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NMCCL Stories

News | March 6, 2023

NMCCL graduates and commissions six physician assistants

By Riley Eversull

Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune graduated the second class of physician assistant students on March 3, 2023. “Class 20-3” passed the second phase of the Interservice Physician Assistant Program, received their diplomas, and commissioned as Navy officers.

“I’m living proof that it’s never too late to chase your dreams,” said Lieutenant Junior Grade Lee Boujie. Boujie was the class enlisted leader, the most senior graduate as a master chief petty officer.

“I think this class was brought together here to do the most good with what we can. I couldn’t have asked for a better training site; the doctors, the PAs, the nurses, the corpsmen – everybody. I’m very thankful.”

Phase I of the two-year program is completed at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston, and Phase II is completed at NMCCL. During their time at the medical center, Class 20-3 completed 16 rotations in various clinics and departments to include family medicine, emergency medicine, and general Surgery.

Lt. j.g. Patrick Goldsmith was named the class Honor Student with a 94% grade point average. Goldsmith encourages IPAP hopefuls to apply as early as they can for the program.

“Apply to this program as early as you can, study hard, don’t take any classes for granted. Reach out there and start getting to know people in the community.”

Friday’s event included presentation of diplomas – a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree through the University of Nebraska – and then transitioned right into the swearing-in ceremony for the prior enlisted.

The graduates will now go on to serve as PAs at Marine and Navy commands.

“You came to us with tremendous diversity and experience,” said Captain Kevin Brown, Director of Naval Medical Center Camp Lejeune. “You are a fighting force more resilient and prepared for combat, with refined clinical and leadership skills to deploy and support combat operations.”

The six graduates amassed a cumulative 9,000 patient encounters and assisted with 4,000 clinical procedures during Phase II.

Guest speakers for the ceremony included Lt. Gen. Frank Donovan, vice commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and Cmdr. Chris Owston, deputy senior medical officer for Naval Special Warfare Group TWO.
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