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AF selects 50 physician assistant training program candidates

Back in 1966, the lack of medical doctors in both the military and civilian health care systems led to the development of the physician assistant. Today, the Interservice Physician Assistant Program provides the uniformed services with highly competent and compassionate physician assistants. Fifty active-duty Airmen were just selected as candidates for the training program. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

Back in 1966, the lack of medical doctors in both the military and civilian health care systems led to the development of the physician assistant. Today, the Interservice Physician Assistant Program provides the uniformed services with highly competent and compassionate physician assistants. Fifty active-duty Airmen were just selected as candidates for the training program. (U.S. Air Force courtesy photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-RANDOLPH, Texas -- The Air Force has selected 50 active-duty Airmen for the Interservice Physician Assistant Program, with the first phase of training to begin in August at Fort Sam Houston. 

The IPAP mission is to educate and train physician assistants for the uniformed services. The 29-month program is open to enlisted, officers and U.S. Air Force Academy and Reserve Officer Training Corps cadets. 

“Our graduates are commissioned into the officer corps and take their place beside other military health care professionals in providing medical services to active-duty military personnel, their dependents and retirees,” said Michelle Cardassi, Air Force Personnel Center Biomedical Sciences Corps education manager. 

The military services combined their various physician assistant programs to form the IPAP in 1996 at the Army Medical Department Center and School on Fort Sam Houston. The program includes 16 months of academic training followed by 13 months of “clerkship” at a military medical facility. 

“Graduates of the program also earn a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree from their affiliated university,” Cardassi said. 

Airmen selected for this year’s program include three officers, two cadets, 40 enlisted Airmen and five alternates. The names below are listed by grade for each class start date. 

August 2017 IPAP students include:
1st Lt. Jonathan Fonbuena        
1st Lt. Nathaniel Mack  
1st Lt. Ashley Webb    
Cadet Chase Cannon
Cadet Cindy Yie
Master Sgt. Rolando Smythe
Tech. Sgt. Erin Beaver
Staff Sgt. Mary Berry
Staff Sgt. Brittany Wheat

December 2017 IPAP students include:
Master Sgt. Jonathan Courtright
Master Sgt. Maren Smith
Tech. Sgt. Steven Hilton
Tech. Sgt. Taylor Hydrick         
Tech. Sgt. Michael Mondelli      
Tech. Sgt. Douglas Ryan          
Tech. Sgt. Brian Silva  
Tech. Sgt. Rachel Washburn
Staff Sgt. Lynette Brown    
Staff Sgt. Rowland Coyle
Staff Sgt. Ashley Jensen
Staff Sgt. Ray Kyle        
Staff Sgt. Max Lindgren
Staff Sgt. Jessica Rumsley      
Staff Sgt. Meagan Tavares      
Senior Airman Jamie Miller

April 2018 IPAP students include:
Master Sgt. Mindy Howard        
Master Sgt. Robert Perryman    
Tech. Sgt. Elizabeth Brunson    
Tech. Sgt. Kayla Miller  
Tech. Sgt. Daniel Perales          
Staff Sgt. Luke Bates  
Staff Sgt. Dustin Bennett          
Staff Sgt. Gloria Calvillo          
Staff Sgt. Kylie Hamilton          
Staff Sgt. Karen Leal    
Staff Sgt. Michael Litherland    
Staff Sgt. Mellissa Taylor        
Senior Airman Adrianne Amituanai        
Senior Airman Ifeyinwa Anene  
Senior Airman Melissa Baker    
Senior Airman Bradley Burkey  
Senior Airman Jeffery Lerma     

August 2018 IPAP students include:
Master Sgt. Andrew Tishim      
Tech. Sgt. Emmerson Galupo  
Tech. Sgt. Andres Paredes      
Tech. Sgt. Bechara Rahbani      
Staff Sgt. Tyrone Bills  
Staff Sgt. Whitney Galloway    
Staff Sgt. Franko Salazar        
Staff Sgt. Megan Weiler

More information about Air Force medical commissioning opportunities is available to common access card holders at the Air Force Medical Service Knowledge Exchange website or publicly on Air Force.com.

Additional information about eligibility criteria, process and other specifics can be found on myPers. Select “Any” from the dropdown menu and search “IPAP.”

For more information about Air Force personnel programs, go to myPers. Individuals who do not have a myPers account can request one by following these instructions.