The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program embraces the team-based, collaborative and interprofessional approach to patient care. Students will work together in coursework, special interprofessional case study groups, research and clinical skills scenarios. This collaboration extends, but is not limited to, students from occupational therapy, physical therapy, medicine, nursing and social work. We believe our PA Program’s curriculum best prepares our graduates to practice the highest quality patient care in a rapidly changing healthcare environment.
The overall program goals for the MSPA Program were developed based on the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants’ (NCCPA) Content Blueprint. The curriculum is grounded in both the mission of Mary Baldwin College and the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences and reflects the healthcare needs of an ever-changing world and the dynamic requirements of the PA profession. The curricular design strongly considers the needs of patients and society and will be administered in an environment fostering and promoting diversity, along with a commitment to interprofessional education and practice. The goals of the MSPA Program are to:
- Provide appropriate learning opportunities for students in order to acquire the entry-level proficiencies, competencies, knowledge and skills necessary to function in a constantly changing healthcare environment, regardless of setting, as effective, compassionate PAs utilizing a team-based, interprofessional approach to medicine.
- Provide the appropriate learning opportunities for students to acquire the medical knowledge including the synthesis of pathophysiology, microbiology, anatomy and other core sciences, patient evaluation and management, medical and surgical principles, and understanding of population-based healthcare along with health promotion, wellness and disease prevention in order to function as entry level PAs.
- Provide a learning environment that fosters interpersonal and communication skills encompassing the verbal, nonverbal, written and electronic exchange of information to support students in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system.
- Provide diverse patient care experiences that include patient-and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management to those in medically underserved areas.
- Provide a learning environment that fosters professionalism, critical thinking and reflection, intellectual curiosity, and personal and professional growth along with a commitment to lifelong learning.
- Provide practice-based learning and improvement that includes the processes through which PAs engage in critical analysis of their practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self- and practice-improvement.
- Provide systems-based practice experiences that encompass the societal, organizational, and economic environments in which health care is delivered.