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Master of Health Science - Physician Assistant (PA)

Program

The Drexel University Physician Assistant Program provides graduates with a Master of Health Science degree. After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).

The physician assistant (PA) is a primary health care provider who, when graduated from an accredited program and nationally certified and state licensed, is eligible to practice medicine with the legal supervision of a physician.

PAs perform many duties including, but not limited to: physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, ordering and interpretation of lab tests, assisting in surgery, performing procedures, performing hospital rounds, prescribing medicines and providing patient education.

The primary goal of the 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.

The mission of this program is to:

  • Educate qualified primary care physician assistants
  • Improve health care delivery in rural and urban medically under served areas
  • Promote the physician assistant profession

Click to View the Student Handbook for 2017-2018

COMPLIANCE

The College of Nursing and Health Professions has a compliance process that is required for all PA students. Some of these steps may take significant time to complete. Please plan accordingly. Visit the Compliance page for more information.

Statistics for the Class of 2020, matriculating in September 2018:

 Applications Received
1,753
 Applicants Accepted
80
 Average Overall GPA
3.63
 Average Science GPA
3.59
 Average Patient Contact Hours
2,915

Admission Requirements

NEW for the 2018-2019 admissions cycle:

  • All prerequisite courses required for admission must be completed in the United States
  • Foreign transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES)
  • Non-degreed applicants must have a minimum of 1,000 hours of direct patient contact experience at time of application

Degree:
If you do not have a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution by the end of the spring semester prior to fall matriculation, 90 specific credit hours (135 quarter credit hours) are required. The list of courses can be found under "Prerequisite Course Information" below.

GPA:
A minimum grade point average of 3.0, at time of application as calculated by CASPA, is required for the following three (3) categories: overall GPA, science GPA, and non-science GPA. Applications will not be reviewed unless the applicant has attained these minimum requirements.

Standardized Tests:
Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required or considered.

Transcripts:
Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be sent directly to CASPA.
Non-United States-based educational institutional transcripts must be evaluated by World Education Services (WES). Evaluation fees are the responsibility of the applicant and evaluations must be sent directly to CASPA. For more details visit the CASPA website.

Technical Standards:
Applicants must meet the technical standards for admission, progression, and graduation from the Physician Assistant Program. Each applicant is expected to review completely the Technical Standards. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, are counseled to pursue alternate careers.

Prerequisite Courses: (click on yellow arrow)

Prerequisite Course Information

General Prerequisite Course Information

  • Applicants may apply with some prerequisite coursework yet to be completed. In this case, applicants must indicate all courses that are either in progress or planned in the appropriate section of the CASPA application. Applications that do not list all prerequisite coursework (either as completed, in progress, or planned) will not be reviewed.
  • The deadline for completing all prerequisite courses is the end of the fall academic term prior to expected matriculation to the PA program.
  • Applicants may have no more than two (2) remaining prerequisite courses in progress during the fall academic term prior to expected matriculation.
  • The applicant having, at the time of initial application, prerequisite coursework either in progress or planned for completion no later than the end of the fall academic term prior to expected matriculation, may only be offered provisional acceptance. Full acceptance to the program will be offered after documentation by official transcript of successful completion of all in-progress or planned prerequisite coursework has been received by the Physician Assistant Program. Failure to provide official documentation by the deadline provided at the offer of provisional acceptance will result in the rescission of the provisional acceptance.
  • Prerequisite coursework not completed by the end of the academic term as indicated will disqualify applicants from further consideration for admission.
  • Courses may be completed online, provided that they are offered through an accredited college or university and the applicant receives college credit and a letter grade for the course(s).
  • All prerequisite courses must be completed with a grade of B- or higher in order to be accepted.
  • Prerequisite coursework may also be satisfied by Advanced Placement (AP) credit or College Level Equivalency Program (CLEP) examination achievement. Information is available here.
  • There is no "expiration date" for completed coursework, but applicants are very strongly encouraged to complete Human Anatomy and Physiology within 3-5 years of application.
  • All prerequisite courses required for admission must be completed at a United States institution without exception.

Applicants are categorized as:

Degreed: Those who already hold baccalaureate or graduate degrees from regionally accredited educational institutions at the time of initial application. Any Degreed Applicant missing significant prescribed courses should defer applying until prerequisite coursework is complete.

Pending-Degree-Completion: Those who anticipate receiving their baccalaureate degrees no later than the end of the spring academic term prior to their anticipated matriculation in the PA Program. The provisional acceptance for a Pending-Degree-Completion Applicant who does not document the official awarding of an anticipated baccalaureate degree by the end of the spring academic term prior to anticipated matriculation will be rescinded, unless the applicant can demonstrate full compliance with all the prerequisite coursework requirements of a Non-Degreed Applicant by the end of the spring academic term prior to anticipated matriculation.

Non-Degreed: Those who do not hold an undergraduate degree but have accumulated at least 90 semester credit hours (or 135 quarter credit hours) of acceptable transfer credits at the time of application. Non-Degreed Applicants accepted into the PA Program will matriculate for the Master of Health Science degree, and are eligible for a Bachelor of Science degree after completing the didactic year curriculum. The provisional acceptance for a Non-Degreed Applicant who does not document on official transcripts the successful completion of all missing prerequisite or elective coursework by the end of the spring academic term prior to expected matriculation will be rescinded.

Please note that one semester credit hour (SCH) is equivalent to .67 quarter credit hour (QCH).

Prerequisite Coursework Required for Degreed and Pending Degree Applicants:
*Please note that all credits listed are the minimum semester credits hours (SCH); no grades lower than "B-" will be accepted.

  • Psychology (3-4 SCH): One course in General/Introductory, Developmental, or Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with Labs (8 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the requirement is the complete study of the anatomy and physiology of all the major human bodily systems. Typically, this requires either two semester-long or three quarter-long courses with laboratory components to accomplish. Alternatively, a complete course in human anatomy with lab and a complete course in human physiology (with or without lab) may satisfy the requirement provided that together the two courses also constitute the complete study of the anatomy and physiology of all the major human bodily systems.
    • Exercise Physiology does not satisfy this requirement.
    • It is strongly recommended that anatomy and physiology coursework be completed within three to five years of application.
  • General Biology with Labs (8 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the course sequence must constitute a complete general study of a collegiate, year-long, survey course of biology. Typically, this requires either two semester-long courses or three quarter-long courses to accomplish.
  • General Chemistry with Lab (4 SCH): At least one course in general, inorganic college-level chemistry.
  • General or Medical Microbiology - Preferably with Lab (3-4 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the course or course sequence must provide collective study of all the major constituent organisms included in general microbiology.
    • Individual courses in bacteriology, virology, mycology, or parasitology do not satisfy this requirement.
  • General or Medical Genetics - Preferably with Lab (3-4 SCH): One course
  • Medical Terminology (1-3 SCH): This must be a course dedicated to medical terminology. A course containing medical terminology as only one component/unit/module of the course curriculum will not satisfy this requirement.

Prerequisite Coursework Required for Non-Degreed Applicants:
* Please note that all credits listed are the minimum semester credits hours (SCH); no grades lower than "B-" will be accepted.

  • Psychology (3-4 SCH): One course in General/Introductory, Developmental, or Abnormal Psychology
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with Labs (8 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the requirement is the complete study of the anatomy and physiology of all the major human bodily systems. Typically, this requires either two semester-long or three quarter-long courses with laboratory components to accomplish. Alternatively, a complete course in human anatomy with lab and a complete course in human physiology (with or without lab) may satisfy the requirement provided that together the two courses also constitute the complete study of the anatomy and physiology of all the major human bodily systems.
    • Exercise Physiology does not satisfy this requirement.
    • It is strongly recommended that anatomy and physiology coursework be completed within three to five years of application.
  • General Biology with Labs (8 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the course sequence must constitute a complete general study of a collegiate, year-long, survey course of biology. Typically, this requires either two semester-long courses or three quarter-long courses to accomplish.
  • General Chemistry with Labs (8 SCH): Two courses in general, inorganic college-level chemistry
  • General or Medical Microbiology - Preferably with Lab (3-4 SCH): Regardless of the number of credits, the course or course sequence must provide collective study of all the major constituent organisms included in general microbiology.
    • Individual courses in bacteriology, virology, mycology, or parasitology do not satisfy this requirement.
  • General or Medical Genetics - Preferably with Lab (3-4 SCH): One course
  • Medical Terminology (1-3 SCH): This must be a course dedicated to medical terminology. A course containing medical terminology as only one component/unit/module of the course curriculum will not satisfy this requirement.

Additional Required Coursework for Non-Degreed Applicants:
*Non-degreed applicants must not receive a grade lower than a "C" (2.0) in any single required course listed below.

  • English composition and literature (6 SCH): Courses in standard, college-level English or one or more composition (writing) and English literature courses
  • Mathematics (3 SCH): College Algebra, Pre-calculus, Calculus, or Statistics
  • Computer Science Applications (3 SCH): (word processing, spreadsheet, presentation, database)
  • Additional Social Sciences (6 SCH): See list below
  • Additional Humanities (6 SCH): See list below

Additional Required Elective Coursework for Non-Degreed Applicants:
*Non-degreed applicants must not receive a grade lower than a "C" (2.0) in any single required course listed below.

  • Must be sufficient to bring the total of all transfer credits to at least 90 semester hours (or 135 quarter credit hours)

Additional electives may be taken from the following disciplines:

  • Natural Sciences (e.g. chemistry, biology, physics)
  • Social Sciences (e.g. sociology, history, political science, economics, anthropology, additional psychology)
  • Humanities (e.g. ethics, medical ethics, critical thinking, logic, philosophy, religion, foreign languages, art history, music history, speech communications, American Sign Language, additional English courses)
  • College-level Mathematics (non-remedial): (e.g. college algebra, precalculus, calculus, statistics, probabilities)
  • Computer Science (e.g. applications, programming, theory)

For those seeking suggestions for additional elective courses to take, the following is offered for the applicant's consideration and planning.

Strongly recommended electives include:

  • Abnormal psychology
  • Biochemistry
  • Critical thinking
  • Death and dying
  • Developmental psychology
  • Embryology
  • Ethics/ Ethics in Medicine (Health Care) and Methodology
  • Foreign languages
  • Introduction to Pharmacology
  • Logic
  • Nutrition
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Pathophysiology
  • Advanced Anatomy
  • Philosophy
  • Public Speaking/Speech
  • Research Design
  • Sociology
  • Statistics

References:
Two letters of recommendation are required to be submitted as part of the official CASPA application.  Additional letters of recommendation (up to five) are encouraged by the program.  Preferred references are from individuals who have been in a supervisory capacity over the applicant or academic instructors who have personal knowledge of the applicant. Submissions of references from friends, relatives, personal physicians, or instructors who do not possess a personal, supervisory knowledge of the applicants are discouraged.

Personal Statement/ Essay:
A personal statement recorded as part of the CASPA application.

Interview/Portfolio:
Personal interview may be required.

CV/Resume:
Required.

Licenses:
N/A

Clinical Work/Volunteer Experience:
A minimum of 500 hours of clearly documented volunteer or paid direct hands-on patient contact experience, accrued by the time of application and recorded as part of the official CASPA application, are required for degreed and pending-degree applicants.  A minimum of 1,000 hours of clearly documented volunteer or paid direct hands-on patient contact experience, accrued by the time of application and recorded as part of the official CASPA application, are required for non-degreed applicants. Ensure that all hours are accurately reported. Applicants may list the same position in multiple sections in order to account for multiple experiences (patient contact, related health care, research, shadowing, etc.) accrued in the same position as long as each hour is not reported in more than one experience category.

The Drexel Physician Assistant Program gives preference to applicants who have demonstrated significant community or volunteer service (a minimum of 100 hours recorded on the CASPA application). All types of community service and volunteer activities will be considered. If volunteer hours are accrued through patient care activities, these hours will be accepted for both patient contact hours and volunteer hours.

Commonly seen patient contact experiences:

  • Athletic Trainer (Certified or Student)
  • Cardiovascular Perfusionist
  • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
  • Medical Corpsman
  • Dental Hygienist/Assistant
  • Dietician
  • Caregiver
  • ED Technician
  • EMT/Paramedic
  • Exercise Physiologist
  • Foreign Medical Graduate-Physician
  • Home Health Care Aide
  • Phlebotomist
  • Medical Assistant
  • Medical Health Tech/MH/MR
  • Medical Research with Patient Contact
  • Medical Scribe
  • Midwife
  • Nurse
  • Nursing Assistant
  • Orderly-Patient Transport
  • Orthopedics Technician
  • Physical Therapist
  • Physical Therapist Assistant/Aide
  • Radiologic Technologist
  • Ultrasound Technician
  • By-Pass Technician
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Surgical Technician/OR Technician
  • Veterinary Technician

This is not an exhaustive list of patient contact experiences. If you have questions about a role or position not listed, please contact the Drexel PA Program at paadmissions@drexel.edu

Please note that administrative work performed in a health care setting will not satisfy the required 500 hours of direct patient contact, but should be recorded under the "Related Health Care Experience" section of the CASPA application. This would include positions such as medical receptionist, unit clerk, etc. The position of pharmacy technician is not considered direct patient contact.

Shadowing:
Shadowing is strongly recommended but is not considered direct patient contact.

International Applicants:
International applicants, as well as immigrants to the United States and U.S. permanent residents, whose native language is not English and who have not received a bachelor's degree in the United States, Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand, or the United Kingdom, must submit TOEFL scores directly to CASPA. A minimum overall score of 105, including a speaking section score of 26 or higher, is required for the TOEFLiBT exam.

Those with coursework completed at a foreign institution must have a course-by-course evaluation completed by World Education Service (WES) and submitted directly to CASPA. Drexel will accept the equivalency of a bachelor's degree from a foreign institution if verified on the WES evaluation. NEW FOR THE 2018-2019 ADMISSIONS CYCLE: all prerequisite courses required for admission must be completed at a United States institution without exception.

Pre-Professional Options at Drexel University
While the PA program does accept students via the Accelerated BS/MHS Option, students enrolled in this program are not guaranteed admission into the Drexel PA program. Applicants from this program must meet the same academic, patient contact and volunteer hours requirements as the general applicant pool. They must also complete a successful interview.

Tuition and Fee Rates
  • Please visit the Tuition and Fee Rates page for tuition information. PA Program fees will be on the drop down under "College of Nursing and Health Professions Programs".
  • Additional PA Program Fee Estimates can be found here (PDF).
  • Tuition Refund Policy.

Application Link (if outside organization):
Apply online at www.caspaonline.org

Advanced Standing:
The Physician Assistant Program does not grant advanced standing for coursework similar to that contained in its curriculum when completed at other educational institutions.

Submission of False or Inaccurate Information:
Any intentional or unintentional falsification, misrepresentation, or omission of any required application materials or supporting documentation, either to CASPA or the Drexel University Physician Assistant Program, may result in termination of the processing of the offender's application, the revocation of any offer of acceptance tendered, or dismissal from the PA Program if discovered after matriculation.

Curriculum

Progression Requirements

Progression to the Clinical Year:

Students must:

  • Successfully complete all didactic phase courses.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.
  • Achieve a passing grade on the didactic comprehensive examination.

Graduation Requirements for the Physician Assistant Program:

To graduate students must:

  • Successfully complete all required courses, rotations and practicums.
  • Demonstrate professional conduct.
  • Students may not earn a grade less than a "B"; in each course in the curriculum.
  • Maintain at least a 3.0 cumulative grade point average.
  • Meet all financial obligations to the university.
  • Achieve a passing grade on the Didactic Comprehensive Examination, Summative Examination and the Objective Standardized Clinical Examination.

Commitment:

The program is intensely challenging, both intellectually and physically; it requires stamina as well as personal and financial sacrifice on the part of the students. The program demands a high degree of integrity, self-sufficiency, motivation, self-discipline, and highly developed study skills.

Clinical Skills:

Among the most important of all practitioner skills is the ability to effectively gather cogent information from patients, primarily through medical history taking and physical examination. Physical examination skills are taught early in the curriculum in laboratory sections where students learn those examination skills first by practicing on each other as partners prior to attempting examinations on actual patients. Students have long appreciated the advantages of reducing potential anxiety with practicing these new, psychomotor skills under close supervision of experienced, professional instructors, and the ability to both give and receive immediate feedback from the student-partner team afforded by this controlled, private, and "safe" practice setting.

Scheduling:

During the didactic (primarily classroom) phase of the curriculum, most classes will be scheduled during the daytime hours; however, it may be necessary to schedule some classes during evening hours. All students are required to attend all classes as scheduled and to subordinate any personal commitments (i.e., employment or family responsibilities) to the training schedule.

In the clinical phase of training, students will be learning in diverse clinical settings with varying daily and weekly schedules that may involve daytime, evening, or weekend hours. Students must give priority commitment to assigned schedules at clinical sites.

Classroom Instruction:

Training begins with four quarters of didactic education, which integrates patient interaction beginning with the first quarter.

Clinical Practice

Among the most important of all practitioner skills is the ability to effectively gather cogent information from patients, primarily through medical history taking and physical examination. Physical examination skills are taught early in the curriculum in laboratory sections where students learn those examination skills first by practicing on each other as partners prior to attempting examinations on actual patients.

Students have long appreciated the advantages of reducing "student-actual patient anxiety," practicing these new, psychomotor skills under close supervision of experienced, professional instructors, and the ability to both give and receive immediate feedback from the student-partner team afforded by this controlled, private, and "safe" practice setting.

Clinical Training:

The clinical training phase consists of six (6), 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 (2), 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.

These sites are located in a variety of locations, from rural to urban areas and private clinical practices to large hospital settings. Students may expect to gain exposures in each of these settings in order to obtain the best clinical medicine experience and training.

Training sites during the clinical year are provided by the program and are located throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. Students are welcome to identify and assist in the development of up to two clinical rotation sites and/or one 10-week primary care practicum site. (These sites must have PA Program approval.)

Students are required to relocate during the clinical phase and are responsible for all associated financial costs, including transportation and living expenses.

Accreditation

Accreditation by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools: Drexel University is fully accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education representing the highest level of recognition awarded to colleges and universities.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Drexel University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Drexel University. 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 2025. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Council on Accreditation
American Association of Colleges of Nursing

Goals and Outcomes

  • Maintain PANCE pass rate above the national average.
    • Since 2010, Drexel University Physician Assistant Program PANCE pass rate has exceeded the national average.
  • Provide all students with a clinical experience in an underserved area.
    • 100% of the physician assistant students from the Class of 2015 had a clinical experience in a rural and/or urban underserved area.
    • 39% of the currently matriculated students come from ethnically under-represented, or economically or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.
    • 12.5% of the PA Class of 2014 spent at least 50% of their time in medically underserved areas.*
  • Provide all students with a service learning activity in an underserved area.
    • Since 2012, 100% of students have conducted health education presentations in urban medically underserved areas.
  • Strive for 30% of graduates employed in primary care.
    • 70.8% of 2014 graduates practice in primary care setting.*
  • Strive for 75% of the DUPAP faculty represented in leadership positions at the college, university, state or national levels to promote the physician assistant profession.
    • 94% of the DUPAP faculty represented in leadership positions at the college, university, state or national levels to promote the physician assistant profession.
    • 48 presentations by PA Faculty and/or PA Program professional staff to promote the physician assistant profession in 2015/2016.
    • Positions held by faculty to promote the physician assistant profession:
    • Ambassadors for the National Health Service Corps - (3) faculty.
    • Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, site visitors (2) faculty.
    • Journal of the American Academy of Physician Assistant, A Difficult Diagnosis, Section Editor.
    • Diversity Committee, Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistant Society, committee member.
    • Region 4 Representatives, Greater Philadelphia Region, Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistant, (2) committee members.
    • Scientific Board of the National Foundation of Celiac Awareness, member
    • Health Ministries Committee, member.
    • Faculty Loan Repayment Program, awardee, Health and Resources Services Administration.
    • Ellen Feld, MD, Fellow of the American College of Physicians.
    • Distinguished Fellows of the American Academy of Physician Assistants:  Patrick Auth, PhD PA-C, Geraldine Buck, DrPH, PA-C, Gretchen Fox, MMS, PA-C, Julie Kinzel, MEd, PA-C, Nina, Multak, PhD, PA-C.
    • Positions held by students to promote the physician assistant profession in 2016/17:
    • Representative to the Assembly of Representatives, American Academy of Physician Assistants.
    • Representative to the House of Delegates, American Academy of physician Assistants.

*Based on 24 graduate surveys returned from the PA Class of 2014

Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination Five Year First Time Taker Summary Report - PDF Download
Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination Exam Performance Summary Report - PDF Download

Application Process

All application materials are to be submitted directly to the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). You may apply online at http://www.caspaonline.org.

Applications made directly to the Office of Enrollment Management (Admissions) of Drexel University will not be processed.

All applicants must complete the CASPA application process no later thanSeptember 1st of the year prior to expected date of matriculation. This includes submitting the application, the receipt by CASPA of all transcripts, reference forms, and other supporting documentation such as foreign transcript evaluations and TOEFL scores, and verification of the application by CASPA. Applications remaining unverified by CASPA for any reason after the September 1st deadline will not be processed. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early to avoid delays in processing and to facilitate the transmission of verified CASPA applications to the PA Program in a timely fashion.

Once an applicant submits the application to CASPA, it is the applicant's responsibility to track the status of his/her application from the time of submission through to the "verified" status. Please refer to CASPA's FAQ (https://portal.caspaonline.org/caspaHelpPages/frequently-asked-questions/) for information regarding tracking the receipt of transcripts and references, the GPA calculation process, and the submission of your application to the programs you selected.

Once your application has reached "verified" status, Drexel has received it electronically. Please do not contact Drexel for a status update until at least four weeks from the verified date.This will give Drexel time to begin processing your application.

If you need to update your contact information during the application process, please do so by updating the information in your online CASPA application.
NOTE: If you wish to update your coursework after you have submitted your application, you may do so via the Academic Update feature on the CASPA website any time after your application has been verified. Please see the FAQ on the CASPA website for more information. Please do not submit additional transcripts directly to the PA program unless they are specifically requested by program staff.

NOTE: If you wish to update your patient contact experience, you may do so at the interview should you be selected for one. Your application will be evaluated based on the completed coursework, patient contact hours, and references that you submit at the time of application. If you are concerned that your completed coursework and/or your patient contact hours at time of application are insufficient, you are advised to consider applying in a future admissions cycle after completing additional coursework and/or accruing additional direct patient contact hours. Please do not email, mail, or call the PA program with updates to your application unless you are responding to an inquiry from program staff.

Drexel's Review Process
Drexel utilizes a rolling admissions process. It may be in an applicant's best interests to apply early in the admissions cycle.

Once Drexel receives a verified application, it is screened by admissions personnel to ensure that the minimum GPA requirements have been met, the prerequisite coursework has either been completed or is listed as in progress or to be completed by the deadline, the minimum numbers of direct patient contact hours have been accrued, and the application was verified by the September 1st deadline.

Applications that meet these criteria are then assigned to faculty members to be screened for interview. In addition to a thorough review of all supporting documents, candidates are evaluated for their ability to handle the high demands of training, commitment to people-oriented service, and familiarity with the physician assistant's role and the PA profession. After review, the most promising applicants are invited for a personal interview.

Applicants who have been selected for interview will be notified via email and invited in for an interview session. Interview sessions are held July through February, and Drexel invites 20 - 25 applicants per session. Interview days run from approximately 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and include an onsite writing sample, presentations about the program and financial aid, a tour of the campus, lunch with the program director, interaction with current students, and an interview with a pair of faculty members.

Applicants who either do not meet the minimum criteria or who are reviewed but not selected to interview will be notified via an email from the Office of Graduate Admissions of Drexel University.

Drexel's Decision Process
Drexel accepts approximately 75 students per year. Applicants are reviewed following the interview sessions, and some are offered early acceptance. All decisions should be made by the end of March. Accepted applicants will receive a phone call from the PA Program notifying them of their status, followed by an acceptance email and mailed packet from the Office of Graduate Admissions. Applicants placed on the wait list will receive an email notifying them of their status, along with a request to confirm that they accept their position on the wait list. Denied applicants will be notified via an email from the Office of Graduate Admissions of Drexel University.

Accepted Applicants
If an accepted applicant has earned a baccalaureate degree and completed all nine (9) prerequisite courses as documented on the CASPA application, or does not possess a baccalaureate degree but has documented completion of all prerequisite course and a minimum of 90 semester hours of credit on the CASPA application, he/she will be accepted non-provisionally.

If an accepted applicant has prerequisite coursework outstanding, and/or is a pending-degree applicant, he/she will be accepted provisionally. Official transcripts documenting the completion of outstanding prerequisite coursework and/or the awarding of a baccalaureate degree must be received by the Office of Graduate Admissions by the end of the spring academic term prior to matriculation. If all prerequisite coursework has been satisfied and/ or a baccalaureate degree awarded, the acceptance will become non-provisional.

Accepted applicants must complete all requirements to confirm attendance as detailed in the acceptance email, as well as submit a $500.00 non-refundable deposit, within 15 days of receipt of the acceptance email in order to secure their place in the new incoming class.

Accepted applicants must also send any official transcripts that contain courses and or degrees not previously verified on the CASPA application directly to the Office of Graduate Admissions. All transcripts must be received by the end of the spring academic term prior to matriculation. The only exception is coursework and/or degrees awarded in the spring term prior to matriculation. Transcripts reflecting this coursework and/or degree awarded must be submitted as soon as they are available.

Additional requirements to be completed prior to matriculation will be communicated to accepted applicants via email and Blackboard during the spring and summer terms prior to matriculation.

The PA program follows the Drexel University academic calendar for quarter programs. The academic calendar can be found here: http://www.drexel.edu/provost/calendars/. Please note that the PA program holds a mandatory orientation during the week prior to the start of the fall term.

Keep the PA Program Updated!
Between the offer of acceptance and the orientation activities and the start of classes in September, much of the communication from the PA Program to incoming students occurs through email and via Blackboard. The applicant is strongly encouraged to promptly notify the PA Program of any changes to email or mailing addresses and telephone numbers. The PA Program cannot be responsible for failures of important communications due to outdated or incorrect contact information provided by the applicant.

Tips from the Drexel PA Program Admissions Staff

  • Complete the prerequisite courses before you apply; at most have only one or two outstanding.
  • If anatomy and physiology courses were completed more than three to five years prior to time of application, it is strongly recommended that applicants enroll in either refresher or advanced coursework in anatomy and physiology to demonstrate current competence in the subject matter.
  • Be sure to list any in progress or planned coursework on your CASPA application.
  • Quantity and quality of direct patient contact does matter, and so does the breadth of experience you potentially bring to the PA program through your healthcare related experience and general life experience.
  • Research the profession thoroughly.
  • Shadow PAs in a variety of medical settings.
  • A strong foundation in the natural sciences will make it a bit easier to get through PA school - any PA school. Don't just complete the prerequisite coursework. Acquire as strong a knowledge base as possible before starting PA school by picking up as many of the recommended electives as possible.

Drexel University reserves the right to revise, without notice, admissions standards and procedures, as it deems necessary. The Drexel University Physician Assistant Program reserves the right to make exceptions to admission policies at the programs' discretion.

News & Events

 

04/24/18

This is the first edition of R & B News (Rundio & Brooks News) or as we like to refer to it: “R & B (Rhythm & Blues) or R & B Rocks.”

The following are nursing highlights from the past month:

The most significant item to highlight is the excellent Collegiate Commission on Nursing (CCNE) accreditation site visit that we had from February 26th through February 28th, 2018. The CCNE will make their final board decision in early October 2018 regarding our reaccreditation of all nursing programs. So, we cannot state that we have been re-accredited. We can state that we had an accreditation site visit and that we met all four standards and elements with no recommendations.

I want to bring attention to the American Heart Association—a passion of mine for several years now. I became involved while supervisor of emergency services at Atlantic City Medical Center, City Division, now AtlantiCare. While serving as chair of the emergency cardiovascular care committee for New Jersey for three years, I led the way to regionalize this committee becoming the DE-NJ-PA ECC Regional Committee and creating more effective use of resources. A group of representatives from each state, not including me, took up the planning of how the committee would proceed. As a result, they requested that I chair the new regionalized committee. I have served two years thus far.

The committee has changed its focus from being, what I call “the CPR police” to getting CPR and AEDs out in the community and policy changes like mandating CPR and AEDs in schools. I would like to encourage everyone to join You’re the Cure—the American Heart Association’s health policy site. There you’ll be able to learn about significant initiatives by state, communicate with key legislators using sample letters provided, connect with advocates near you and stay up-to-date on the heart and stroke issues that matter most to you. This takes less than five minutes to do. As cardiac arrest happens to any one of us, our loved ones and colleagues, I am really passionate about AHA’s initiative.

If you feel the same as I do, please send me the information requested below and I will send it to AHA for you. Yes, I want to join You’re the Cure.

  • NAME
  • EMAIL
  • ADDRESS
  • TELEPHONE NUMBER

In future issues, I will share more about my work with AHA. And, for anyone who really knows me well, there will certainly be some humorous things that have happened.

Congratulations to Suzan Blacher, PhD (c), MSN, RN, CARN on her appointment as chair of the ANCB (Addictions Nursing Certification Board) for the International Nurses Society on Addictions. Congratulations, Professor Blacher!!!

The next issue will focus more on the Health Professions. Please submit any item that you want published in this newsletter, and don’t forget, anyone, faculty, staff and students, can submit items to the Daily Dose.

Al Rundio, PhD, DNP, RN, ARPN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Clinical Professor of Nursing
Associate Dean for Academic Nursing
Chief Academic Nursing Officer

Stephanie Brooks, PhD, LCSW, LMFT
Clinical Professor
Associate Dean for Academic Health Professions
Director of PMC Program

04/24/18

Faculty and Student Accolades

The American Academy of Nursing inducted 173 nurse leaders as Fellows in the Academy Three of those receiving one of nursing’s highest honors are CNHP professors. The inductees are: associate professor Joan Rosen Bloch, PhD, CRNP; associate clinical professor Theresa Campo, DNP, FNP-C, ENP-BC, FAANP, and associate clinical professor and department chair Kymberlee Montgomery, DrNP, CRNP-BC, CNE, FAANP.

Sue Smith, PT, PhD, CNHP associate professor and dean emerita, was elected a Distinguished Fellow in the National Academies of Practice (FNAP). A Distinguished NAP Fellow is a very high honor that acknowledges outstanding achievements and recognition in promoting Interprofessional Practice and Education toward the goal of improving healthcare.

As part of its accreditation process, The Collegiate Commission on Nursing (CCNE) visited the Drexel University College of Nursing and Health Professions on February 26, 27 and 28, 2018. The Commission reviewed all of the nursing programs against their very stringent guidelines. ALL of our nursing programs met compliance in all four standards and elements completely with NO recommendations.

Creative arts therapies Assistant Professor Girija Kaimal, EdD is on the #100WomenInScience list. Twice. A celebration of ground-breaking, trailblazing research led by women, this list of 100 articles from Taylor & Francis journals represents the most-downloaded research from the last five years in medicine, health, STEM and the social sciences, with a female lead author.

Anna Schlupp, a student in the graduate nutrition program, presented at the Annual Meeting for the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine in Seattle, WA on March 21, 2018. Her poster presentation is titled “Is RDS for YMSM? Successful enhancements to respondent driven sampling methods for recruiting 15-18 year old participants in Philadelphia.”

The College of Nursing and Health Professions received a top ranking from Community for Accredited Online Schools (CAOS) for 2017. Coming in at number two in the country, our Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA) program scored a 99.07 out of 100. COAS cited CNHP offering a high student-teacher ratio and credit for experience.

Creative arts therapies Assistant Professor Girija Kaimal, EdD was named one of the #100WomenInScience. One of her studies, “Active-duty military service members’ visual representation of PTSD and TBI in masks” was downloaded more than 13K times and the other, “Reduction of Cortisol Levels and Participants’ Responses Following Art Making” saw close to 12K downloads.

Amber Amick, an MSN student in the Adult Gerontology Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program was selected to receive the Ralston Center’s Award for Excellence in Gerontology Nursing.

Nutrition science graduate student Kira Sy has been selected to receive the 2018 Pennsylvania Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Foundation Diversity Scholarship Award.

Joseph Stanzione, PhD student in Nutrition Sciences, has been selected for a 2017 to 2018 Teck-Kah Lim Graduate Student Travel Award. This award provides a travel subsidy to encourage graduate student participation in prestigious academic meetings and conferences nationwide. Stanzione will present at the American Society for Nutrition in Boston in June 2018. The title of his abstract is “Evaluation of Lean Body Mass as a Predictor of Dietary Protein Intake."

Publications

Paek MS, Nightingale C, Tooze JA, Milliron BJ, Weaver K, Sterba K. Contextual and stress process factors associated with head and neck cancer caregivers’ physical and psychological well-being. European Journal of Cancer Care. 2018; [EPub ahead of print].

Ayers P, Boullata J, Sacks G. Parenteral nutrition safety: the story continues. Nutr Clin Pract. 2018;33:46-52.

Sarah Wenger, Jason Drott, Rebecca Fillipo, Alyssa Findlay, Amanda Genung, Jessica Heiden, Joke Bradt; Reducing Opioid Use for Patients With Chronic Pain: An Evidence-Based Perspective, Physical Therapy, Volume 98, Issue 5, 1 May 2018, Pages 424–433

Research by Layla Booshehri, PhD, assistant research professor, and collaborator Jerome Dugan, PhD, assistant professor, both of health systems and sciences research department, has been published. The paper, in collaboration with Sandy Bloom, MD, associate professor, and Mariana Chilton, PhD from Dornsife School of Public Health, appeared in the Journal of Child and Family Studies—Booshehri is the first author and Dugan, the second.

An article by Laura Gitlin, PhD, Dean and Distinguished University Professor, and others titled "Targeting Behavioral Symptoms and Functional Decline in Dementia: A Randomized Clinical Trial" was recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. The goal was to determine whether a home-based activity program (Tailored Activity Program; TAP-VA) would reduce behavioral symptoms and functional dependence of veterans with dementia and caregiver burden.

Dean and Distinguished University Professor Laura N Gitlin, PhD co-authored a paper titled “African-American caregivers’ perspectives on aggressive behaviors in dementia”in Dementia.

The purpose of the research was to determine why African-American dementia caregivers report less upset and more confidence managing aggressive behaviors. After interviewing 13 African-American family caregivers, the researchers determined it was due to two common themes: “It’s the disease, not the person,” and “You’ve got to pick your battles.”

Presentations

Nancy Gerber, PhD, director, PhD program in creative arts therapies, presented at the European Congress of Qualitative Inquiry in Leuven, Belgium in February 2018. Her presentation, entitled "Mixed Methods Research and Arts-Based Research: A Creative Synthesis," represents a collaboration between Gerber and University of Adelaide's Mandy Archibald, PhD, who co-authored a forthcoming article entitled "Arts and Mixed Methods Research: An Innovative Methodological Merger."

Stephen F. Gambescia, PhD, professor in the Department of Health Services Administration, was a presenter for delegation of health education and government professionals representing 12 of China’s provinces. Gambescia’s presentation “Health Education Specialists as Keystones to the Health Enhancement Team” showed how to plan, organize and implement mass public health screening programs.

Director of Music Therapy Flossie Ierardi, MM, MT-BC, LPC, Director of Field Education Scott Horowitz, MA, MT-BC, LPC, and Assistant Clinical Professor Dawn Morningstar, MA, BC-DMT, LPC, appeared as presenters at the "Trauma: A Paradigm Shift" Symposium on Saturday, February 17. The symposium covered a number of trauma-related topics including mindfulness and self-care for the therapist, cultural trauma and the experiences of counselors of color, intergenerational trauma, domestic violence, and the uses of the creative arts in trauma stewardship and self-care.

Assistant Clinical Professor Yasmine Awais, MAAT, ATR-BC, ATCS, LCAT, LPC and Creative Arts Therapies doctoral candidate Marisol Norris, MA, MT-BC, presented at the "Critical Pedagogy in the Arts Therapies: A Public Conversation" on March 13, 2018 at New York University.

Nancy Gerber, PhD and doctoral candidates Jacelyn Biondo and Ming Yuan Low participated as workshop presenters at symposium entitled "Arts-Based Research: Getting Messy and Asking Critical Questions." The symposium was held on March 10, 2018 and sponsored by the music therapy department of the State University of New York.

Glenn N. Williams, PT, PhD, ATC, associate professor and department chair of physical therapy and rehabilitation science, presented “Next Generation Rehabilitation: Better Outcomes, Lower Costs, Happier Clients” at the BAYADA Speaker Series on March 22, 2018 in Philadelphia.

Lisa B. Aiello, RN, MSN, AOCNS, APRN, assistant clinical professor, presented a poster titled “Assessment Of Genomic Knowledge Among Nurses In An Online RN To BSN Completion Program” at Maimonides Medical Center Fifth Annual Nursing Research Conference and a podium presentation at the International Society of Nurses in Genetics (ISONG), titled “Assessment Of Genomic Knowledge Among Nurses In An Online RN To BSN Completion Program.” In addition, Aiello recently published a manuscript in Clinical Journal of Oncology Nursing titled "Genomics education: Knowledge of nurses across the profession and integration into practice."

Students from two nursing programs, Dionisia Echevarria (RN-BSN) and Marc Summy (NACE) presented posters at the New Jersey Emergency Nurses' Association's 40th Annual Emergency Care Conference on March 21, 2018 at the Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, NJ. Echevarria's poster was titled "Secondary Traumatic Stress and Emergency Nursing"and Summy's poster was titled "Analyzing Patient Handoff from Emergency Medical Services to Emergency Department Personnel to Ensure Efficient, Accurate, and Optimal Care."

Angela Colsitra, PhD, assistant clinical professor and opioid researcher, participated in a panel discussion on April 18 at the University of the Sciences presented by APHA - ASP titled "A Crisis in Pain: Fighting the Opioid Epidemic."

Dance/movement therapist and assistant clinical professor Dawn Morningstar, MA, BC-DMT, NCC, LPC presented her experience working with a group of adolescent boys in special education in a TED-style talk for American Dance Therapy Association.

Sponsored Research and Major Gifts

Jaime Slaughter-Acey, PhD, MPH, principal investigator and assistant professor in the Departments of Health Systems and Sciences Research and Graduate Nursing has been awarded a research grant in the amount of $34,904 from the Russell Sage Foundation for a two-year investigation of the inter-relationship between race and skin color on the pregnancy outcomes of black women called “Shades of Color: The Impact of Skin Tone on African American Women and Their Birth Outcomes.”

Brandy-Joe Milliron, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Nutrition Sciences and principal investigator, has been awarded a $25,000 grant to develop nutrition-related programming for cancer caregivers and survivors by the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University. The project, entitled "Optimizing Healthful Nutrition of Cancer Caregivers and Survivors," will identify nutrition-related beliefs and behaviors, and post-treatment nutrition-related challenges, from the perspectives of cancer caregivers and survivors, a critical first step in development of nutrition interventions.

Joke Bradt, PhD, MT-BC, an associate professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies and principal investigator, and collaborators have been awarded a $1,270,000 grant by National Institute of Nursing Research (R01NR016681) for their study "Mechanisms of Music Therapy to Palliate Pain in Patients with Advanced Cancer." Chronic pain is one of the most feared symptoms in people with cancer. Insufficient relief from pharmacological treatments and the fear of side effects are important reasons for the growing use of complementary pain management approaches in cancer care. The purpose of this three-year multi-site randomized controlled trial is to examine the underlying mechanisms of interactive music therapy for chronic pain management in people with advanced cancer. The study will recruit outpatients with advanced cancer and bone metastases pain at Hahnemann University Hospital and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.

The Hahnemann Hospital School of Nursing Alumni Association contributed $100,000. Funds will be used to enhance the association’s endowed scholarship fund benefiting undergraduate nursing students.

04/23/18

Joyce Welliver, RN, MSN, CRNP (CERT, Nursing,`98) will be spotlighted in an upcoming issue of Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare published by the International Nurses Association.
 
Carol Hammal (MA, Art Therapy & Counseling, `15) was interviewed by Second Lady Karen Pence, wife of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, for the White House's website. Ms. Hammal, an art therapy consultant at Egypt's renowned Behman Hospital, is recognized as the only art therapist in Egypt and has been a pioneer in bringing art therapy academic programming to her country. She has also given a TEDx talk in 2015.
 
Nina Multak, PhD, MPAS, PA-C (PA `88), associate clinical professor in the Physician Assistant Department at Drexel, joined the board of directors of the Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH) as an at-large member. 
 
DeAnna Harris-McKoy (MFT `09), couple and family therapist and assistant professor at Texas A&M University Central Texas, joined the YWCA Greater Austin board of directors as a member-at-large.
 
Kim F. Simmons (PMC, Nursing,`17) joined the urology department at Guthrie Hospital in Sayre, Pennsylvania with a special interest in inpatient urology.
 
Rosemary Dunn, RN, DrNP(c) (MSN `95; DrNP `11) will be retiring as chief nursing officer of Hahnemann University Hospital on April 1.
 
Terraca Holmes (MSN `15) became chief nursing officer at Tenet Healthcare, according to a LinkedIn update. She is also the director of nursing at Tenet Healthcare.
 
Kimberly Talley (ASN `90, BSN `96, MSN `03), vice president of Patient Care Services at Christiana Care Health System, was part of the first cohort of Penn's Fels Institute of Government board governance program.
 
Dwayne Richardson, RT(R), CRA, RN (MSN `07) joined Carroll Hospital in Westminster, Maryland as senior vice president of operations. Mr. Richardson most recently served as COO at Placentia-Linda Hospital in Placentia, California. He previously served as radiology director at Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia and cardiopulmonary services director at University Medical Center at Princeton.
 
Karen Lambert, DPT (MPT `00, DPT `14) gave a presentation called "Aging in Place" at a "Tuesday Talk" event at New Hanover Library in New Hanover, North Carolina.
 
Karen Snyder (PMC Nursing `18) joined St. Luke's University Health Network's Pennsburg Family Practice in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania as a nurse practitioner.
 
Joanne McGovern (MSN `15) has been promoted to senior vice president of patient care services at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Philadelphia. She also serves as chief nursing officer.
 
Kelly Ann Milligan, ACNP (MSN `99) will be featured in The International Nurses Association upcoming publication of the Worldwide Leaders in Healthcare. Ms. Milligan is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and is a distinguished member of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners.
 
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