Program Goals

Mother and child posing in front of UOP backdrop at event

The goals of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Degree Program are to graduate PAs who have thorough education, training and experience in:

  1. Understanding of health promotion & disease prevention, and mechanisms of disease. Achieved by providing a comprehensive curriculum of basic and clinical sciences delivered in a systems-based format. During the initial didactic phase, the transition from acquiring medical knowledge to putting it into practice is facilitated by frequent use of simulated patients and gradual introduction to actual patients.
  2. Proficient application of critical thinking in medical decision making. Achieved by emphasis that medicine requires the practitioner to apply logic and reasoning to achieve healing. These principles are taught and practiced in the didactic curriculum in small group discussions, through interactions with simulated patients, and through a commitment to the application of science in medicine.
  3. Patient-centered approach to health care practice. Patient-centered care is based on putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform to the best of their abilities. It strives to improve outcomes by strengthening the provider-patient relationship, by providing care in consultation with patients and by replacing the provider-centered system with one from the patient's viewpoint. Students will become familiar with this type of practice in the didactic phase and will gain hands-on experience working directly with preceptors and PA program faculty who serve as mentors.
  4. Health care delivery through a team-based model that fosters community collaboration. Achieved by providing students the opportunity to develop a passion for community service through frequent experiences serving the health care needs of the underserved alongside physician and PA role models. Graduate PAs are in a unique position to have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they live and work. The ability to provide compassionate care to marginalized citizens with the breadth of care multiplied through a team-based approach is paramount. During their tenure with the PA program, students will participate in such collaborative environments in a variety of clinical settings.
  5. Commitment to life-long learning. Achieved by modelling self-study and continuing education, by encouraging on-going enthusiasm for exploration and investigation, and by directing students to resources for furthering knowledge.
Measures and Student Learning Outcomes