Program Mission, Philosophy, Objectives

Program Mission, Philosophy, Objectives


"In an atmosphere of collegiality, educate individuals to become Physician Assistant's who possess integrity, are service oriented, appreciate a diverse multi-cultural society, and develop the skills and competence for medical practice that supports the physician/Physician Assistant relationship."


The Physician Assistant (PA) is a health care professional who practices medicine with physician supervision. As a member of the health care team, the PA provides a broad range of medical diagnostic, therapeutic, and health promotion/disease prevention services. PAs are qualified by graduation from an accredited PA educational program and certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) to exercise a level of autonomy in the performance of clinical responsibilities within each state's medical practice act-authorized scope of practice and the particular supervisory relationship they work. The clinical practice of the PA includes both primary care and specialty care roles, and spans a wide range of medical practice settings in both rural and urban settings. PA education also prepares physician assistants to deal with many medical emergencies. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery, and provide pre- and post-operative care. The role of the physician assistant is centered on patient care responsibilities, including the social or psychological aspects of patient management, but may include educational, research, and administrative activities.

Our concern in educating PAs will remain:

1) Contribute to the learners - broad educational background by including the humanities, natural and social sciences in the professional program and its prerequisites;

2) Develop the willingness of learners to actively and independently participate in their education;

3) Develop clinicians who understand the basis of all human health science and can utilize information from other disciplines of health science to improve the care in our particular area of expertise;

4) Develop clinicians who have a respect and basic understanding of all aspects of human development;

5) Develop professionals who are able to approach problems in health care and patient treatment from a problem solving perspective;

6) Develop health care experts who understand both the concepts of wellness and illness, and are able to instruct patients in the prevention of disease and disability as well as in the treatment of disease;

7) Develop clinicians who contribute to the body of knowledge in medicine through research activities;

8) Develop clinicians who have a commitment to continuing personal and professional growth;

9) Develop clinicians who are able to evaluate patients to determine the need for medical services and initiate appropriate referral to other professionals;

10) Develop clinicians who are able to assess therapeutic processes and outcomes using quantitative and qualitative data.

The PA world is a dynamic field with a bright future. Since its inception, the PA profession has evolved and adapted to meet changing needs in the health care delivery system. This profession has stood in the gap to meeting patient care needs. Becoming a PA will give you a rewarding career as an important member of the health care team.


The overarching objective of the Physician Assistant Program is to develop competent clinicians who, in consultation with an identified supervising physician, can identify and manage clinical problems in an effective and efficient manner. The following objectives guide the development of the program and the integration of the knowledge and skills required of physician assistant learners to synthesize and analyze concepts and information essential to understand and manage health care problems.

General objectives include the following:

  • Develop competent practitioners who can serve society, the healthcare community, and the individual patient.
  • Provide educational experiences specifically designed to prepare entry-level practitioners with the skills necessary to function in a changing healthcare environment.
  • Develop well-educated and skilled primary care PAs who can contribute and provide quality health care to patients in a variety of clinical settings and especially in areas designated as "medically underserved".
  • Develop PAs who can critically review the medical literature through an in-depth understanding of medical research methodology and thereby improve the patient care they deliver.
  • Engage faculty, administration, learners, and practitioners in continuous assessment and evaluation of the academic major and services of the Program as an on-going system of total quality improvement.
  • Increase faculty and learner involvement in professional and public service.
  • Instill within the PA learners the professional values and ethical behaviors expected of physician assistants.
  • Provide the PA learner with an understanding of the concept of wellness and methods for prevention of disease.
  • Provide PA learners with the tools and experience to participate in life long learning and the use of evidence based medicine principles for the advancement of new therapies.
  • To become technically advanced in medical information technology and the use of new and modern medical hardware and software.