of Family Medicine: The Department of Family Medicine at the Keck School of Medicine of USC combines excellence in medical care with social justice. It is our mission to drive innovation in research, education, clinical care and public health with respect, compassion and joy. We do this in partnership with diverse individuals, families and communities we serve. Established in 1983, the Department of Family Medicine has grown as leaders in primary care including our work focus on research, medical education, physician assistant studies, student health and our clinical family medicine practice. The Department has most recently grown to include the Keck Street Medicine Program and a newly established Family Medicine Residency at Keck Medicine. 

The National Center on Elder Abuse, the only center of its kind in the U.S., is based at the Department of Family Medicine, with Laura Mosqueda, MD, at its helm.  As the number of older adults continues to grow in California, the Department of Family Medicine is one of the leaders in training primary care providers in quality care for geriatric patients. With an award of $3.75 million from the Health Resources and Services Administration, they are addressing the health and wellness needs of culturally diverse and low-income older adults living in Los Angeles.

Our providers see patients at several locations, Keck Medical Center, Pasadena, Arcadia, USC Verdugo Hills Hospital and Downtown Los Angeles. Their quality care includes acute care, annual visits, asthma and allergy care, diagnostic testing, geriatric medicine, immunizations, health screenings, nutrition, weight management and women’s health.  The Primary Care Physician Assistant Program ranked No. 1 in California and No. 10 nationally in physician assistant programs in the 2020 U.S. News & World Report “Best Graduate Schools” rankings.

Our research team is ranked in the Top 10 for National Institute of Health funding with a commitment to pursuing the important research questions that help us understand how to best care for and protect the most vulnerable among us.

About the Keck School of Medicine: The Keck School of Medicine is home to over 1200 medical students and 1700 doctoral and master’s biomedical sciences students at their Health Sciences Campus in East Los Angeles and Health Sciences Alhambra campus in Alhambra, CA. It is home to Keck School of Medicine of USC Street Medicine, which was developed in the Division of PA Studies with the Department of Family Medicine. Directed by Brett Feldman, MSPAS, PA-C, the street medicine teams provide primary care services to the unhoused individuals experiencing homelessness in the streets of Los Angeles County.

About University of Southern California: The University of Southern California is a leading research university with nearly 50,000 students and 26,137 faculty, staff, and student workers. Located in the heart of LA, the University Park campus features classic architecture, park-like grounds, museums, cafés, entertainment and more. The institution houses 22 exceptional schools including the Keck School of Medicine in which the PA program is housed. The university is a world leader in sustainability and environmental support and it enjoys the rich outcomes of its top 5 ranked School of Cinematic Arts and Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. The institution has enjoyed over 80 Academy Award Winners in Hollywood and over 114 gold medals from the Olympics. In fact, USC has produced more Olympians, overall medalists, and gold medalists than any other university in the United States. USC’s neighbors include world-renowned cultural institutions and sports and entertainment venues.

About The Community

About Los Angeles, California: Los Angeles is a sprawling Southern California city and the center of the nation’s film and television industry. However, that isn’t the only thing it has to offer. Los Angeles is home to renowned museums, unique hotels, diverse experiences and 75 miles of sunny coastline. LA is aplenty with innovative food expereinces, waterfalls, and hiking trails. The best way to experience LA is by exploring all of the vibrant multicultural neighborhoods.

Application Process

All correspondence relating to the position of Primary Care Physician Assistant Program Director should be directed in confidence to the University’s executive recruitment consultant:

Christopher S. Healy, President
Scott Healy & Associates

The full and complete application should contain the following information: 

  1. A cover letter outlining your experience as it relates to this position.
  2. A complete CV highlighting your career in higher education and educational credentials. 
  3. The names of three (3) professional references including their relationship to you, their position, email, and direct phone numbers.  References will not be contacted without written permission.

Applications submitted by June 10, 2022, will receive priority consideration. This search will remain open until the position is filled.

The University of Southern California strongly values diversity and is committed to equal opportunity in employment. Women and men, and members of all racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.