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Program Highlight: Master of Physician Assistance Science

Published: 11/19/2020

Physician assistant students at the Erie campus.

Physician assistant students at the Erie campus.

Physician assistants are medical providers who are nationally certified and state licensed to practice medicine as a member of a team with other health care professionals. Their specific tasks vary widely due to differences among state laws, hospital policies and utilization preferences of supervising physicians.

Generally, PAs are qualified to obtain patient histories, perform comprehensive physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic laboratory tests, prepare a diagnosis, implement a treatment plan for common illnesses, deliver patient education and counseling, perform certain surgical procedures, and provide emergency care. PAs may assist in surgery and deliver pre-operative and post-operative care. Physician assistants may deliver patient care in any setting in which the physician works.

Employment for PAs is expected to grow by 31% from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations. Job opportunities are expected to be particularly good in rural and inner-city health care facilities. Projected rapid job growth reflects the expansion of health care industries and an emphasis on cost containment, which results in increasing use of PAs by health care facilities.

Erie Campus

The Physician Assistant Department at the Erie campus offers a five-year, entry-level master’s degree program or two-year post-baccalaureate degree (when openings are available). The program’s mission is to provide a stimulating and collaborative learning environment led by highly qualified and dedicated faculty and staff. Our students are prepared to become ethical, professional and high-quality health care providers who are socially responsible leaders in their discipline and community. The program’s vision is to be on the forefront of professional advancement as we aspire to contribute to the evolution of the PA profession. We will be recognized for excellence in PA education and community partnerships. Both mission and vision follow a set of core values: compassion, inclusiveness, interdisciplinary approach and life-long learning. The PA program in Erie has more than 1,200 graduates who impact patients’ lives across the country, reaching patients as far away as Alaska. Click here to learn more.

Ruskin Campus

The Physician Assistant Department at the Ruskin campus is offering a Master of Physician Assistant Science degree available through a post-baccalaureate curriculum. The curriculum is predominantly clinical work during the final year of the program. Adjunct regional medical faculty, in conjunction with various health care institutions, introduce students to professional physician assistant training. Clinical sites are offered primarily in Florida.

Terry Gruchow, assistant professor in the program, is currently the Florida Academy of PAs vice president.

Watch this video to learn more about the PA program at the Ruskin campus.