University of the Sciences has received accreditation – provisional* for its graduate professional physician assistant program from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). This first step to accreditation allows the University to begin recruiting students for its inaugural class in the fall of 2013.
“The graduate physician assistant studies program expands the footprint for in-demand health professional education programs offered through the University’s Samson College of Health Sciences,” said Samson College Dean Laurie Sherwen, PhD. “As healthcare coverage expands, the population ages, and primary care becomes the standard for healthy citizens in the United States, the physician assistant profession has established itself as a vital source of medical care.”
The students who successfully complete the graduate PA program will earn the newly established master of science in physician assistant studies (MSPAS) degree. The degree offerings have been designed to incorporate a diversity of student populations, including those from the University’s undergraduate pre-professional physician assistant program as well as post-baccalaureate applicants.
“We are providing a unique 34-month program with summers off that allows time for students to explore service learning and research opportunities, employment, or time off for family and relaxation,” said Dr. David Leonard, founding director of the graduate PA program. “In addition, we provide more clinical rotation time which allows students to fine tune their medical skills, broaden their clinical exposure, and provides additional elective opportunities that encourage students to focus on their passions.”
PAs are licensed healthcare professionals who practice medicine with physician supervision. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in both urban and rural settings. Their main focus is patient care in the primary care setting, but PAs can work in specialty areas as well as in education, research, and administrative activities.
The program will be housed in a new 55,000-square-foot Science and Technology Center II (STCII) expansion. The doors of this exciting new addition to campus are expected to open in winter of 2014 with ground-breaking and construction scheduled to begin later this year.
For more information about USciences’ master of science in PA studies, visit www.physicianassistant.usciences.edu.
* The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation - Provisional to the University of the Sciences Graduate Professional Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation - Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.