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  • M.S. in Physician Assistant

    A high-demand, high-growth career in health care
    Earn an M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies and gain all the skills you need to succeed in the field.
    Degree:
    M.S.
    School:
    School of Health and Natural Sciences
    Location:
    Dobbs Ferry
    Credits:
    90

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Personal Information

Physician Assistant M.S. Curriculum

Year I: Summer - 12 Weeks 10 Credits
Year I: Fall Semester - 15 Weeks 18 Credits
Year I: Spring Semester - 5 Weeks 20 Credits
Year II: Summer - Spring - 48 Weeks 30 Credits
Year III: Summer - 12 Weeks 12 Credits
Total 90 Credits

Year I: Summer - 10 Weeks

  • PHAS 500 Gross Anatomy
  • PHAS 500A Gross Anatomy Lab
  • PHAS 502 Pathophysiology
  • PHAS 503 Fndmntls Clncl Med I
  • PHAS 513 Physcn Asstnt Seminar

Year I: Fall Semester - 15 Weeks

  • PHAS 534 Gross Anatomy II
  • PHAS 504 Fndmntls Clncl Med II
  • PHAS 506 Patient Interviewing
  • PHAS 509 Pharmacology I
  • PHAS 514 Evidence-Based Medicine
  • PHAS 518 EKG and Radiology
  • PHAS 530 Medical Spanish I
  • PHAS 532 Physical Diagnosis I
  • PHAS 540 Clinical Lab Procedures I

Year I: Spring Semester - 15 Weeks

  • PHAS 505 Fndmntls Clncl Med III
  • PHAS 510 Pharmacology II
  • PHAS 512 Prvntv Med, Pblc Hlth
  • PHAS 528 Commctn in Mdcl Encntr
  • PHAS 529 Clncl Decsn Mkng Prblm Slvng
  • PHAS 531 Medical Spanish II
  • PHAS 533 Physical Diagnosis II
  • PHAS 541 Clinical Lab Procedures II

Year II: Summer Semester - 10 Weeks

  • PHAS 612 Clinical Clerkship I
  • PHAS 613 Clinical Clerkship II
  • PHAS 614 Clinical Clerkship III

Year II: Fall Semester - 15 Weeks

  • PHAS 615 Clinical Clerkship IV
  • PHAS 616 Clinical Clerkship V
  • PHAS 617 Clinical Clerkship VI

Year II - Spring Semester - 15 Weeks

  • PHAS 618 Clinical Clerkship VII
  • PHAS 619 Clinical Clerkship VIII
  • PHAS 620 Clinical Clerkship IX

Year III - Summer Semester - 10 Weeks

  • PHAS 700 Smnr in Cmnty Hlth Rsrch
  • PHAS 701 Epidemiological Methods
  • PHAS 702 Master's Project Seminar

Student Advisement

Upon acceptance into the Physician Assistant Program, each student will be assigned a faculty member who will serve as his or her advisor. The advisor will offer counsel on issues related to requirements for program completion, the development of long-term plans of study and future professional direction, and academic standing in the program.

Program Design

The Graduate Physician Assistant Program is a full-time weekday program that takes 27 months to complete. It is possible that some evening and weekend sessions will be held during the first three terms. The program is divided into three terms of didactic instruction, three terms of clinical rotations and a final term for the master's Capstone project. The didactic phrase of the program will be taught during the day, Monday through Friday. For the clinical or second year, students will be required to take on-call shifts, including nights and weekends, as required by the clerkship objectives and by the hosting institution. 

Students move through the curriculum as a cohort. There is no opportunity for part-time study. Transfer credits for courses previously completed will not be accepted. Each term contains a full course load, so working full-time or part-time is not advised. A comprehensive financial aid program is available through the Mercy College financial aid office.

Attendance

Attendance and punctuality in all classes and clinical education assignments is required, unless the students is excused for extenuating and extraordinary life circumstances. If absence is due to illness, a note signed by an M.D. must be submitted. A maximum of three undocumented absences from class will result in failure in the course and may jeopardize the student's standing in the program. Course instructors or clinical instructors must be notified in advance regarding absences. If a student misses a test or exam without previously contacting the instructor, the situation will be reviewed by the faculty and may result in a grade of F for that test or exam. Absence from a clinical assignment is subject to the rules and regulations of the institution.

Background Checks

In order to participate in clinical education a criminal background check may be required. The majority of clinical sites now require students to pass a background check prior to starting their affiliation. It is the student's responsibility to perform this and supply the necessary documentation to the clinical facility well in advance of the start date of their affiliation. Policies regarding criminal background checks vary from facility to facility. Some facilities require fingerprinting and/or drug screening in addition to a background check. It is the student's responsibility to contact the Clinical Coordinator to find out the specific procedure at that facility and to have it completed and submitted within the specific time frame for the facility. If a facility has no preference the Clinical Coordinator will provide the student with an acceptable company. Cost of the background check is the student's responsibility. A student may be required to have more than one background check performed during the course of the program.

Academic Probation

Any student whose cumulative program or term GPA falls below 3.0 (without rounding) after any given semester will be placed on academic probation. In all subsequent terms in which the student is on academic probation the student is required to achieve a term GPA of 3.0 or better. If a term GPA of 3.0 or higher is not achieved the student will be dismissed from the program. If the student is not able to achieve the student will be dismissed from the program. If the student is not able to achieve a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 within two terms, the student will be dismissed from the program. A student must have a cumulative program GPA of 3.0 or higher by the end of the didactic year to be able to register for Clinical Clerkship courses. If a student receives a grade of F or FW in any course the student will be subject to dismissal from the program. Once a student is dismissed from the Program he or she may not re-apply to the PA Program.

For all students on probation, future registrations must be reviewed and approved by the director of the student's program as well as the graduate dean.

Academic Integrity

The Physician Assistant Program maintains a zero-tolerance policy regarding cheating and plagiarism. Plagiarism is the appropriation of words or ideas of another without recognition of the source. Professors reserve the right to use all appropriate and available resources to verify originality and authenticity of all submitted coursework. An instructor who determines that a student has cheated or plagiarized will give an F for the assignment and may give a grade of F for the course. Additionally the faculty member will submit a written report of the incident to the program director and executive dean for academic engagement and planning. Plagiarism and cheating will be grounds for dismissal depending on the circumstances. The matter is dealt with by the instructor and the student, in consultation with the director of the graduate program, the school dean, and the executive dean for academic engagement and planning. 

Maintenance and Matriculation

It is expected that students will fulfill the requirements for their graduate degree by registering over successive sessions. For cohort programs, registration is required during summer session(s). For non-cohort programs, summer registration is not required. Registration is accomplished by either enrolling in classes or maintaining matriculation. The Maintenance of Matriculation fee is $100 per session when student does not enroll in classes and is processed as a registration. The course number in all programs is 899. 

Students who have not maintained matriculation and wish to return to their program within one year after their last course will be charged the Maintenance of Matriculation fee of $100 for each missed session. Maintenance of matriculation without attending classes is limited to one year. Activated U.S. Military Reservists are not required to pay the Maintenance of Matriculation fee. 

Capstone Advisement

It is expected that Capstone students shall make satisfactory progress with their program's culminating activity. After the student registers for all sections of his/her Capstone requirement, he/she will be given one subsequent term to complete his/her work. The Maintaining Matriculation registration must be completed for this subsequent term is no other courses are taken. After this period, a Capstone Continuation fee (equal to the cost of one graduate credit) will be charged for each additional term required to complete the project. The course number in all programs is 890. Students can only register for Capstone Continuation for two terms. 

A student's degree will not be released until all Maintenance of Matriculation and Capstone Continuation registration and fees are recorded appropriately on a student's record. 

Maintenance of Good Academic Standing

The cumulative GPA for both good academic standing and degree conferral is a 3.0. A student admitted as a Special Matriculant is required to achieve a 3.0 average or better after completion of six credits. Please note certain graduate programs may have more stringent program policies. Please check the specific program regulations. Grades are subject to review by the faculty advisor and program director at the end of each term. If the academic average falls below 3.0 the student will be placed on academic probation. 

Degree Requirements

To be eligible for graduation students must complete all coursework with a GPA of 3.0 or better. The coursework includes the completion of research and clinical education requirements. The words "With Distinction" will appear on the diploma of a student whose GPA, upon meeting all requirements for graduation, is 3.75 or above.

Student Immunization

Accepted students are required to submit evidence of physical examination as well as the following immunizations:

  • PPD (Mantoux) TB skin test
  • Hepatitis B series
  • Rubella
  • Rubeola
  • Mumps
  • Tetanus/Diphtheria
  • Varicella

Please note that the Mercy College PA Program will keep no student health records other than documentation of immunization. 

Student Employment Within the Program

Students will not be asked to serve in any capacity as administrative personnel, instructors or clinical preceptors. At times high performing second year students may be offered Teaching Assistantships.

Academic Program Sequence Map

Download a copy of the Physician Assistant MS Sequence Map.

How To Apply to the Physician Assistant M.S.

Admissions Process:

The following prerequisite courses are to be completed prior to the start of the Program:

  • Biology I and II with lab
  • Chemistry I and II with lab
  • Statistics
  • Biochemistry*
  • Microbiology with lab*
  • Human Physiology*
  • Advanced Human Biologic Science (300 level or higher Biology course)**

*Biochemistry, Microbiology and Human Physiology MUST be taken within five years of beginning the Program. In addition, two of these three courses MUST be completed at a 4-year institution. If these courses have been completed more than five years ago, then they must be repeated.

**Advanced Human Biologic Science MUST be taken at a 4-year institution.

Applicants who have earned an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 and a minimum GPA of 3.2 in the CASPA-designated science courses and have completed 90 credits including all general education requirements are eligible to initiate the application process. Please note that no more than 75 credits can be from a two year college. All applicants are required to submit to CASPA:

  1. Completed CASPA application at www.caspaonline.org by November 1st.
  2. Three letters of recommendation, at least one from a registered physician assistant, physician or a work supervisor. The recommendations should give evidence of academic and professional qualifications for graduate study. Recommendations should be dated within six months from the date of the application.
  3. A personal statement, detailing the applicant’s reasons for pursuing a degree in Physician Assistant Studies.
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges attended.
  5. A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care (volunteer or work) experience in a health care setting, along with proper verification forms, are required for the PA Program. Additionally, 250 hours of the 500 hours must be completed in a primary care setting, e.g., outpatient internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or OB/GYN.

In addition, applicants are required to submit a Mercy College Supplemental Application which will include:

  1. A written essay (not more than 500 words, 10-12 font) that answers the following question: The mission of the Mercy College Physician Assistant Graduate Program is to educate physician assistants to provide quality, cost-effective, and accessible health care to the New York City and Hudson Valley communities, specifically the underserved. With your personal life experiences, interests, talents, academic background and training, how would you advance this mission as a future alumnus of the Program?
  2. Supplemental application fee of $40 to be sent to the following address. Checks should be made out to Mercy College PA:

    Mercy College
    Student Services Support Center
    2651 Strang Boulevard
    Yorktown Heights, NY 10598

Download a copy of the Physician Assistant Studies FAQ Sheet.

When will interviews be conducted?
Generally, interviews are held 3-4 times per year.
Is the GRE required?
Standardized tests are not required.
What are the selection criteria?
All applicants will be screened according to their CASPA-designated science GPA, as well as their overall GPA. If you do not have a baccalaureate degree, you must have completed 90 credits, including all general education requirements. Please note that no more than 75 credits can be from a two-year college. Applicants who pass the first phase of review will be contacted to schedule an interview. The second phase of the review will be based on a combination of the interview, letters of recommendation, medical/community experience, personal statement and an essay completed a the time of the interview.
What are your policies about student employment while enrolled in the program?
Each term contains a full course load, so working full-time or part-time is not advised.
When does the Mercy College Physician Assistant Program begin?
The Mercy College PA Program begins the first week in June. All prerequisite requirements must be completed by that time.
What are the requirements for the PA Program?
The requirements for entrance into the Physician Assistant Program are 90 credits of a general education curriculum, an overall grade point average of 3.0, and a 3.2 grade point average in the CASPA - designated science courses. While these GPAs are a minimum entry requirement, admission is very competitive and applicants with higher GPAs have a comparative advantage for admission. Please see the How to Apply tab for additional information. Core Prerequisite Courses: BIOLOGY (19 credits) - General Biology I & II, Clinical Microbiology, Human Physiology and Advanced Human Biologic Science (300 level or higher Biology Course; CHEMISTRY (12 credits) - General Chemistry I & II and Biochemistry; MATH (3 credits) - Statistics. BIOCHEMISTRY, MICROBIOLOGY and HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY must be taken within five years of beginning the Program. In addition, two of these three courses must be completed at a 4-year institution. If these courses have been completed more than five years ago, then they must be repeated. ADVANCED HUMAN BIOLOGIC SCIENCE must be taken at a 4-year institution.
Is prior health experience a requirement?
Yes. A minimum of 500 hours of direct patient care (volunteer or work) experience in a health care setting, along with proper verification forms, are required for the PA Program. Additionally, 250 hours of the 500 hours must be completed in a primary care setting, e.g., outpatient internal medicine, family medicine, pediatrics or OB/GYN.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.
Can prerequisite courses be taken at a community college?
We will accept prerequisite course from community colleges but an application is strongest when these courses are completed at a four-year institution. Please note that at least two of the following courses (human physiology, microbiology, biochemistry) MUST be completed at a 4-year institution. The advanced human biologic course MUST be completed at a 4-year institution.
How do I apply to the Program?
Please refer to the How to Apply section tab.
Marc Campo Professor, Physical Therapy
Christian Bazan Manager of Academic Initiatives & Accreditation, PA Program
Mary Anne Aylward Instructor, Physician Assistant Studies
David Jackowe Faculty
Lorraine Cashin Assistant Professor, Program Director, Physician Assistant
Brian Baker Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies
Jinette Grullon Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies
Lorraine Jamieson Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies
Mairead Casey Assistant Professor, Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Overview

The Mercy College Graduate degree in Physician Assistant Studies is a full-time program designed to prepare you for an exciting, growing and rewarding career. By graduation, you will possess a wide breadth of knowledge in many areas of medicine. This will assist you in providing complete patient care, both preventive and curative, while collaborating as an integral component of the healthcare team. What is unique about the Physician Assistant Program at Mercy College is that it embodies the principles of primary care medicine incorporating the biopsychosocial model of medical education. With this model, students learn to incorporate knowledge from biologic science, while integrating psychological and social factors with population/community-based medicine in order to deliver comprehensive primary healthcare. It utilizes broad-based medical knowledge incorporating internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology, and psychiatry. As a result, graduates of the Program obtain positions in a wide-range of medical specialties.

Meet Lorraine Cashin

Learn about her story and the Physician Assistant program at Mercy College.

Accreditations
  • The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Mercy College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Mercy College. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
  • Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2017. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

Physician Assistant FAQS

What are the selection criteria?
All applicants will be screened according to their CASPA-designated science GPA, as well as their overall GPA. If you do not have a baccalaureate degree, you must have completed 90 credits, including all general education requirements. Please note that no more than 75 credits can be from a two-year college. Applicants who pass the first phase of review will be contacted to schedule an interview. The second phase of the review will be based on a combination of the interview, letters of recommendation, medical/community experience, personal statement and an essay completed a the time of the interview.
Is Mercy College a nonsectarian institution?
Yes. Qualified applicants are admitted without regard to race, religion, national or ethnic origin, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, age or physical disability.
Physician Assistant Graduate Program

The mission of the Mercy College Graduate Program in Physician Assistant Studies is to educate physician assistants to provide quality, cost-effective, accessible health care, especially to underserved patients in the Tri-state area. 

The goals to meet this mission include:

  • Educate students in the biopsychosocial model incorporating knowledge from biologic science, psychological and social factors, and population/community-based medicine in order to deliver comprehensive health care. For the class of 2016, 94% of the cohort successfully completed clinical rotations in comprehensive health care settings.
     
    • Courses throughout the curriculum place emphasis on the biopsychosocial model of medicine. Principles of patient interviewing and communication skills are incorporated in courses throughout the curriculum such as Patient interviewing, communication in the medical encounter and physical diagnosis. These courses also reinforce the importance of all factors that influence a person’s state of health.
       
  • Provide students with a strong foundation to practice at an entry-level proficiency.
     
    • 88% of surveyed graduates reported finding employment within six months post-graduation. With 48% reporting that they found employment prior to graduation.
       
  • Inspire a desire among physician assistants to work with underserved communities including recent immigrants, low-income neighborhoods and other patient populations out of the mainstream of health care delivery.
     
    • 100% of students participate on the Mercy College Physician Assistant Mobile Health Vehicle which provides health screenings and education to medically underserved communities in the Bronx. In addition to the Mobile Health Vehicle, all students are offered the opportunity to participate in international medical missions. Most recently, teams of PA students and faculty have traveled to the Dominican Republic, Ghana and Nicaragua. On some of the missions, PA students and faculty are joined by members of other Mercy College Health Professions Programs, offering a unique opportunity to engage in interprofessional collaboration
       
  • Provide the skills necessary for effective participation in research projects.
     
    • 100% of students participate in the development of a research protocol and IRB application. The final summer semester includes a Research Seminar and a course on Epidemiological Methods. These courses give our students a strong foundation in research knowledge should they chose to publish after completion of the program.
       
  • Encourage collaborative learning and working styles necessary to participate in interdisciplinary team environments.
     
    • The Program’s curriculum provides many opportunities for students to develop skills required to be an effective member of an interdisciplinary team. Mercy College’s Interprofessional Education Committee gathers students from across disciplines (Nursing, Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Communication Disorders.) and challenges them to work together as a team to solve complex cases.
    • Perceptors rate over 90% of our students, "Excellent," in workin gon an interprofessional patient-centered team.
       
  • Develop competence in oral and written communication skills
    • Student participate in activities throughout the curriculum that require effective oral written communication skills. Many courses require group or individual or writing and class presentation assignments. This provides students opportunities to build and improve skills necessary for effective communication as a health care provider. 
    • Preceptors rate over 90% of our students "Excellent" in oral and written communications. 

 

 

Physician Assistant Fast Facts

  • Learn principles of primary care medicine with the biopsychosocial model of medical education
  • Clinical sites are renowned hospitals and medical centers
  • Future job opportunities abundant and in many areas of medicine

Career Opportunities

Physician Assistants can be found in general medical and surgical hospitals, public or private practices, outpatient care centers, health maintenance organizations, government agencies, colleges and universities, and professional schools. The Physician Assistant Studies Program at Mercy College will prepare you for a worthwhile and fulfilling career in medicine.

Graduates of the Mercy College PA Program are employed in some of the best hospital centers in and around the Tri-State area within the following medical specialties:

  • Outpatient medicine or primary care
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Orthopedic Surgery
  • General surgery
  • OB/GYN
  • Neonatology

Others are employed in hospital-based medicine, critical care, urology, pain management, rehabilitation medicine, breast surgery, oncology, pediatrics, addictive medicine, dermatology and interventional radiology.

Purpose

The Graduate Physician Assistant program educates students to become highly-educated and qualified physician assistants. Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician assistants perform a wide array of medical duties and work in a variety of medical settings, ranging from primary care to various subspecialties. Physician assistant education also prepares graduates to practice in emergency medicine or any surgical subspecialty. Physician assistants are able to attend to many medical emergencies, act as first or second assistants in major surgery and provide pre and postoperative care.

The Physician Assistant program at Mercy College embodies the principles of primary care medicine incorporating the biopsychosocial model of medical education. With this model, students learn to incorporate knowledge from biologic science, while integrating psychological and social factors with population/community-based medicine in order to deliver comprehensive primary health care. It utilizes broad-based medical knowledge incorporating internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics & gynecology, emergency medicine and psychiatry. Graduates of this program are educated to practice in any field of medicine they choose.

Program Tuition and Fees

Estimates of all costs (tuition, fees, etc.) - 2016 - 2017

Tuition $967/credit (90 credits) = $87,030
Program Fees $825
Registration Fees $1,395
Books, medical equipment, uniforms $4,000
Supplemental application fee $40

 

Estimates of all costs (tuition, fees, etc.) - 2017 - 2018

Tuition $984/credit (90 credits) = $88,560
Program Fees $1,575
Registration Fees $1,745
Books, medical equipment, uniforms $4,000
Supplemental application fee $40

 

Policies and procedures for refunds of tuition and fees

Refunds:
When a student official withdraws from any course or courses by filing a formal withdrawal notice (Drop/Add Form) with the Office of Student Services, refund of tuition will be made according to the below outlined schedule. See the course bulletin for specific refund dates. The date of withdrawal may be processed at the Office of Student Services or via the web at Mercy Connect. Fees are non- refundable once course begins.

Semester - Date of With drawl* Tuition Refund
Prior to second week of schedules course meetings 100%
Prior to third week of scheduled course meetings 80%
Prior to fourth week of scheduled course meetings  50%
During or after the fourth week of scheduled course meetings No Refund

 

*All fees are non-refundable and subject to change without prior notice.

To be  a physician assistant, you must possess a number of abilities and skills. Therefore, to successfully complete the the Mercy College Physician Assistant Program, each student must be able to:

Intellectual

  • Acquire information from written documents and visualize info as presented in images from paper, film, slides and video
  • Comprehend X-ray, EKG, and other graphic images with or without assistive devices
  • Exercise good judgment
  • Complete all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients properly

Observation

  • Observe patient accurately, at a distance and close at hand, with or without standard medical instrumentation
  • Speak to, hear and observe a patient in order to elicit information

Communication

  • Communicate effectively with patients and their families in both written and oral modalities
  • Communicate effectively and efficiently in oral, written, and electronic format with members of the health care team

Sensory/Motor Coordination

  • Possess motor skills necessary to perform palpitation, percussion, auscultation and other diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers
  • Perform basic laboratory tests and emergency therapeutic procedures including airway management, placement of intravenous catheters, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, application of pressure to control bleeding and suturing of wounds
  • Tolerate physically taxing workloads

Social and Behavioral

  • Develop mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients
  • Describe changes in mood, activity and posture and perceive nonverbal communication in patients
  • Function effectively under stress
  • Adapt to changing environments
  • Display flexibility and learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the practice of clinical medicine
  • Possess good interpersonal skills in order to be an integral member of a medical team

Problem Solving/Critical Thinking

  • Measure, calculate, reason, analyze, integrate, synthesize and comprehend three-dimensional relationships including spatial relationships of structures according to standard medical care

Physician Assistant Objectives

The Graduate Physician Assistant program is a full-time program designed to prepare graduates to pass the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) examination and to practice clinical medicine at an entry-level. The program grants a dual B.S. degree in Health Sciences and a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Those students who do not have a baccalaureate degree must first complete 90 credits, including all general education requirements. All students must complete 33 credits of specific prerequisite courses prior to beginning the physician assistant curriculum.

The Mercy College Physician Assistant Program emphasizes research and writing skills as well as skills necessary to practice clinical medicine. As a master’s degree-awarding program, many of the required natural science courses are completed before entering the program, which enables the curriculum to focus on the advanced study of medicine and public health. It further allows for a three-month study on the principles of community and population-based research, ending with the presentation of a capstone project based on participation in a community-based research initiative.

Expectations of the Graduate

The Mercy College Physician Assistant Program is designed to provide students with the skills needed to practice at an entry-level proficiency with their clinical supervisors while observing all appropriate ethical and legal boundaries. Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:

  • Master entry-level proficiencies in physician assistant knowledge and practice skills with an emphasis on the biopsychosocial approach to community based medicine toward individuals across the entire life span.
  • Display professional behaviors, cultural competence, ethical values and a commitment to maintaining currency with professional knowledge and practice.
  • Use a dynamic process of inquiry to guide evidence-based clinical decisions to completely fulfill a physician assistant's responsibilities within a complex and changing health care environment.
  • Demonstrate a commitment and ability to advocate with professional colleagues for access by a diverse population to health care education to foster life and community integration after illness.
  • Analyze the implications of current health care policy and identify various health care delivery systems.

Specifically, graduates are required to perform the following tasks with competence:

  • Elicit a detailed and accurate history and perform an appropriate physical examination on any patient within any setting; distinguish acute from chronic problems and delineate health maintenance needs. 
  • Record findings in a uniform concise, clear and legally competent manner.
  • Determine appropriate diagnostic tools and interpret the results of routine laboratory procedures, radiographic and electrcariographic studies. 
  • Development treatment plans for common medical problems, including written medical orders. 
  • Perform routine medical procedures such as injections, immunizations, suturing, wound care, intravenous catherization, cast application and incision an drainage of superficial infections. 
  • Perform patient rounds in acute and long-term inpatient care settings, record patient progress notes and pertinent case summaries, develop and implement patient management plans.
  • Assists in the provision of continuity of care in clinic and office based care settings. 
  • Counsel and education patients regarding prescribed therapeutic regimens, heath maintenance and disease prevention, normal growth and development, family planning, lifestyle risks, lifestyle adjustments due to illness and other heath concerns.
  • Perform independent evaluations and initiate therapeutic procedures in life-threatening events. 
  • Maintain knowledge of referral mechanisms for medical and psychosocial concerns. Facilitate referral to community resources, social service agencies and other health care providers as appropriate.

Program Outcomes

By the end of this program, students should be able to: 

  • Synthesize and apply knowledge to elicit a detailed and accurate history and perform an appropriate physical examination utilizing biological, physical, social, and behavioral sciences as a foundation across the lifespan. Distinguish acute from chronic health problems and delineate appropriate health maintenance interventions
  • Apply the basic tenets of the physician assistant, including the history and philosophical base, the meaning and dynamics of medicine and the healthcare provider, the importance of physician assistants in the promotion of health and prevention of disease
  • Utilize appropriate diagnostic tools, and interpret routine laboratory procedures accurately while ensuring all documentation is recorded in a uniform, concise, legally competent manner
  • Formulate treatment plans for common medical problems, including written medical orders
  • Perform routine medical procedures such as injections, immunizations, suturing, wound care, intravenous catheterization, cast application and incision and drainage of superficial infections
  • Participate in the implementation of patient management plans through grand rounds and case presentations
  • Generate a plan for continuity of care in clinic and office based care settings
  • Counsel and educate patients regarding prescribed therapeutic regimens, health maintenance and disease prevention, normal growth and development, family planning, lifestyle risks, lifestyle adjustments due to illness and other health concerns
  • Evaluate life threatening events and participate in appropriate therapeutic procedures
  • Refer patients for medical and psychosocial concerns to community resources, social service agencies and other health care providers as  appropriate
  • Engage in a dynamic process of inquiry to guide evidence based clinical decisions
  • Apply knowledge of the various contexts of service delivery and the implications of the social, political, demographic, and economic trends and realities on medical practice
  • Integrate professional ethics, values, and responsibilities into the role of a physician assistant
  • Demonstrate communication skills (written and oral) with all members of the healthcare team as well as patients, families, and payers
  • Participate effectively in collaborative inter-professional relationships
Program Pass Rates

Program Pass Rates

Graduation rate:

  2014 2015 2016
Enrollment 66 66 66
Retention 62 59 62
Attrition 4 7 4
Graduates 62 59 62
Graduation Rate 94% 89% 94%

 

PANCE first-time takers pass rate:

Class Name Students Mercy Program (First-Time Takers) Pass Rate NCCPA National (First-Time Takers) Pass Rate
2012 35 91% 93%
2013 50 92% 94%
2014 60 90% 95%
2015 58 86% 96%
2016 62 84% 96%
 

NCCPA PANCE Pass Rate Summary Report