PA Student Receives National Health Service Corps Award

Randall Perkins headdshot, whitecoat.Randall Perkins, a second-year physician assistant (PA) student, is the recipient of the National Health Service Corps (NHSC) Award. The scholarship is given to students pursuing primary care health professional training and who will provide care to underserved communities after graduation. Randall is the first Boston University student to receive this award.

Perkins was selected for his strong academic performance and firm commitment to primary care and serving underserved communities.

Perkins received his undergraduate degree in biology from the University of Missouri-Saint Louis. While it ‘was outside of his comfort zone to move to such a different environment,’ he moved to Boston to attend BUSM.

During his free-time, Perkins enjoys hiking outdoors and recently returned from a trip to Tanzania, where he climbed to the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro. When asked about his future career, not only is he interested in pursuing primary care and preventive medicine, but also the subspecialty areas of dermatology, psychiatry and critical care.

Originally from Missouri, Perkins spent most of his earlier years on a farm. His upbringing allowed him to see the importance of health care access and how social determinants of health can influence health care outcomes among populations of various socioeconomic and racial/ethnic backgrounds. “Particularly in underserved communities and rural areas, the lack of appropriate resources and access to care can influence various preventative health measures and chronic disease management,” Perkins said.

NHSC’s mission is to connect primary health care clinicians to people with limited access to healthcare in the United States. They offer scholarships to students pursuing primary care health professions training, which includes medical students, dentists, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified nurse-midwives. Once selected, scholars serve a minimum of two years after graduating at an NHSC-approved site to provide primary healthcare to underserved communities. Scholars will receive full financial support in their professional training degree program, of up to four years