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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.


The A.T. Still University Department of Physician Assistant Studies will be the nation’s leading provider of competent physician assistants who will serve populations in need by providing care to the body, mind and spirit.

Who We Are

The Program aims to produce providers who will enter primary care and needed specialties as listed below:

  • Family Medicine
  • General Internal Medicine
  • General Pediatrics
  • Women’s Health
  • Behavioral Health/Psychiatry
  • Emergency Medicine
  • General Surgery

We particularly encourage graduates to work in communities and areas where they can serve the underserved.  To assist in achieving this end, we have partnered with the National Association of Community Health Centers to base student clinical experiences in areas of need.  Students who wish to attend the A.T. Still University PA Program should be willing to re-locate to any of our community partner locations for their clinical experiences.  The Program does not provide international clinical experiences.


Program Goal

Measures of Success

Progress since implementation of goals

1. Foster an attitude of service to those less fortunate by cultivating a culture of compassion and service to the underserved

- Percentage of class that have didactic and clinical year placements in underserved environments
- Percentage of class that participate in service activities  for underserved

- 100% of class of 2016 placed with clinical experiences in underserved environments.
- 100% of class of 2016 participated in health fairs for underserved populations.

2. Produce graduates who are well steeped in teamwork by providing interprofessional education experiences.

- Percentage of class that participate in IPE
experiences to promote team based health care such as
- Heart failure project
- Health fairs
- Clinic work with dental students
- Capstone project

- 100% of class of 2016 participated in IPE activities with other health professions students
- 100% of class of 2016 participated in heart
failure project

3. Promote whole person healthcare by including elements of mind, body and spirit across the curriculum.

- Percentage of class participating in readings and reflective journaling
- Spirituality in medicine seminar
- Osteopathic philosophy seminar
- Spirituality seminar

- 100% of class of 2016 participated in reflective journaling
- 100% of class of 2016 participated in osteopathic philosophy seminar and OM demonstration
- 100% of class of 2016 participated in spirituality seminar

4. Educate students in a learning centered environment that promotes self-directed learning.

- Percentage of curriculum involving “out of seat” learning experiences that promote
critical thinking and self- directed learning
such as:

  • Articulate based presentations
  • Internet based modules
  • Medical gaming
  • Interactive classroom sessions
  • Group testing

- 58% of curriculum delivered in interactive format

NCCPA Pass Rates:

The current pass rate for the Class of 2016 is 92%. 

Click here for a five year pass rate overview.

Accreditation Statement

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by A.T. Still University Arizona School of Health Sciences. 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 March 2024. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Overview description of the program

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at A.T. Still University teaches the art and science of medicine steeped in the osteopathic tradition of body-mind-spirit care for the whole person.  Students grow into their profession in a learner-centered environment through face-to-face instruction, didactic clinical experiences, year-long clinical procedures and history and physical exam laboratories, and regular Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) using standardized patient actors, all before their year of supervised clinical experiences working in clinics and hospitals.

Through a partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (CHCs), we are training whole-person-care, community centered practitioners through year-long clinical experience at a CHC for a selected portion of the class. Our graduates strive to provide culturally and spiritually competent primary care where and to whom healing is needed the most.

Prospective students who build relationships with CHCs prior to applying may qualify for advance consideration as an applicant through our Hometown Scholars program.

The residential, entry-level physician assistant master’s program in Mesa, Arizona, prepares students to serve their community as primary care providers through on-campus and clinical training throughout the 26-month program.  The ultimate focus of the ATSU PA education is to serve the underserved communities with competent, compassionate care. 

Didactic Curriculum:

Average Week for the Class of 2017:

  • Classroom Lecture 42%
  • Interactive learning 58%
    • Community Based Learning 26%
    • Laboratory 21%
    • Seminar 11%