New Program Approval by ARC-PA
The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional to the Baldwin Wallace University Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation – Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.
Baldwin Wallace University enrolled its first class of MMS Physician Assistant students in May 2013.
PA Focus is a weblog and resources for people interested in learning more about physician assistant (PA) careers, people applying to PA school, and current PAs. Find answers to questions about what types of PA programs are available, applying to CASPA and paying for PA school, and much more. The PA Focus site will be continuously evolving, with the goal of becoming a one-stop comprehensive information center for anyone considering the PA profession.
PA Focus is a project of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Physician Assistant?
A physician assistant (PA) is a medical professional who works as part of a team with a physician. PAs perform physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling and make rounds in hospitals and nursing homes. They work in all medical and surgical specialties to complement physician practice. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow PAs to practice and prescribe medications.
What are career prospects for Physician Assistants?
Physician Assistant was recently ranked #1 by Forbes.com on the list of "Best Master's Degrees for Jobs", and rated by CNNMoney.com as #2 Top Health Care Job. This is an in-demand career field responsive to the needs of physician shortages, an aging population and health care reform. PAs have versatile professional opportunities offering freedom to move from one specialty area to another within medical field.
How are PAs educated and trained?
A PA must graduate from an accredited PA educational program that is nationally certified and state-licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of an allopathic or osteopathic physician. There are currently 173 accredited PA programs in the United States, of which 8 are in Ohio. PA education programs are represented by the Physician Assistant Education Association and accredited through the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
What is a PA educational program like?
The PA educational program is modeled on the medical school curriculum and includes a combination of classroom and clinical instruction.
The PA program is rigorous and intense. It can range from 24-30 months in length. Baldwin Wallace University's program is 24 months (not including any prerequisites that need to be taken). The curriculum is divided into 12 months of didactic coursework and 12 months of clinical rotations. It is only offered as a full time program at this time.
PA education includes instruction in core sciences: anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, physical diagnosis, pathophysiology, microbiology, clinical laboratory science, behavioral science and medical ethics.
What do clinical rotations entail?
PAs must complete more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations, with an emphasis on primary care in ambulatory clinics, physician offices and acute or long-term care facilities. Rotations include family medicine, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine and psychiatry.
Where do BW's PA students complete their clinical rotations?
Baldwin Wallace's institutional partners for the Physician Assistant Program provide valuable hands-on experience from practicing professionals in a variety of settings, from major research hospitals to clinics to extended care facilities.
What about Licensure and Certification?
Graduates of physician assistant programs sit for the National Certifying Exam for Physician Assistants (PANCE) which is a computer-based, multiple-choice test comprising questions that assess basic medical and surgical knowledge. Eligibility for the PANCE includes graduating from a program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) as a Physician Assistant Program or a Surgeon Assistant Program. PA program graduates are deemed to have graduated from an accredited program if their PA educational program was accredited at the time of their matriculation.
PA’s need to be licensed in the state in which they practice. Licensing information for Ohio can be obtained from the state medical board.