Sonia Otte, founding program director of Cal State San Bernardino’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) program, recently presented at the American Academy of Physician Associates national conference in Nashville, Tenn.

The five-day AAPA conference welcomed thousands of attendees from throughout the nation. The event provided participants with opportunities for cutting-edge continuing medical education (CME) and networking among physician assistants and other healthcare professionals.

Otte gave a poster presentation titled, “Improved Patient Experience and Outcomes: Is Patient-Provider Concordance the Key ” The purpose of this review was to examine if racial, gender, or multifactorial concordance (e.g., race, age, gender, education, language) between patient and provider leads to a better patient experience and improved health outcomes.

Otte, a physician assistant since 2012, brings experience in developing the CSUSB program. Before joining the university, she was the founding program director for the Physician Assistant Program at Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) in Claremont, Calif., where she oversaw the development and successful launch of their MSPA program. While at KGI, Otte secured a $1 million grant for PA facilities, achieved full enrollment for the inaugural class (70% underrepresented in PA profession), and worked hand-in-hand to design and develop all new PA program facilities.

Before transitioning to academia, Otte worked as a clinical PA in hospital medicine, urgent care and medical dermatology. 

In addition to her role at CSUSB, Otte currently serves as an independent PA education consultant and will serve as an adjunct faculty member for the Doctor of Medical Science program at the University of Lynchburg this fall. Otte holds a Master of Medical Science from Nova Southeastern University (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) and a Doctor of Medical Science from the University of Lynchburg (Lynchburg, Va).

CSUSB has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). CSUSB anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2025, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the March 2025 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

The CSUSB MSPA program started recruiting for faculty and staff positions earlier this year. The initial positions included a director of didactic education, director of clinical education and a part-time medical director. Additional faculty and staff positions will be available later this year and over the next few years as the program continues to develop.

For more information, visit the CSUSB MSPA program website. The page will be updated frequently to include more information about the program, including admissions criteria, curriculum and more.