Arizona School of Health Sciences
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Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant

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Entry Level Degree Program

Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Common services provided by physician assistants include taking medical histories and performing physical examinations, ordering and interpreting lab tests, prescribing medications, assisting in surgery and counseling patients. Physician assistants are trained through an intense education program.

Because of their close working relationship with physicians, physician assistants are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The Physician Assistant Program is an entry-level, 26 month course of study that leads to a Master of Science degree upon successful completion. The first 14 months of the program consist of courses that develop a strong academic foundation for clinical practice. Faculty and staff work closely with students, helping them develop professional attributes and clinical problem-solving skills necessary for efficient and optimal patient care.

During the clinical component of the program, students attend clinical rotations in several disciplines of medicine. Students are supervised by clinical preceptors and continue to advance their clinical knowledge by working directly with patients and various health care professionals.

Graduation from the ASHS PA program also requires the development of a capstone paper/project in collaboration with the faculty. The paper/project is designed for students to demonstrate their skills in critical analysis and a capacity for independent, logical thinking.

After graduation, students take the national certification exam.