Arizona School of Health Sciences
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Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant

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Who We Are : Program and Guidebooks : Faculty and Staff : Students and Alumni : Didactic and Clinical Year Overview : Admission : Tuition and Financial Aid : Profession : Fact Sheet

The A.T. Still University Department of Physician Assistant Studies provides a learning-centered education that develops exemplary physician assistants who deliver whole person healthcare with an emphasis on underserved populations.  The Program is deeply committed to fulfilling this mission.  

What is a PA? 

Per the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), a PA is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional.  PAs practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other providers.  They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.

PAs can:

  • Take a medical history
  • Conduct physical exams
  • Diagnose and treat illnesses
  • Order and interpret tests
  • Develop treatment plans
  • Counsel on preventive care
  • Assist in surgery
  • Write prescriptions
  • Make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes

PAs' specific duties depend on:

  • The setting in which they work
  • Their level of experience
  • Their specialty
  • State laws


The A.T. Still University 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.