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Physician Assistant Studies in Glendale

College of Health Sciences

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Fast Facts

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Degree

Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.)

General Requirements

Length of Program

27 months, full-time

Class Size

90

Class of 2015 Profile

Clinical Rotations

Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine/Primary Care, Internal Medicine, Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Surgery, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Electives.

Graduation Rate

The Class of 2013 had a 96.7% graduation rate (90/93)

National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Pass Rate 5-Year Average (2008-2012)

NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report ››

Time to Employment

85/87 graduates from the Class of 2012 responded to 2012 survey and reported they were employed within 20 weeks of graduation

Career Opportunities

Primary care, surgical subspecialties, emergency medicine, internal medicine subspecialties1

US Employment Projections through 2020

2010 jobs: 83,600; outlook 2010-2020 30% increase of 24,700 jobs to to 108,300 jobs2

2012 Median Annual PA Salary

The average salary in June 2012 grew to $93,1053

2010 Median Annual Salary, First-Year Graduates

$80,000 (varies by specialty, practice setting, location, experience)3

1 http://www.midwestern.edu/documents/AZ%20PA/Physician%20Assistant%20Census%20Report.pdf (website last accessed October 2013)

2 www.bls.gov (website last accessed October 2013)

3 www.aapa.org (website last accessed October 2013)

Admission Requirements

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Students seeking admission to the PA Program must submit the following documented evidence:

  1. All applicants must apply through the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) and meet the published admission criteria.
  2. Minimum cumulative science and overall GPA of 2.75 on a 4.00 scale.
  3. Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) general test submitted directly to CASPA under code 0508 by October 1st. Scores may also be submitted to the Office of Admissions by December 1st using the Midwestern University institution code for the GRE is 4160. Only test scores earned in the last five years are acceptable. Applicants are expected to achieve a score at or above the 50th percentile in each section. For additional information about the GRE, call 866/473-4373, or visit http://www.ets.org/gre.
  4. Completion of prerequisite courses as listed below from regionally accredited colleges or universities. All prerequisite courses must be completed with a C or better. Grades of C- are NOT acceptable for any prerequisite course. Life experience credits do not count toward fulfillment of any prerequisite courses. Courses in which "credit" or grades of "pass" are earned will be counted only when applicants can provide verification that the earned grades were equivalent to grades of C or better (grades of C- are not acceptable).
  5. Completion of prerequisite courses prior to matriculation.
  6. Applicants must determine which prerequisites are missing and which courses must be taken to fulfill any outstanding prerequisites.
  7. Completion of a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university before matriculation.
  8. Motivation for and commitment to health care as demonstrated by previous work, volunteer, or other life experiences.
  9. Demonstration of service and leadership through community service or extracurricular activities.
  10. Oral and written communication skills necessary to interact with patients and colleagues.
  11. Satisfactory Midwestern University criminal background check.
  12. Commitment to abide by the Midwestern University Drug-Free Workplace and Substance Abuse Policy.
  13. Successful completion of all required immunizations prior to matriculation.
  14. The applicant must meet the technical standards prior to admissions.

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    Prerequisite Courses

    Course Sem Hrs Qtr Hrs
    Biology with lab* (must include at least 4 hours of Anatomy)812
    General Chemistry with lab*812
    Organic Chemistry with lab*46
    Math (college algebra or above)34
    English Composition69
    Social and Behavioral Sciences (sociology, psychology, anthropology, etc.)69
    Biochemistry* (not required but strongly recommended)4-86-12
    Statistic (not required, but strongly recommended)34
    *All science prerequisites must be courses designed for science majors. No survey courses will count to fulfill science prerequisites. No online labs will be accepted.

    Application Process and Deadlines

    The Physician Assistant program uses a rolling admissions process. Students must apply for admission via the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application deadline is October 1st each year.

    Additional Application Information

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    Program Description

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    The professional curriculum leads to a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.M.S.). This full-time 27-month professional program offers students the opportunity to earn a graduate degree and satisfy the eligibility requirements for the PA national certifying examination. The PA program does not offer an extended course of study beyond the usual length of the program. The maximum allotted time for completion of this program is 40.5 months. The roles and specific clinical duties and responsibilities that graduates can expect to experience will vary depending on their chosen career path. PA Program graduates are expected to have the ability to competently perform patient histories and physicals, gather pertinent patient data, order and interpret diagnostic studies, recognize common diseases and disorders, choose appropriate therapeutic modalities, perform minor surgical procedures, manage emergency life-threatening conditions, promote health through counseling, education, and disease prevention, and demonstrate interpersonal skills consistent with the physician assistant role. The program is a combination of didactic and clinical education with the first 13.5 months covering a variety of didactic courses.

    The didactic coursework includes basic science coursework in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics and microbiology. It also includes clinical preparatory coursework in clinical medicine, pediatrics, behavioral medicine, psychiatry, women's health,  emergency medicine and surgical principles. During the remaining 13.5 months, students rotate through core clinical rotations and two elective rotations.

    The second-year clinical program is delivered at affiliated clinical sites and facilities. These sites are geographically and demographically diverse, reflecting the broad scope of practice opportunities that exist for PAs in the health care delivery system of this country. Sites include ambulatory practice settings, small and large office-based group practices, community and migrant health centers, in-patient settings involving large and small hospitals, as well as federal and state facilities. These sites are in urban, suburban, and rural communities located throughout Arizona. In addition, the program has established formal affiliations with clinical facilities and practitioners in a number of other states. As part of the clinical education phase of the program, students enrolled in the MWU PA Program will likely be assigned to clinical rotations that reflect this geographic and demographic diversity. Students are required to complete a minimum of one clinical rotation in a rural/medically-underserved community.

    The Physician Assistant program recommends that students do not work while attending Midwestern University.

    For more information on the specific curriculum browse our online catalog or you can download a quick overview.

    Planned Program Improvements

    No significant changes in the PA Program admission requirements, academic standards, or curriculum are anticipated for the 2012-2013 academic year.

    Mission

    The Midwestern University Physician Assistant Program is committed to educate and mentor students in a setting that cultivates excellence and prepares compassionate, competent physician assistants to serve in a changing healthcare environment.

    The philosophy of the PA Program is based on a dedication to the student-centered approach to teaching and learning. Program goals include a commitment to the following tenets: 1) mentor students and model professionalism, 2) promote interprofessional education and service within the healthcare community, 3) facilitate self-directed learning and critical-thinking skills, 4) foster a commitment to scholarship within the PA community, and 5) enhance the program through a process of continuous self-assessment.

    The program meets the goals in a variety of ways. 1) Students in the program are assigned faculty mentors who serve in that capacity throughout the student's tenure in the program. These mentors are aware of student performance on individual assessments and are readily available to discuss academic resources as well as hear candid opinions and suggestions from their mentees. Faculty model professionalism to the students in a variety of ways including service to the profession and scholarly contributions. All of the faculty provide service to the community, university, and/or community. 2) The program promotes interprofessional education and service through a myriad of approaches. Every first-year PA student participates in a university wide interprofessional course that serves to highlight commonalities between the professions. Program faculty and students also participate in several interprofessional community service opportunities that include providing medical care to the medically underserved communities in the Phoenix area. 3) The program demonstrates success in facilitating self-directed learning and fostering critical thinking skills through the success of the students during their clinical phase of training and on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination. 4) The program's commitment to scholarship is evident by the number of publications, presentations, and grants that have been completed with our students and faculty. 5) The program has a continuous process of self-assessment that allows for data collection and subsequent analysis throughout the curriculum. A variety of perspectives are sought in this process including students, faculty, clinical preceptors, and graduates. All of these efforts have allowed the program to achieve success including a 96% first-time PANCE pass rate over the last five graduating classes. Additionally, the mean PANCE score for graduates who have taken the PANCE exam for the first time has risen from 502 for the Class of 2005 to 628 for the Class of 2011.

    Definition of a Physician Assistant (approved by the American Academy of Physician Assistants' House of Delegates, 1995)

    "Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Physician Assistants are qualified upon graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Within the physician/PA relationship, Physician Assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. The clinical role of Physician Assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings in rural and urban areas. Physician Assistant practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities."

    Estimated Cost of Attendance

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    Total for 27-month program

    Physician AssistantYear 1Year 2Year 3
    Tuition$40,070$40,070$10,018
    Student Services Fee$573$573$143
    Health Insurance$2,928$2,704$902
    Disability Ins. Fee$65$65$33
    Books & Supplies$2,011$1,413$150
    AAPA Membership$75$0$0
    PANCE$0$0$475

    Accreditation

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    The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Continued Accreditation to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Midwestern University-Glendale. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards

    Continued 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 comprehensive review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2018.

    Related Links

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    MWU Physician Assistant Studies Program in Downers Grove

    American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA)

    Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

    CASPA Application

    Graduate Record Examination (GRE)/Educational Testing Service

    National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA)

    Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA)

     


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