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Physician Assistant Degree

Physician Assistant Degree

Master Of Science In Physician Assistant Studies - Arizona

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, regular SPE (Standardized Patient Experience) using standardized patient actors, and small group application learning lab all before their year of supervised clinical experiences working in clinics and hospitals.

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Through a partnership with the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), 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 at one of our partner Community Health Centers across the country.

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 ATSU PA education is to serve the underserved communities with competent, compassionate care.

Who We Are

The PA 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

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 NACHC to integrate student clinical experiences in areas of need. Students who wish to attend the ATSU PA Program should be willing to relocate to any of our community partner locations for their clinical experiences. The program does not provide international clinical experiences.

Didactic Curriculum:

Average week for the Class of 2021:

An average week consists of: classroom lecture, interactive learning, laboratories and skills, Application Learning Lab (ALL), and Didactic Clinical Experiences (DCE). While a majority of the time is spent in lecture, the students engage in interactive activities such as: small group break out sessions, game-based learning, polling, and student led presentations.

Physician Assistant Fact Sheet (pdf)

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Video camera icon Related Videos

  • ATSU | Michelle DiBaise, Department Chair, Program Director
  • ATSU ASHS Student Testimonial | Tenneh Massaquoi
  • ATSU | Ann Lee Burch, Dean
  • ATSU | Dr. Craig Phelps, President
  • Diversity at A.T. Still University
  • Mission, Vision, and Goals +

    • Mission

      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.

      Vision

      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.

      Goals

       

      Program GoalMeasures of SuccessProgress since implementation of goals
      1. Foster an attitude of service 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 2021 placed with clinical experiences in underserved environments 
      - 100% of class of 2021 & 2022 participated in care of underserved populations
      2. Produce graduates who are well steeped in teamwork by providing Interprofessional Education (IPE) experiences.- Percentage of class that participate in IPE experiences to promote team based health care such as - Health fairs - Clinic work with dental students - Capstone project-100% of class of 2021 & 2022 participated in IPE activities with other health professions students
      - 100% of class of 2021 & 2022 participated in Falls Prevention Training
      -100% of the class of 2021 & 2022 participated in performing intake assessments, TB test placement, and care for individuals undergoing substance use disorder rehabilitation
      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 - Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) Training -100% of class of 2021 & 2022 participated in reflective journaling
      - 100% of class of 2021 & 2022 participated in osteopathic philosophy seminar and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) demonstration
      - 100% of class of 2021 & 2022 completed MAT training
       
      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:

      • Internet based modules
      • Game-based learning
      • Interactive classroom sessions
      • Laboratory Learning
      • Didactic Clinical Experiences
      - 55% of curriculum delivered in interactive format

  • Accreditation +

    • A.T. Still University is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission

      230 S. LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500,
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Phone: 800.621.7440 | Fax: 312.263.7462
      Email: info@hlcommission.org

      ncahlc.org

      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.

      The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Accreditation-History-A.T.-Still-AZ-School-of-Health-Sciences-26.pdf.

  • 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
  • Profession+

    • History of the profession (per the American Academy of Physician Assistants)

      The PA profession was created to improve and expand healthcare.

      In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage of primary care physicians.

      To help remedy this, Eugene A. Stead Jr., MD, of the Duke University Medical Center, put together the first class of PAs in 1965. He selected four Navy Hospital Corpsmen who had received considerable medical training during their military service. Stead based the curriculum of the PA program on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during World War II.

      The first PA class graduated from the Duke University PA program on Oct. 6, 1967.

      The PA concept was lauded early on and gained federal acceptance and backing as early as the 1970s as a creative solution to physician shortages. The medical community helped support the new profession and spurred the setting of accreditation standards, establishment of a national certification process and standardized examination, and development of continuing medical education requirements.

      Areas of Medicine for PAs

      Physician assistants (PAs) are found in all areas of medicine. They practice in family medicine, internal medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery and surgical specialties including orthopedics, psychiatry as well as many other areas. Many PAs work in settings such as education, government, administration and research.

      Employment Opportunities

      The most common areas of medicine (per the AAPA) include:

      • Primary Care 21%
      • Surgical Subspecialties 29%
      • Internal Medicine Subspecialties 12%
      • Emergency Medicine 10%

      Employment opportunities for PAs are abundant. Many students are offered employment by preceptors on clinical rotations.

      Earnings Potential

      There are many resources easily available. Examples include:

      Median annual salary (per the AAPA): $111,000. 
      Salary varies based on experience, education, geographical location and other factors.

  • Students and Alumni+

    • Profile of the Current Cohort

      Class of 2022 admissions data

      • Class size: 70
      • Number of applicants interviewed: 351
         
      • Number of CASPA Applications: 1,149
      • Average cumulative GPA: 3.53
         
      • Average science GPA: 3.49
         
      • Average age: 24
         

      Student Services

      Student Life is dedicated to enhancing life outside the classroom at A.T. Still University by providing intentional programming, leadership development, and co-curricular support. Through engagement in one of over one hundred student organizations; university-organized volunteer/service opportunities; and informal interactions with fellow students, faculty, and staff the office of Student Life helps to facilitate a work/life balance of ATSU students outside the classroom.

      An example of an ATSU student organization is the J. Louis Kettel Society. The Kettel Society is the Physician Assistant program official student organization that represents all PA students at ATSU. The society provides a social and student governing platform for PA students. For more information about how to get involved with the Society or other registered student groups please contact studentlife@atsu.edu.

       

      The office also helps prepare ATSU students for the next phase of their career through career and professional development services. From hosting annual recruitment fairs, workshops to hone interviewing skills, and reviewing critical employment documents, Student Life helps bridge the experiences gained at ATSU with our students’ next professional experience.

  • Pipeline to Practice (P2P) Scholars+

    • Pipeline to Practice scholars are individuals who have been endorsed by one of our partner institutions nationally. To be considered as a P2P Scholar, the individual must obtain written endorsement from their institution and have the Faculty Advisor at the institution submit the letter Gina Hirrill-Torres at ghirrilltorres@atsu.edu.

      The current list of partner institutions includes:
      Albany State University
      Arizona Western College
      Benedictine University
      Dillard University
      Fresno Pacific University
      Langston University
      Ponce University
      Truman State University

  • Hometown Scholars+

    • Hometown Scholars are individuals who live in and work or volunteer with a community health center. To be considered as a Hometown Scholar, the individual must obtain written endorsement from their CHC and submit the letter through the Hometown Scholar program. For more information, please visit https://www.atsu.edu/hometown-scholars

  • Didactic and Clinical Year Overview+

    • Didactic Year Overview

      Classroom lectures and labs are conducted on the Mesa campus. Lectures are generally in large group format, often with case studies, interactive quizzing, and projects to encourage participation and collaboration with peers and faculty.

      Labs are generally in smaller group format, in which students practice history and physical exam, along with hands on skills and procedures with faculty supervision.

      Standardized patients are utilized to give “real world” scenarios and exposure in the testing environment to best prepare students for clinical rotations.

      Students gain practical experience to prepare for clinical rotations by going into the community to see patients during their didactic year. Students build confidence by working closely with preceptors and patients. Examples of these didactic year clinical experiences include the following:

      • Crossroads
      • Emerson Elementary School physicals
      • Mission of Mercy
      • Special Olympics athlete physicals
      • Karate medical team
      • Sant’e Rehab
      • Family Medicine
      • Medical Examiner
      • Ears Nose Throat (ENT)
      • Dental Clinic
      • Various health fairs

      Clinical Year Overview

      All students complete eight 6-week supervised clinical practice experiences. Students are assigned to complete these experiences at sites throughout the state of Arizona or at one of our community health center partners located in various parts of the country. Clinical Practice Experience areas include:

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

      Community Health Centers (CHC) for Clinical Experiences

      Community Health Centers are the nation’s largest safety net providers of healthcare for the underserved. Select students are assigned to complete their rotations at one of our community health center partners. By being embedded in these areas for clinical rotations, it is hoped that students will choose to practice in a community of need.

      Our current CHC partners include the following:

      A.T. Still University’s 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 ATSU-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, Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

Attrition

  • ARC-PA Student Attrition +

    •   Class of 2019 Class of 2020 Class of 2021
      Maximum entering Class size 
      (as apporved by ARC-PA)
      70 70 70
      Entering class size 70 70 70
      Graduates 63 66 69
      *Attrition rate 10% 5.7% 1.4%
      **Graduation rate 90% 94.3% 98.6%

      *Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

      **Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Physician Assistant Faculty

  • Dean +

      • Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD
        Ann Lee Burch, PT, MPH, EdD  LinkedIn

        Dr. Ann Lee Burch is the dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Burch received her doctor of education from Columbia University, Teachers College in 2005. She received her masters of public health from Columbia University, Mailman School of Public Health in 2002 and her masters of physical therapy from Columbia University, College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1989. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Research Group on Health Disparities at Teachers College, Columbia University. Her BA is in psychology from the University of Rochester.

        Prior to her appointment as dean, Dr. Burch served as vice dean for ATSU-ASHS. She served as the chair of the Physical Therapy Department from 2008-January 2012. Prior to ATSU, Dr. Burch was the director of physical therapy at the University of Puerto Rico, Medical Sciences Campus in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She has held administrative and/or faculty positions at the International Center for the Disabled in NY, NY, Mercy College in NY, and Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY.

        Dr. Burch’s area of scholarly interest and application of that interest is in knowledge, attitudes, and self-efficacy of health care providers and healthcare professional students towards underrepresented patient/client groups.

        Dr. Burch is the author of a Guide to Physical Therapy (Vault Publishers) which was written to increase information access about physical therapy to both high school graduates and re-entry adults. She was a co-investigator on an NIH grant at the University of Puerto Rico exploring the feasibility of an exercise program for breast cancer survivors living in San Juan.  Dr. Burch has lived in Symi, Greece, Taipei, Taiwan, Ahmdebad, India and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and is committed to research, teaching and service that further the understanding of the impact of socioeconomic and cultural variables on health.

        She was a member of the class of 2014 cohort of Women in Educational Leadership at Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2017 she was the co-PI on a Centers for Disease Control, Association for Prevention and Teaching grant exploring a population health case study format for teaching and communicating the impact of social determinants of health on health disparities. She was recently appointed a peer reviewer for the Higher Learning Commission.  

  • Vice Dean +

      • Marlene Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP Marlene Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP

        Dr. Salas-Provance, is professor and vice dean of A.T. Still University’s Arizona School of Health Sciences (ATSU-ASHS). Dr. Salas-Provance received her doctorate in speech science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her masters of health administration from the University of Missouri School of Medicine-Columbia. She holds both a bachelors and masters in Speech Pathology from New Mexico State University.

        Prior to her appointment as vice dean, Dr. Salas-Provance served as associate dean of academic and student affairs for the School of Health Professions at the University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston. She served as assistant dean and chair in the College of Education, Department of Special Education and Communication Disorders at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, New Mexico and department chair in the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Montevallo (AL). She held faculty positions at Fontbonne College and St. Louis University, in St. Louis, MO.

        She has made extensive professional contributions to the American, Speech, Language & Hearing Association (ASHA), serving on the Speech-Language Pathology Advisory Council, member of the Financial Planning Board, and the Multicultural Issues Board. She served as coordinator of ASHA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) 14, Communication Disorders and Sciences in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse populations and was a founding member and coordinator of SIG 17, Global Issues in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She is an ASHA Fellow and received ASHA’s highest awards for “Special Recognition in Multicultural Affairs” and “Outstanding Contributions in International Achievement.”

        Dr.Salas-Provance has served as a clinical educator throughout her academic career, especially related to children with cleft lip and palate. She is a member of an international medical team with Rotaplast International and has traveled worldwide for over 15 years to provide clinical services to children with cleft palate. She implemented a program for graduate students in speech pathology to provide clinical services in Spanish to children with cleft palate in Lima, Peru. In addition to Lima, Peru she has provided clinical services in China, Bangladesh, Philippines, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Venezuela.

        Dr. Salas-Provance is coauthor of the textbook Culturally Responsive Practices in Speech-Language and Hearing Science (Plural Publishing, 2019) which meets the needs for training students in healthcare professions regarding practice with individuals from culturally and linguistically diverse populations. Her research is focused on attitudes towards disability by diverse populations and addressing the use of language interpreters during healthcare and educational encounters.

        Over the past ten years she has lectured extensively to international audiences, both in English and Spanish, including as invited speaker for the Congreso Internacional en Trastornos de la Comunicacion at Escuela de Fonoaudiologia (Speech Language Pathology / Audiology) de la Universidad de Talca, Chile and for the Department of Otolaryngology, Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza, Lima, Peru, Endoscopic Evaluation of Velopharyngeal Dysfunction. She was invited keynote speaker for the First International Congress in Speech-Language Pathology and Orthodontics in the area of cleft lip and palate in Lima, Peru.

        Dr. Salas-Provance was selected for the American Council on Education (ACE) Women’s Leadership Program and attended the National Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington DC (2017) for advancing female executives in higher education.

  • Chair and Program Director +

      • Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA

        Michelle DiBaise, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, graduated in 1990 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s PA program. Dr. DiBaise has practiced in pulmonology, orthopedic surgery and for ten years, dermatology in Nebraska. She is currently a full-time professor and the program chair for ATSU’s PA Program.

        Dr. DiBaise has served on the American Academy of Physician Assistant board of directors, the Student Academy of the AAPA as both a student and as graduate advisor; vice president of the PA Foundation; and serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Dermatology PAs. In addition, she has served as president of the Arizona State Association of PAs (ASAPA) in addition to serving as president for Nebraska, Iowa and the Society of Dermatology PAs.

  • Administration and Faculty +

      • Bruce Badaglialacqua, DO Bruce Badaglialacqua, DO
        Medical Director
        Read Bio
      • Ray Pavlick, PhD Ray Pavlick, PhD
        Professor, Director of Didactic Education
        Read Bio
      • Kimberly DeVore, MS, PA-C Kimberly DeVore, MS, PA-C
        Director of Clinical Education/Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Annette Bettridge MS, PA-C, FNP Annette Bettridge MS, PA-C, FNP
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Brittney Gray, MS, PA-C Brittney Gray, MS, PA-C
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Angie Kiselyk, EdD, PA-C Angie Kiselyk, EdD, PA-C
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Linda MacConnell, MPAS, MA Ed, PA-C Linda MacConnell, MPAS, MA Ed, PA-C
        Associate Professor
        Read Bio
      • Tessa Tibben, DHSc, PA-C Tessa Tibben, DHSc, PA-C
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Sarah Walsh, PA-C Sarah Walsh, PA-C
        Assistant Professor
        Read Bio
      • Lorie Weber, MS, PA-C Lorie Weber, MS, PA-C
        Instructor
        Read Bio
      • Ami Mikhail, MMS, PA-C Ami Mikhail, MMS, PA-C
        Assistant Professor/Clinical Coordinator
        Read Bio
      • Amy Wing, MMS, PA-C Amy Wing, MMS, PA-C
        Assistant Professor, Clinical Coordinator
        Read Bio
      • Alexander, Franchesca, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Asaki, Howard, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Biggs, Erika, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Butler, Jeff, DO
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Churgin, Cyndy, FNP, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Crabtree, Alisha, M.Adm, MS, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Craghead, Wilson, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Finklea-Strickland, Sabrina, MSN, FNP-BC, PHN, FCN
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Fulleman, Alex, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Haynie, Alan, BA, RRT, CPTC
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Keller, Day, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Knutson, Linda, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Limberg, Sarah, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Lyon, Melanie, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • McDaniel (Clouse), Lisa, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • McDonald, Mariel, PA-C, ATC
        Adjunct Faculty
      • McKelvy, Andrea, MPAS
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Menzie, Brooke, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Merrill, Phil, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Mitchell, Vanessa, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Peterson (Davis), Jeanne, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Rawcliffe, Melinda, MPAS, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Richmond, Robin, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Ruder, Lindsay , PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Shapiro, Julietta, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Shuker, Sarah, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Sorace, Sara, MS, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Smith, Victoria, MS, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Vaughn-Dotterer, Jeannette, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Walker, Andrew, PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
      • Witte, Laura, Ph.D., PA-C
        Adjunct Faculty
  • Staff +

      • Cindy Becerra Cindy Becerra
        Manager of Clinical Education

        Read Bio
      • Wendy Hardina Wendy Hardina
        Program Manager, Department of Physician Assistant Studies

        Read Bio
      • Janell Somers Janell Somers
        Clinical Student Liaison Coordinator

        Read Bio
      • Bobbi Catton Bobbi Catton
        Curriculum Coordinator

        Read Bio
      • Nick Cross Nick Cross
        Coordinator- PA Assessments

        Read Bio
      • Jesse Thompson, NREMT Jesse Thompson, NREMT
        Education Support & Materials Manager

        Read Bio
      • Gina Hirrill-Torres Gina Hirrill-Torres
        Curriculum Coordinator

        Read Bio

Physician Assistant Degree Admissions

  • Requirements +

    • Pre-requisite Coursework

      Applicants for admission to the residential Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program must meet the following requirements prior to matriculation. All pre-requisite coursework and the bachelor’s or master’s degree must be completed from a regionally accredited institution. Course and transcript evaluations of equivalency are not accepted. Candidates accepted for admission to the ATSU-ASHS PA Program must have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or
      university (no equivalency will be accepted). Applicants must successfully complete all prerequisite courses with a grade of “C” or higher prior to the program start date.

      Please review the FAQ section for more specific information.

      1. Human Anatomy with lab (recommended that course be completed within 5 years of application date), minimum 4 semester credits/6 quarter credits.
      2. Human Physiology with lab (recommended that course be completed within 5 years of application date), minimum 4 semester credits/6 quarter credits.
      3. If you have taken a combined Anatomy & Physiology course, you must have two or more semesters (each with lab) totaling 8 semester credits/12 quarter credits.
      4. Microbiology (with or without lab; recommended that course be completed within 5 years of application date) minimum 3 credits/4 quarter credits.
      5. Biochemistry (with or without lab; recommended that course be completed within 5 years of application date), minimum 3 semester credits/4 quarter credits.
      6. General chemistry (with or without lab; recommended that course be completed within 5 years of application date), minimum 4 semester credits/6 quarter credits.
      7. Psychology, minimum 3 semester credits/4 quarter credits
      8. College Statistics (i.e. intro course, business stats, psych stats), minimum 3 semester credits/4 quarter credits
      9. English composition minimum 6 semester credits/8 quarter credits OR  English composition minimum 3 semester credits/4 quarter credits AND English elective, minimum 3 semester credits/4 quarter credits
      10. Medical Terminology, minimum 1 semester/1 quarter credits (certificate does not count must be on transcript from college/university)
      11. Applicants must obtain a minimum of 1000 hours of patient care experience, sufficient to recognize the physical and psychological demands of dealing with patients and to appreciate the challenges and rewards of being a healthcare professional.
      12. A minimum of 100 community service hours is strongly recommended.
      13. Shadowing with a physician assistant is strongly recommended.
      14. Upper division science are strongly recommended such as (genetics, immunology, pathophysiology, cell biology)

      *Due to academic challenges related to Covid-19, we will accept pass/fall for prerequisites but only if letter grades are no longer an option

      GPA requirements

      The applicant must have achieved a minimum 3.0 cumulative grade point average overall and a minimum 3.0 cumulative science grade point average on a 4.00 scale.

      Advanced Standing

      No advanced standing is provided

      Admissions Timeline and CASPA

      Applications must be submitted through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (www.caspaonline.org). Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific details about completing the application, required documents, and processing time.

      The CASPA application cycle begins in mid-April of the academic year preceding the year in which the applicant plans to matriculate. Applicants must submit a completed application to CASPA by the Sept. 1 deadline. All secondary applications must be submitted by Oct. 1 to be considered.

      Program enrollment is based on a rolling admissions policy. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. Due to limited number of seats in the Program, applicants are encouraged to apply early. Interviews are awarded on a competitive basis. Admission to the program is made based on multiple criteria.

      General Admission Requirements

      Candidates accepted for admission to the ATSU-ASHS PA Program must have earned a baccalaureate degree or higher from a regionally accredited college or university. Evaluations of transcripts are not accepted (i.e., no equivalency will be accepted).

      Applicants are expected to be computer literate. All coursework requires extensive computer usage. Accepted applicants will be provided laptop specifications.

      Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from professionals:
      Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific guidelines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendation.

      1. Employer or supervisor
      2. Health Care Practitioner (Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner)
      3. Faculty Member.

      Once ATSU-ASHS receives a completed CASPA application and determines that minimum requirements are met, the applicant will be notified by email to submit a secondary fee for final processing. Upon receipt of this fee, the application is forwarded to the program for consideration.

      NOTE: Applicants are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions of any changes in their mailing address or email address. All requests for withdrawing an application must be done in writing via email, fax, or letter.

      Applicants are encouraged to check all email folders in the rare event our email is filtered into a spam or junk mail folder.

      If you are accepted into the ATSU PA Program, before matriculating you will be required to complete a criminal background check. Depending on the nature of the incidents uncovered, the results of the background check could potentially affect your acceptance into the program, disqualify you from clinical rotations in certain locations leading to an inability to complete your education, or prohibit professional licensure in certain states.

      All students are required to demonstrate proficiency in English when applying to the ATSU-ASHS. You may find information on the methods by which you can demonstrate your English Proficiency in the General Admissions section. International Admissions Requirements

      Applicants who are considered potential candidates must visit ASHS to participate in an applicant interview process.

      Please see the Residential Student Program Guide to review the technical standards for admission.

      Minimal Technical Standards

  • Application +

    • tablet

      The ATSU-ASHS PA program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). CASPA provides a web-based service that allows applicants to submit a single application to multiple participating PA programs. All official transcripts and letters of reference are sent directly to CASPA as part of the application process. Please visit CASPA at https://portal.caspaonline.org for more information on how to apply for admission.

      Program enrollment is based on a rolling admissions policy. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received, thus applicants are encouraged to apply early.

      Once ATSU-ASHS receives a completed CASPA application and determines that minimum requirements are met, the applicant is notified by email to submit a secondary fee of $70 for final processing. Upon receipt of this fee, the application then receives full consideration by the PA program.

      Virtual interviews may be utilized during this interview cycle.

       

      Apply Now

      For additional information contact the PA department:
      480.219.6000

  • Tuition+

    • Review tuition and fees for the Physician Assistant Degree program. Please note tuition and fees are subject to change.

  • FAQs+

      1. What degree does the ATSU PA program offer? Graduating students receive a master of science degree in physician assistant studies.
      2. How long is the ASHS PA program, and when does it start? ATSU-ASHS’ PA program is 26 months and 1 week in length. Courses will begin annually in July. The first 14 month component of the program is divided into two and a half semesters of didactic and laboratory work, while the second 12 month component consists of clinical rotations. During the clinical rotation component, students complete a capstone paper.
      3. What courses are required for completion of the PA program and how many credits does each course carry? Please refer to the Class of 2022 Curriculum or the Class of 2021 Curriculum.
      4. Must I have a bachelor’s degree to enter the program? Yes.
      5. How do I apply to the PA program? Completed applications must be submitted to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (www.caspaonline.org). Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific details about completing the application, required documents, and processing time. The CASPA application cycle begins Mid-April of the academic year preceding the year in which the applicant plans to matriculate. Program enrollment is based on a rolling admissions policy. Applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received, thus applicants are encouraged to apply early. Applicants are required to submit three letters of recommendation from the professionals listed below to CASPA . (1) Employer or supervisor (2) Health Care Practitioner (Physician, Physician Assistant or Nurse Practitioner), and (3) faculty member. Please refer to the CASPA application instructions for specific guidelines and requirements for submitting letters of recommendation. Once ATSU-ASHS receives a completed CASPA application and determines that minimum requirements are met, the applicant will be notified by email to submit a secondary fee for final processing. Upon receipt of this fee, the application is forwarded to the PA Program for consideration. NOTE: Applicants are responsible for notifying the Office of Admissions (admissions@atsu.edu) prior to matriculation for changes in their mailing address or email address. Once accepted, all requests to withdraw must be done in writing via email, fax, or letter to Enrollment Services (enrollmentservices@atsu.edu) and the Office of Admissions. Applicants are encouraged to check all email folders in the rare event our email is filtered into a spam or junk mail folder.
      6. When are interviews conducted? Interviews will occur from mid-September through January, predominantly on Mondays.
      7. Do all of my prerequisite courses need to be completed by the time I apply to ATSU-ASHS’ PA program through CASPA? No. It is common for many of our candidates to be finishing one or two pre-requisite courses at the time of application. All prerequisites must be successfully completed before the ASHS PA program begins in July.
      8. Where do I find out how to pay my secondary fee? If all minimum criteria are met in the primary application, the secondary application will be emailed to the applicant. The applicant will be instructed on how to pay the secondary fee upon submission. ATSU’s secondary application deadline is October 1st.
      9. Do you have a distance learning option for the entry-level program? No.
      10. What is the profile of a successful applicant to ATSU-ASHS’ PA program? The successful applicant to the program will have combination of life, educational and work experience that shows a commitment to patient care and serving the underserved, an understanding of the PA profession, and the ability to perform in a demanding academic and professional setting. Past educational performance, while not necessarily indicative of current abilities, can predict performance in the program. Every attempt should be made to enhance overall and science course GPA prior to application. The didactic phase is extremely demanding and the applicant will benefit by taking rigorous upper division science course loads.
      11. Do community college courses meet admissions prerequisites? Yes
      12. Can I take prerequisites at your institution? No. ATSU-ASHS does not offer undergraduate courses.
      13. Does it make a difference for admission if I am from out-of-state? No. Your state of residence does not impact your chances for admission.
      14. Can international students apply to the program? International students can apply if they have received a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a US regionally accredited institution.
      15. How will I be notified if I’m being invited for an interview? The invitation will be made by email; therefore, it is important that you provide us with current contact information. A formal letter will be sent to you as well.
      16. When will I be notified if I am selected to interview? You will be notified if you are selected for an interview after your application has been reviewed. The application review process begins in June each year.
      17. If I am selected to interview, how long does it take to find out if I am selected for the program? We try to inform applicants within two to four weeks after the interview date.
      18. What is the average GPA of students accepted to the program? For the class of 2023, the average overall GPA was 3.55. The average science GPA was 3.51.
      19. Will I be able to work while I am in school? Because the rigorous nature of the physician assistant course work, the PA faculty strongly discourage students from working. Typically, PA students are in class from 8:00am - 5:00pm Monday through Friday, with an occasional required weekend or evening hours.
      20. Does ATSU-ASHS offer financial aid? Where can I find scholarship information? Yes, we offer financial aid and scholarships to our students. Learn more about financial aid.
      21. How many people apply to ATSU-ASHS’ PA program each year? In recent years, the program has received over 2,500 applications. We traditionally interview approximately 300+ people. There is no guaranteed number of applications or interviews in any given year.
      22. How many open positions are available in the ATSU-ASHS’ PA program each year? ATSU-ASHS enrolls 70 students per PA student cohort.
      23. How many hours of clinical experience do I need? A minimum of 1000 hours of health care experience involving patient contact is required. It is important that one is very familiar with the career in which the applicant is planning to make a commitment. 
         
      24. Is there housing convenient to the University? Yes. Students find housing in many of the neighboring communities. There is no on-campus student housing.
      25. Can I send my application directly to ATSU? No. You must apply through the centralized application service called CASPA.
      26. I do not work in the medical field. What type of experience should I get to accumulate hours for “Clinical Experience”? Keep in mind that your goal is to become a physician assistant, therefore, your experience should provide you with as much exposure/experience as possible to the roles and responsibilities of physicians, PA’s and other medical professionals, whose primary responsibility is patient care.
      27. I have a letter of recommendation by a nurse practitioner, chiropractor or other health professional. Can this count for my healthcare letter of recommendation? The required letter of recommendation from a healthcare provider must be from a physician (M.D. or D.O.), a physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner.
      28. Can someone review my application, transcripts, reference forms, resume and personal statement before I turn them in? No. Read the PA program’s brochure, catalog and online material very carefully. Everything you need to know is explained in these documents.
      29. Who is on the PA Admission Committee? Committee members consist of program faculty and practicing physician assistants.
      30. What are the costs in the PA program? Consult the Finance Office website for the current tuition and costs of the PA program. Please note PA program costs are subject to change upon approval of the University Board of Trustees.
      31. Can a course in “exercise physiology” satisfy the human anatomy & physiology pre-requisite? No.
      32. Does your program offer advanced placement or accept transfer credits? The program does not offer advanced placement or transfer credits for advanced standing in the PA program. The program does not accept AP credits for prerequisite courses with the exception of English.
      33. How do I prepare for the interview? Be yourself. Be prepared. Do your homework regarding the PA profession and ATSU. Practice by asking others to “mock” interview you.
      34. What is the interview format? Interviews are offered as either in-person or virtual via Zoom platform. Both in person and virtual interviews use a multiple mini-interview format or MMI and a one on one file review session. The MMI format ensures students are not only academically capable but also possess the characteristics associated with success in the program and as a compassionate and knowledgeable graduate PA. Interview sessions also include a Q&A session and time to meet with our current PA students.
      35. What counts as volunteer experience? We are looking for applicants that are spending time helping people in a community of need or underserved. The volunteer experience does not have to be in healthcare however this is recommended. This does not include a paid position or shadowing. We love animals but we are looking for volunteer service helping people.
      36. Do you require the GRE? For the 2021-2022 cycle the GRE is NOT required
      37. Where can I address any further questions? Contact the admissions office at admissions@atsu.edu or call 866.626.2878.

The Family and Culture


Three medical students of ATSU's PA program. Female medical students wearing white lab coats, smiling while consulting with a patient. Students gathered around a woman lying underneath an x-ray machine. Physician Assistant students at A.T. Still University Image of Carmen embracing the culture and education of ATSU Advanced Physician Assistant degree. Close up image of a stethoscope lying on a clouded glass table. Physician Assistant student at A.T. Still University in classroom ATSU student working on a project embracing the ATSU culture.

 

Physician Assistant Curriculum Overview

Fall Semester 1

  • Introduction to Clinical Skills +

    • Credits: 1
      Introduction to Clinical Skills is the first of a five part course sequence which provides hands-on training for clinical procedures common in current professional practice. Using low instructor-student ratios and medium- and high-fidelity manikins, students will gain familiarity with a range of clinical procedures while developing their bedside manner and confidence. Team-based care principles will be taught through formative simulation experiences. The Clinical Skills series has been carefully organized to present material system by system to promote interaction of material from parallel courses in the curriculum, i.e. Clinical Medicine, History & Physical, and Body, Mind, Spirit.
  • Clinical Anatomy +

    • Credits: 2
      Clinical Anatomy is a review of clinically relevant human anatomy using a regional approach. Lecture and three dimensional laboratory components of this course emphasize the clinical relevance of each anatomical area considered. Nonpathological radiological anatomy is reviewed.
  • Introduction to Biomedical and Clinical Medicine +

    • Credits: 4.5
      This course provides a foundation in recognizing the differences between normal and disease states by integrating basic concepts in genetics, molecular biology, microbiology, physiology and pathology. Emphasis is placed on studying the various mechanisms of disease etiology and how they relate to pharmacotherapeutic intervention. Basic pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamics principles are covered in this course, along with autonomic pharmacology; analgesics; anti-neoplastic agents; and immune-modulating therapies.
  • Introduction to Body-Mind-Spirit Seminar +

    • Credits: 2
      The Intro to Body, Mind and Spirit Seminar is the first in a series is a four course series that exposes the student to seminal material germane to the role of the practicing physician assistant. Foundational topics in the following areas will be presented over the four sessions in this course series: Professionalism (including intellectual honesty); Cross Culturalism and Care of Diverse Patient Populations; Bias in Medical Care Delivery; Interprofessional Team Concepts; Healthcare Delivery Systems; Evaluation of the Medical Literature; Concepts of Public Health; Patient Safety and Prevention of Medical Errors; Ethical Practice; Patient and Practitioner Wellness; PA-Physician Team Practice; PA Professional Issues; Development and History of the PA Profession and Spirituality in Medicine.
  • Introduction to Patient Assessment +

    • Credits: 3.5
      Introduction to Patient Assessment provides fundamental methods for obtaining and presenting a complete screening medical history and physical examination. Techniques for conducting a physical examination are covered. Instructional methods include lecture, group discussion, role-playing, and labs. Students conduct interviews and physical examinations under supervision. Students are expected to spend additional time outside of class performing physical exams, and preparing for presenting case information and findings.
  • Clinical Medicine: EENT +

    • Credits: 4
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Pulmonology +

    • Credits: 4
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Cardiology +

    • Credits: 8
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • History & Physical Examination I +

    • Credits: 2
      The History and Physical Examination series is a four course series that provides physician assistant students with techniques of taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. This course will also teach the PA student the proper use of medical diagnostic equipment, selected clinical procedures and effective skills for communicating with patients, their families and other health professionals. Students will learn and practice basic counseling and patient education skills. The courses will include classroom activities, laboratory sessions and clinical experiences.
  • Body, Mind and Spirit I +

    • Credits: 1
      The Body, Mind and Spirit Seminar series is a four course series that exposes the student to seminal material germane to the role of the practicing physician assistant. Foundational topics in the following areas will be presented over the four sessions in this course series: Professionalism (including intellectual honesty); Cross Culturalism and Care of Diverse Patient Populations; Bias in Medical Care Delivery; Interprofessional Team Concepts; Healthcare Delivery Systems; Evaluation of the Medical Literature; Concepts of Public Health; Patient Safety and Prevention of Medical Errors; Ethical Practice; Patient and Practitioner Wellness; PA-Physician Team Practice; PA Professional Issues; Development and History of the PA Profession and Spirituality in Medicine.
  • Clinical Medicine Practicum I +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Medicine Practicum series is a four course sequence which places students in supervised clinical patient care settings throughout their didactic education in preparation for the clinical year. Students will learn the art of medicine from PAs, physicians, and other healthcare providers in a variety of care environments and specialties.
  • Clinical Skills I +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Skills series is a five course sequence which provides hands-on training for clinical procedures common in current professional practice. Using low instructor-student ratios and medium- and high-fidelity manikins, students will gain familiarity with a range of clinical procedures while developing their bedside manner and confidence. Team-based care principles will be taught through formative simulation experiences. All students will obtain ACLS certification during this course sequence.

Spring Semester

  • Clinical Medicine: Healthcare for Special Populations +

    • Credits: 2
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Endocrinology +

    • Credits: 4
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Gastroenterology +

    • Credits: 7
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Dermatology +

    • Credits: 2
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • History & Physical Examination II +

    • Credits: 2
      The History and Physical Examination series is a four course series that provides physician assistant students with techniques of taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. This course will also teach the PA student the proper use of medical diagnostic equipment, selected clinical procedures and effective skills for communicating with patients, their families and other health professionals. Students will learn and practice basic counseling and patient education skills. The courses will include classroom activities, laboratory sessions and clinical experiences.
  • Body, Mind and Spirit II +

    • Credits: 1
      The Body, Mind and Spirit Seminar series is a four course series that exposes the student to seminal material germane to the role of the practicing physician assistant. Foundational topics in the following areas will be presented over the four sessions in this course series: Professionalism (including intellectual honesty); Cross Culturalism and Care of Diverse Patient Populations; Bias in Medical Care Delivery; Interprofessional Team Concepts; Healthcare Delivery Systems; Evaluation of the Medical Literature; Concepts of Public Health; Patient Safety and Prevention of Medical Errors; Ethical Practice; Patient and Practitioner Wellness; PA-Physician Team Practice; PA Professional Issues; Development and History of the PA Profession and Spirituality in Medicine.
  • Clinical Medicine Practicum II +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Medicine Practicum series is a four course sequence which places students in supervised clinical patient care settings throughout their didactic education in preparation for the clinical year. Students will learn the art of medicine from PAs, physicians, and other healthcare providers in a variety of care environments and specialties.
  • Clinical Skills II +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Skills series is a five course sequence which provides hands-on training for clinical procedures common in current professional practice. Using low instructor-student ratios and medium- and high-fidelity manikins, students will gain familiarity with a range of clinical procedures while developing their bedside manner and confidence. Team-based care principles will be taught through formative simulation experiences. All students will obtain ACLS certification during this course sequence.
  • Clinical Medicine: Musculoskeletal +

    • Credits: 6
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Neurology +

    • Credits: 5
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • Clinical Medicine: Behavioral Health +

    • Credits: 3
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • History & Physical Examination III +

    • Credits: 2
      The History and Physical Examination series is a four course series that provides physician assistant students with techniques of taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. This course will also teach the PA student the proper use of medical diagnostic equipment, selected clinical procedures and effective skills for communicating with patients, their families and other health professionals. Students will learn and practice basic counseling and patient education skills. The courses will include classroom activities, laboratory sessions and clinical experiences.
  • Body, Mind and Spirit III +

    • Credits: 1
      The Body, Mind and Spirit Seminar series is a four course series that exposes the student to seminal material germane to the role of the practicing physician assistant. Foundational topics in the following areas will be presented over the four sessions in this course series: Professionalism (including intellectual honesty); Cross Culturalism and Care of Diverse Patient Populations; Bias in Medical Care Delivery; Interprofessional Team Concepts; Healthcare Delivery Systems; Evaluation of the Medical Literature; Concepts of Public Health; Patient Safety and Prevention of Medical Errors; Ethical Practice; Patient and Practitioner Wellness; PA-Physician Team Practice; PA Professional Issues; Development and History of the PA Profession and Spirituality in Medicine.
  • Clinical Medicine Practicum III +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Medicine Practicum series is a four course sequence which places students in supervised clinical patient care settings throughout their didactic education in preparation for the clinical year. Students will learn the art of medicine from PAs, physicians, and other healthcare providers in a variety of care environments and specialties.
  • Clinical Skills III +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Skills series is a five course sequence which provides hands-on training for clinical procedures common in current professional practice. Using low instructor-student ratios and medium- and high-fidelity manikins, students will gain familiarity with a range of clinical procedures while developing their bedside manner and confidence. Team-based care principles will be taught through formative simulation experiences. All students will obtain ACLS certification during this course sequence.

Fall Semester 2

  • Clinical Medicine: Nephrology & Urology +

    • Credits: 4
      The Clinical Medicine series is a twelve course series that provides physician assistant students a systems-based education on health promotion and disease prevention, and patient evaluation, diagnosis, and management across the lifespan. Building upon the material that is presented in the foundations of medicine courses in Fall session 1, each course in the clinical medicine series will provide instruction covering a specific body system, developing an understanding of the pathophysiologic basis of disease (including genetics and molecular mechanisms of disease), generating systems-specific differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, and formulating and implementing pharmacologic and nonpharmacologic treatment plans. Special emphasis will be given to the major principles of pharmacology, including concepts of drug absorption, distribution, metabolism, and elimination. Medications covered will include those most commonly used in the care and treatment of the system-specific conditions.
  • History & Physical Examination IV +

    • Credits: 1
      The History and Physical Examination series is a four course series that provides physician assistant students with techniques of taking a patient history and performing a physical examination. This course will also teach the PA student the proper use of medical diagnostic equipment, selected clinical procedures and effective skills for communicating with patients, their families and other health professionals. Students will learn and practice basic counseling and patient education skills. The courses will include classroom activities, laboratory sessions and clinical experiences.
  • Clinical Medicine Practicum IV +

    • Credits: 1
      The fourth course in this series will prepare students for the clinical year through a series of orientation lectures, end of didactic PACKRAT and summative examinations, and lectures on evidence based medicine and literature review in preparation for the capstone project.
  • Clinical Skills IV +

    • Credits: 1
      The Clinical Skills series is a five course sequence which provides hands-on training for clinical procedures common in current professional practice. Using low instructor-student ratios and medium- and high-fidelity manikins, students will gain familiarity with a range of clinical procedures while developing their bedside manner and confidence. Team-based care principles will be taught through formative simulation experiences. All students will obtain ACLS certification during this course sequence.
  • Clinical Medicine: Women's Health +

    • Credits: 4
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.

Clinical Year

  • Elective +

    • Credits: 5
      Students will have the opportunity to complete an elective experience in an area of interest from the list of active preceptors in the program’s clinical database. Students are welcome to suggest a clinical site outside of the program’s available list that is consistent with the Department’s mission and within the current established geographic clinical locations (in Metro Phoenix or active CHC campuses). The program must approve all clinical experiences.
  • Family Practice +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Internal Medicine +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Pediatrics +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Emergency Medicine +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Clinical Medicine: Women's Health +

    • Credits: 4
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • General Surgery +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Behavioral Health +

    • Credits: 5
      Clinical experiences will average approximately 40 hours/week on site, in patient related care. Some clinical experiences may involve slightly shorter (no less than 36 hours/week) or longer hours (no more than 80 hours/week), evening, weekend or on-call responsibilities. The preceptor or clinical site will determine the student’s on-site schedule and clinical responsibilities. Students must adhere to each clinical experience schedule and to all assignments developed by the preceptor. If this is not possible in any given week at a specific clinical site, the student is to notify the clinical team in advance. Patient related care includes evaluating and treating patients, charting and appropriate paperwork (written or electronic), case presentations, discussions with the preceptor, and other duties as applicable.
  • Transition to Practice +

    • Credits: 3
      This course is ongoing through the clinical year. It includes testing, Objective Structured Clinical Encounter (OSCE) and practical examinations, SOAP note assignments, summative evaluation, and preparation for the PANCE. Topics to prepare the student for practice as a licensed healthcare professional are covered including state licensure, DEA, malpractice, billing and coding, residencies and graduate PA training.