Additional Contact Information

If you have questions regarding course requirements, you may contact: Online Reference Resources
  • Foothill College Online Library
  • Foothill College Online Library Internet Resources & Tools
  • Reference to common units of measure
  • Conversions between many common units of measure
  • Medline
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Consultant Diagnostic Database Cornell University
  • Cornell University CONSULTANT
Important Contacts

Please refer to: PCA Program, Stanford University Medical Center

Brochures may be obtained fromĘthe Primary Care Associate Program:
Stanford University, School of Medicine
1215 Welch Rd, Modular G
Palo Alto, CA 94305-5408

Phone: (650) 725-6959
Fax Number: (650) 723-9692

Primary Care Website

Please visit: for current information on our the program or view the Information Sessions link:

The Primary Care Associate Program, cooperatively administered by the Stanford University School of Medicine and Foothill College, prepares physician assistants to work mainly with primary care physicians who care for under served populations. The curriculum also includes limited training in hospitals and sub specialties.

Physician assistants (PAs) work with physicians as part of a health-care team. They help improve the quality of and access to primary care for areas and populations designated as being under served. The Program's curriculum emphasizes the skills necessary to recognize and treat common primary care problems which include acute, chronic, emergent or surgical conditions in patients of all ages. Our students are trained to:

  • Evaluate the health status of patients
  • Diagnose and treat common illnesses
  • Manage stable chronic diseases
  • Deliver preventive care
  • Counsel individuals on family, psycho social, and health-related problems

The Program trains all students for practice as physician assistants. After completing the entire curriculum, a Certificate of Clinical Achievement is awarded to successful students at graduation.

The Primary Care Associate Program's mission is to train PAs for practice in primary care and under served communities and to increase the enrollment and deployment of under-represented minorities, while being responsive to internal and external community needs..


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About the Primary Care Associate Program

The Primary Care Associate Program offers students a 21-month curriculum that combines the traditional concepts of physician assistant training.

Founded in 1971, the seven-quarter Primary Care Associate Program features full-time classroom training during its first and second quarter and emphasizes clinical training during the remaining four quarters. History-taking, physical examination skills, basic laboratory techniques, common diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as patient counseling and education skills are important parts of the curriculum.

After an intensive course in physical diagnosis, students participate in lectures and clinical experiences in general medicine, pharmacology, emergency medicine, pediatrics, women's health, geriatrics, and behavioral science. Students are required to make special arrangements to participate in a surgery rotation. In addition, the Program includes a multicultural lecture series in social, economic, and health issues within the Latino, African-American, Asian, and American Indian ethnic groups. A Medical Spanish course is offered for students who already possess some proficiency in the Spanish language.

Students receive classroom instruction and can access the medical library, learning resource center and labs at Stanford University's School of Medicine. Most clinical experiences take place in community preceptorships away from the School of Medicine. Students also participate in a hospital-based inpatient rotation. View Scheudule at the following url:

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Program Emphasis

Consistent with the demands of its accelerated, integrative training curriculum and its goals to train health care providers in the delivery of primary health care services to medically underserved populations, the Primary Care Associate Program seeks applicants with:
Extensive clinical experience:

  • Background and potential for a career in primary care
  • Understanding of the Physician Assistant role
  • Levels of clinical responsibility that involve decision making
  • Job-related expertise
  • Evidence of good working relationships with other health-care team members and sensitivity in caring for diverse patients
  • Strong references from physicians and other clinical supervisors
  • Recency of clinical experience

Strong academic preparation:

  • Strong performance in admission prerequisite coursework
  • Demonstrated ability to succeed at the college level
  • Ability to learn in an accelerated, self-paced environment

Evidence of dedication to medically underserved areas and populations:

  • Prior clinical experiences with medically underserved populations (e.g., homeless, non-English-speaking, immigrant, refugee, or those with cultural or financial barriers to health-care access)
  • Employment in clinical sites geared to the underserved (e.g., county facilities, prisons, Indian Health Service clinics, community clinics, or free clinics)
  • Residence and/or employment in underserved geographic areas (e.g., inner city or rural location)
  • Ties to economically disadvantaged and/or under-represented communities
  • Language skills applicable to targeted populations
  • Community service activities related to underserved populations
  • Awareness of social issues

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Community Satellites

The Primary Care Associate Program has established community-based recruitment, admissions and preceptorships in Kern, Monterey, San Benito, Imperial, Ventura, Humbolt, and San Diego Counties with the ultimate goal of deploying graduates in these and surrounding communities.

Applicants who have a history of living in these areas and working with medically-underserved populations are welcomed to inquire about the community-based admissions process. Successful applicants admitted through community-based admissions will be required to complete preceptorships in the counties corresponding to their admission site.

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Master of Medical Science - Saint Francis University

The PCA program offers an articulation with St. Francis University's Physician Assistant Program for a Masters of Medical Science (MMS) degree.

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Primary Care Associate Program
1215 Welch Rd, Modular G
Palo Alto, CA 94305-5408

Office: 650-725-6959
Fax: 650-723-9692


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