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Physician Assistant Department

Steeping in History, Committed to the Future

While our program is one of the oldest in the nation, we are continually looking forward to cutting-edge research and advancements within this exciting field so that our graduates excel in the quickly growing PA job sector.

Physician Assistant Department

The Physician Assistant Department’s PA program, one of the nation’s oldest and largest, is pledged to providing students with the most current and finest preparatory training available. Employing continuous curricular analysis, assessment of the best clinical practices, and utilization of state-of-the art in educational technologies, program graduates are eminently prepared to undertake their roles as professional health care practitioners.
The Physician Assistant profession is one of the fastest growing and highly regarded professions in the country. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has consistently ranked the profession among the 30 fastest growing occupations. We are committed to providing the education and training needed to enter this exciting job sector.
We offer a Physician Assistant Master’s (PA) Program and a PA Post-Professional Master’s Program. Please explore our web pages for a wealth of information about our programs, students, faculty, research and clinical practice.


Master of Health Science - Physician Assistant
As a PA, you will complement the practice style of the supervising physician or physicians.

The PA Post-Professional Master's Program
Receive personalized professional development through an adult learner model.

Physician Assistant Faculty

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News & Events



Danielle Cole, BS ‘15, a research assistant at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was one of the nine winners of the Cooperative Education Student of the Year awards. She was recognized for her outstanding performance and contributions during her time at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

Angela M. Link, DPT, BS ’12, DPT ’15, joined Brooks Rehabilitation in Halifax Hospital in Daytona Beach, Florida.

Dafna Rehavia, MCAT ’00, artwork on display at the Chelsea International Fine Art Competition Exhibition at the Agora Gallery in New York City from August 25 to September 8.

Scott Richards, PhD, PA-C, DfAAPA, MS ’94, was named the founding chair and program director for the Physician Assistant Program at Emory & Henry College in Emory, Virginia. 


The primary goal of Drexel’s Physician Assistant (PA) Program is to develop graduates who are competent, caring physician assistants, possessing the skills of life-long learning needed to incorporate new knowledge and methods into their practices and to adapt to a changing medical environment. 

A key marker on the road to this profession is clinical training. At Drexel, the clinical training phase consists of six, five-credit, five-week clinical rotations in medicine, surgery, women’s health, pediatrics, emergency medicine and behavioral health, assigned in varying order in locations across the United States. The final portion of the clinical training phase curriculum consists of two, 10-credit, quarter-long, primary care practica (preceptorships). During these practica, each student is assigned to primary care sites for individualized clinical training with physician preceptors. 

Two students, Amina Wirjosemito and Julia Jackson, at two different stages in their Drexel PA education – one four months from graduating and one in her first year, respectively – share their perspectives on the clinical phase of the Program and how each has benefitted from Drexel PA’s long-standing mentorship program.

Amina has just completed clinical at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, CT, where she worked in the Emergency Department. Reflecting on her experience, she said, “At this stage in the game we are starting to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel, and it almost feels surreal.  Job prospects are becoming a reality, and my clinical knowledge and skills are finally come together.  It is so rewarding to look back at all of the hard work that we've put in so far and see how it is coming to fruition!”

Comparatively, Julia is preparing for her first rotation. Her six rotations will all be in different locations, including surgery at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center at Pomona, NJ; Adult Medicine at Mainland Cardiology Associates, Pomona, NJ; Behavioral Medicine at Wellington Retreat, Lantana, FL; Pediatrics at St. Mary’s Hospital, Waterbury, CT; Emergency Medicine, Camden, NJ; and last but not least OB/GYN at Alafia OBGYN in Millville, NJ. She said, “My first rotation is surgery and for me it’s quite intimidating. I am eager to learn from hands on experience and develop relationships with my co-workers and patients alike.

Though the experience is completely new for her, Julia can lean on her mentor, Amina, to share her insight. She sees her mentor as a “personal life jacket” and said, “She helps to build up my confidence when I have doubt, and also helps to relieve anxiety by telling me tips and tricks on how to make the most out of my future rotations.”

Amina has armed Julia with sound advice, encouraging her to be open-minded. “She needs to be confident in her abilities as a student, realize that the preceptors are NOT expecting her to know everything, and be open minded to experiencing everything she can in the clinical setting,” said Amina.

Their open-communication and supportive peer-to-peer relationship has benefitted Amina as much as it has Julia. “Julia is the most determined, driven and compassionate person I've ever met, and she has taught me the value of perseverance, especially in this really challenging program.  She has also taught me to be humble, which is a quality that is hard to come by these days.”


Everything happens for a reason.  Adrian Banning, MMS, an assistant clinical professor in the Physician Assistant (PA) Department, was appointed the co-director of the Epidemiology for Practice and Prevention Course in late 2008.  Prior to her appointment, she had not been interested in statistics or analyzing research, and admits she didn’t have much of an understanding for the underpinnings of using evidence-based medicine (EBM) effectively. 

After receiving an email about an evidence-based medicine conference in Massachusetts, Banning decided spur of the moment to attend.  The conference was organized by two thought leaders in the field, David Slawson, MD, of the University of Virginia, and Allen F. Shaughnessy, PharmD of Tufts University.  “I just sat with them and their colleagues for three days discussing why you need to know how to calculate positive and negative predictive value, why are they important, how you relay all these types of things that you’ve heard about but maybe haven’t thought about in a while, and how to transfer that to the education of a medical student, meaning nursing, physician, pharmacy, et cetera,” said Banning. “After three days of that, I came back and said we can do this so much better and apply these concepts right at the point of care with a patient.”

Banning brought all of these new concepts and ideas back to her mentor, Charles Stream, MPH, director of the epidemiology course, who in a very short turnaround time helped Banning incorporate them into the curriculum.  They also brought in Gary Childs, liaison librarian, Nursing and Health Professions.  “We talk about intercollaborative efforts between PAs, physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, but we forget to use our information experts as well.  Gary had a role in the class helping us understand what resources we have, the quality of them, and how to best utilize them.  He not only has a knack for understanding and teaching the resources, but also knowing when to suggest a resource or when you might not be ready for it,” said Banning.

The new curriculum aimed to incorporate as many of the thought masters as they could in 10 weeks and to merge the progressive ideas in EBM with what they were already doing to optimize how students can actually apply the concepts and make good decisions at the point of care.  “That’s when you really start revolutionizing or at least improving patient care, using evidence with the person sitting in front of you,” said Banning.

Following the course, Banning and Stream created presentations for the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) about how the curricular changes affected outcomes for the students.  The presentations touched upon how they tweaked what they were already doing as well as how they revised their curriculum, the resources they used, and how to use those resources.  The presentations were well-received, and they have been invited back several times, in both webinar and in-person, to present at PAEA conferences across the country and internationally. 

Said Banning, “So if you would have asked me 10 years ago, do you think EBM, epidemiology, statistics or public health are going to hold your interest, that you’ll be perusing amazon for books on how to read a paper, that you’ll be following these people on twitter… no, I wouldn’t have said that.  But it’s because I got assigned to this class and wanted to do a better job, and encountered some people who are really thinking about these things and making a lot of good sense.”

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