Maintenance window scheduled to begin at February 14th 2200 est. until 0400 est. February 15th


Forgot Password?

    Or login with Facebook
    Defense Visual Information Distribution Service Logo

    IPAP Graduates Newest Class of Physician Assistants

    IPAP Graduates Newest Class of Physician Assistants

    Photo By Randy Mitchell | Master Chief Petty Officer Lee E. Boujie, PA-Student, Naval Medical Center Camp...... read more read more



    Story by Randy Mitchell 

    Naval Medical Forces Support Command

    JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas – The Interservice Physician Assistant Program (IPAP) recently graduated Class 20-3 the last of 2021, and one that met many challenges due to COVID-19 during the 29-month long biphasic Master’s program in Physician Assistant Studies located here.

    Rear Adm. Cynthia Kuehner, commander of Naval Medical Forces Support Command, and Command Master Chief Jason Reynolds were on-hand to witness the graduation. It is the largest Physician Assistant (PA) program in the United States and enrolls approximately 250 students per year from each of the services that provide medical care, to include Marines.

    The students in Class 20-3 completed Phase 1 (approximately 64 weeks in duration) of academic instruction conducted at the Army Medical Center of Excellence, also located here, and included courses of instruction in the following: Basic sciences of anatomy, physiology, chemistry, laboratory sciences, microbiology, internal medicine, preventive medicine, pharmacology, human behavior, physical evaluation, infectious disease, neurology, dental sciences, orthopedics, obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery, dermatology and health care administration.

    The new PA candidates will now head to Phase 2 training of the program, approximately 52 weeks, which places the student/candidate into a structured clinical training environment at one of the various military, DOD or affiliated civilian medical treatment facilities. Phase 2 training includes rotations in ambulatory care, internal medicine, emergency medicine, preventive medicine and occupational health, surgery, orthopedics and podiatry, dermatology, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry, laboratory and radiology.

    Upon graduation of both phases, each student is awarded a Masters in Physician Assistant Studies and takes a national certifying examination called the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE). After passing the PANCE, each PA is now “certified” and are able to practice medicine under the supervision of a Physician.

    Thirteen Sailors and one active-duty Marine were among the graduates. The graduates will be placed in Primary Care clinics in the United States and at overseas locations with a few going to operational units that are either deployed or deployable.

    One of the Sailors that graduated is now Officer Candidate Lee E. Boujie, a Master Chief Petty Officer, who has spent a great majority of his Navy career working as a special operations independent duty corpsman serving within Marine Reconnaissance and Special Operations. Boujie will now be assigned to Camp LeJuene, N.C., where he will spend the next 13 months completing Phase II training.

    “Admittedly, there are advantages and disadvantages to coming from a medical background, but, the pressure to succeed, mental and emotional stressors are ubiquitous throughout the course,” said Boujie. “My brother passed away while I was going through IPAP, as did two other classmates loved ones. Nevertheless, IPAP kept going. Fortunately, with us being primarily online, I was able to attend my brother’s funeral and still attend class and test online.”

    Boujie found the IPAP program an incredibly demanding program—mentally, emotionally and at times, spiritually that required an incredible amount of sacrifice, focus, emotional intelligence, and aptitude no matter your background.

    “Also, no matter how comfortable one might feel their grasp of medicine is, there are multiple subjects and concepts here at IPAP that will challenge not only that command of medicine but your ability to assimilate, synthesize, understand, and demonstrate your comprehension,” added Boujie.

    Navy Medicine continues to increase Physician Assistant billets within operational units in the Navy and Marine Corps.

    “This integration of PAs into operational forces can be seen as a welcomed change when considering that IPAP takes prior enlisted some of which have served within both Navy and Marine operational units for a majority of their careers, and require little to no acclimatization to the operational lexicon, tactics, techniques or procedures, said Lt. Cmdr. Lance Beahm, Interservice Physician Assistant Program Navy Senior Service Representative.

    This shift in talent management, affords PAs & medical officers alike, with a great deal of opportunities. First, as was the intent of creating PAs, it bridges the gap in medical providers. Second, this move offers increased billet structure, diverse operational experience, and career progression. Lastly, it affords medical officers the opportunity to see a variety of sick patients (young & old), while keeping their knowledge, skills and abilities that would normally atrophy seeing predominantly healthy 20-50 year old Sailors and Marines, added Beahm.

    According to Boujie, regardless of the change, one thing remains clear. Whether you’re a physician, PA, nurse, Corpsman or civilian, our mission remains the same, caring for those who serve.

    “To this day, I still get phone calls from old teammates asking me for medical advice for them, a loved one, and their pets or to interpret a study or lab result,” said Boujie. “To some this may appear burdensome or even rude. However, I would offer that it’s when they don’t call, or ask for help, that you should do some introspection and ask yourself, why?

    “And who did they end up calling instead of you? It is a privilege and one that I have had the honor of doing for the past 20 years, both as a Hospital Corpsman, and soon to be, Naval Officer and Physician Assistant.”



    Date Taken: 12.17.2021
    Date Posted: 01.05.2022 10:34
    Story ID: 412473
    Location: SAN ANTONIO, TX, US 

    Web Views: 488
    Downloads: 0