Physician Assistant About Our Program
The HPU Physician Assistant Studies program will begin each May and will span 27-months over 7 continuous semesters. Part-time or interrupted attendance is not an option, and no online classes are offered. The program will prepare graduates with the necessary knowledge and skills to:
- Reliably perform the role of the PA and meet the demands of an expanding local, national, and global health care environment.
- Provide healthcare services to all persons regardless of race, culture, spiritual beliefs, gender, or socioeconomic status while contributing to the advancement of knowledge in their discipline and in medicine.
The curriculum is being designed to blend imaginatively critical thinking and intellectual inquiry with a practical need for innovation, skill, and knowledge within professional disciplines.
Innovative course of study through an integrated set of educational experiences that focus on:
- Core Medical Sciences
- Critical thinking
- Cultural Values
- Public Policy Issues
- Research applicable to the needs of the PA profession
- Service learning opportunities
The Didactic Phase of the program will take place over 4 semesters of graduate level academic coursework. The curriculum will be structured around active-learning strategies, practical lab sessions, simulated case presentations, problem-based learning sessions, and off-campus clinical interaction.
The Clinical Phase will take place during the second year and will span a total of 12 months. Students will be participate in supervised clinical rotations during which time they will participate in the evaluation and management of patients in a wide variety of clinical areas. Students are not required to supply their own clinical sites or preceptors. In addition, all students will be required to produce a research project during their clinical year.
The High Point University Physician Assistant Studies Program has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Pending provisional accreditation in September 2014, HPU anticipates commencing the PA program in May 2015. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.
Facts About PAs
Physician Assistants (PAs) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/physician assistant relationship, PAs make medical decisions and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings. Practice is centered on patient care and may include educational, research, and administrative activities.
The PA role demands intelligence, sound judgment, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to patient welfare are essential attributes.
Specific tasks performed by PAs cannot be delineated precisely because of the variations in practice requirements mandated by geographic, political, economic and social factors. At a minimum, however, physician assistants are educated in areas of basic medical science, clinical disciplines, and discipline-specific problem solving. PA practice is characterized by clinical knowledge and skills in areas traditionally defined by family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, etc., and practice in ambulatory, emergency, inpatient, and long-term care settings. PAs deliver health care services to diverse patient populations of all ages with a range of acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions, requiring the knowledge and skills to allow them to function effectively in a dynamic health care environment.
Services performed by Physician Assistants include, but, are not limited to, the following:
- EVALUATION: Elicit a detailed and accurate history, perform an appropriate physical examination, order appropriate diagnostic studies, delineate problems, develop management plans and record and present data.
- DIAGNOSTIC(S): Order, perform and/or interpret diagnostic studies used to identify pathophysiologic processes.
- MONITORING: Implement patient management plans, record progress notes, and participate in the provision of continuity of care.
- THERAPEUTIC(S): Perform therapeutic procedures and manage or assist in the management of medical and surgical conditions, which may include assisting surgeons in the conduct of operations and taking initiative in performing evaluations and therapeutic procedures in response to life threatening situations.
- PATIENT EDUCATION: Counsel patients regarding issues of health care management to include compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth and development, family planning and emotional problems of daily living.
- REFERRAL: Facilitate the referral of patients to other health care providers or agencies.
Information pending SACs approval