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Physician Assistant Program

The fundamental tenet of the physician assistant (PA) profession is that PAs practice as members of physician-directed teams. The American Academy of Physician Assistants defines the PA as "a health professional licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision." In clinical practice, the PA complements the practice style of the supervising physician or physicians.

The physician-physician assistant relationship defines the PA role in health care. The laws and regulations governing PA practice reflect, in great measure the extraordinary level of trust and confidence between the supervising physician and the PA.

You will practice as a member of a physician-directed team.

PAs provide medical care to patients within the scope of practice of the supervising physician by effectively collecting essential medical data (through medical history-taking, physical examination, and ordering and interpreting necessary ancillary diagnostic testing); diagnosing patients by assessing the available patient, medical data; and providing patients with specific therapies, including the prescribing of medications, counseling, and patient education appropriate to the patients' conditions.

The Physician Assistant 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.

I wish you every success in the pursuit of your chosen career and thank you for considering the Physician Assistant Program as your potential partner in your professional preparation.

Patrick C. Auth, PhD, MS, PA-C
Chair, Physician Assistant Department
Director, Physician Assistant Program 

Mission of the Physician Assistant Program:

  • Educate primary care physician assistants.
  • Improve health care delivery in rural and urban medically underserved areas.
  • Promote the physician assistant profession.

Program Goals:

The 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.