Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies - CUAA
Department website: http://www.cuaa.edu/pa
The Concordia University Physician Assistant program mission is to educate Physician Assistant graduates who will demonstrate competency in all aspects of patient primary medical care.
The vision of the PA program at Ann Arbor is to provide the local and global community with competent medical providers who will improve lives and influence communities through clinical service and leadership, and do so in a compassionate and respectful manner that changes the lives of all patients who seek our care.
The Concordia University PA program at Ann Arbor is a 27 month professional program that will confer the Master of Science in PA studies (MSPAS) degree after successful completion of all required components of the program. The program will provide rotations in urban and tertiary hospital settings, but the main focus of this particular program is to provide healthcare to patients from rural and underserved area to improve access and promote health, in keeping with our mission and the mission of the University.
The Concordia University Ann Arbor Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) Program has applied for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Concordia University Ann Arbor anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2021, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at the June 2020 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program's ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.
CASPA applications will not be available for completion until such time as the CUAA program has successfully been provisionally accredited. This is anticipated to be no sooner than July 2020 and admission decisions will not be made until successful accreditation is granted. Program applicants will be notified as soon as we are informed of accreditation process results. Information on accreditation is available at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation/, or at: Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30097, (770) 476-1224.
The proposed Physician Assistant program will grant the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree. The graduate is then eligibleto take the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination) administered by the NCCPA (National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants).
The goals of this program are to:
- Maintain a PANCE pass rate greater than, or equal to, the national first-time PANCE pass rate.
- Develop entry-level PA graduates who demonstrate competency in all aspects of primary care.
- Instill the values of lifelong learning, professionalism, and ethical practice in upholding the mission of CUAA.
- Achieve a PA employment rate of 75% by 6 months after graduation.
Program Learning Outcomes
At the completion of the PA program, students will:
- Demonstrate the requisite knowledge necessary in primary medicine to evaluate and manage medical concerns of an acute, emergent, chronic, and preventive nature in patients of any age.
- Demonstrate communication skills that are patient-centered in obtaining a thorough and concise medical history from patients of any age, gender, ethnicity and culture in an unbiased, attentive, and respectful manner.
- Perform a technically accurate complete physical exam on patients of any age for preventive and/or chronic visits; and/or select the appropriate focused physical exam using appropriate technique for patients presenting with acute or emergent medical problems.
- Select appropriate labs & diagnostic testing based on a differential diagnosis, and interpret testing to narrow or identify the diagnosis.
- Demonstrate the requisite basic procedural skills required to identify and manage illness and injury in a primary medicine encounter in patients of any age.
- Utilize higher‐level cognitive skills and critical thinking to derive a diagnosis or presumptive diagnosis from a broad differential utilizing all aspects of patient evaluation findings.
- Organize and present an oral presentation of a clinical patient encounter in a coherent fashion.
- Document a clinical note including all component parts appropriate to the presentation for a patient of any age and gender, with a medical or surgical concern in an inpatient or outpatient setting with any chief complaint.
- Utilize available medical research to identify appropriate evidence for a particular clinical question or to assist in medical decision making.
- Function professionally in medical practice with all members of the healthcare team.
The CUAA PA student will be required to:
- Participate in full time didactic and clinical training, sometimes requiring weekends and late hours
- Perform all required medical and surgical procedures
- Participate fully in medical, surgical, emergency, outpatient and inpatient settings off campus
- Demonstrate professionalism, and ethical behavior at all times.
- Follow the medical law as it relates to restrictions, constraints, and opportunities for PA students
- Demonstrate respect for beliefs and values different from self, exhibit empathy and compassion for all patients, and tolerate ambiguity, and differences in patient abilities in health literacy.
- Display mental and physical stamina required during long hours in both the classroom and clinical settings, and required continuing study after on campus and clinical days are finished.
- Demonstrate competency by the end of the program in all CUAA PA Program Learning Outcomes at to the level required by faculty
- Participate in service
- Complete other duties as required to demonstrate aptitude for the physician assistant profession
Successful Completion of the Didactic Year:
- Comply with all policies and procedures published by CUAA and those of the Physician Assistant Program.
- Achieve a grade of 79% or higher at the end of each didactic course.
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of each term.
- Submit timely documentation of immunization and physical exam requirements.
- Maintain BLS certification (on your own) throughout the program and obtain or maintain ACLS certification (provided by the PA program) prior to entering clinical rotations. ACLS certification must remain valid through graduation from the program.
- Comply with professionalism expectations.
The program will monitor student progress in a timely and ongoing fashion, and will provide remediation options for the student to improve performance. It is the student’s responsibility to make significant efforts at remediation to prove competency. Processes for remediation is outlined in both the Didactic and Clinical Student Handbooks.
Successful Completion of the Clinic Year:
- Comply with all CUAA and PA Program policies and procedures
- Comply with professionalism expectations
- Achieve a total grade for each EOR at 79% or higher
- Maintain a GPA of 3.0 or higher at the end of each term
- Successfully complete all written, practical and oral summative evaluations with a grade of 73% or higher
- Successfully complete the summative evaluation as designated by program requirements
Requirements for Graduation
- Successful completion of all components of the program with demonstrated competency (didactic, clinical and Capstone)
- Compliance with all CUAA and PA program policies and procedures demonstrated professional behavior throughout the program
- Fulfillment of all financial obligations to Concordia University Ann Arbor
Dismissal from the Program:
The CUA A’s PA Program reserves the right to dismiss any PA student at any time prior to graduation. Circumstances warranting such action may be of an academic, legal or professional nature.Additional information is available in the student handbooks on appeal of dismissal and withdrawal from the program.
Deceleration in the didactic program is not allowed for academic or professionalism deficiencies. In the case of a Leave of Absence due to medical illness or pregnancy, deceleration may require that the student repeat the entire didactic year, taking all courses again that they had passed previously, which would require additional tuition. The program will make decisions related to LOA on a case-by-case basis.
TOTAL CURRICULUM CREDITS = 113 (67 didactic + 46 Clinical)
Spring Term 1 (18 credits)
- PHAS 509 Anatomy (5cr)
- PHAS 511 Molecular Basis of Disease (2cr)
- PHAS 512 Primary Medicine 1 (3cr)
- PHAS 513 Labs & Diagnostics 1 (2cr)
- PHAS 514 Patient Care 1 (2cr)
- PHAS 516 Pharmacotherapy 1 (2cr)
- PHAS 517 Skills for Primary Practice 1 (1cr)
- PHAS 533 Medical Decision Making 1 (1cr)
- PHAS 519 PA Professional Practice 1 (1cr)
Summer 1 (12 credits)
- PHAS 522 Primary Medicine 2 (3cr)
- PHAS 523 Labs & Diagnostics 2 (2cr)
- PHAS 524 Patient Care 2 (1cr)
- PHAS 528 Pharmacotherapy 2 (2cr)
- PHAS 529 Skills for Primary Practice 2 (1cr)
- PHAS 543 Medical Decision Making 2 (2cr)
- PHAS 536 PA Professional Practice 2 (1cr)
Fall Term 1 (17 credits)
- PHAS 537 Primary Medicine 3 (4cr)
- PHAS 538 Labs & Diagnostics 3 (3cr)
- PHAS 539 Patient Care 3 (2cr)
- PHAS 541 Pharmacotherapy 3 (3cr)
- PHAS 542 Skills for Primary Practice 3 (2cr)
- PHAS 557 Medical Decision Making 3 (2cr)
- PHAS 546 PA Professional Practice 3 (1cr)
Winterim 1 (3 credits)
- PHAS 547 Behavioral Medicine (2cr)
- PHAS 549 PA Professional Practice 4 (1cr)
Spring Term 2 (16 credits)
- PHAS 558 Medical Emergencies (3cr)
- PHAS 559 Surgical Medicine (3cr)
- PHAS 551 Primary Medicine 4 (3cr)
- PHAS 552 Labs & Diagnostics 4 (2cr)
- PHAS 553 Patient Care 4 (2cr)
- PHAS 554 Pharmacotherapy 4 (2cr)
- PHAS 556 Skills for Primary Practice (1cr)
Clinical Year Of Practice (46 credits)
- PHAS 611 Family Medicine Clinical Rotation 1
- PHAS 612 Family Medicine Clinical Rotation 2
- PHAS 621 Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation 1
- PHAS 622 Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation 2
- PHAS 623 Women’s Health Clinical Rotation
- PHAS 624 Pediatric Clinical Rotation
- PHAS 631 Behavioral Medicine Clinical Rotation
- PHAS 632 Surgical Medicine Clinical Rotation
- PHAS 633 Emergency Medicine Clinical Rotation
- PHAS 641 Elective Clinical Rotation 1
- PHAS 642 Elective Clinical Rotation 2
- PHAS 651 Summative Assessment
Candidates for admission must meet the following requirements:
- Baccalaureate Degree (must be earned prior to matriculation from a regionally accredited university or college in the U.S.).
- Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA or higher, AND
- Minimum 3.0 prerequisite science GPA or higher
- Prerequisite Coursework
- Note: Each prerequisite course must be successfully completed with a grade of “C” or higher from a regionally U.S. accredited college or university. For applicants who have taken their prerequisite coursework outside the U.S., please see Admissions tab for more information.
- All prerequisite science coursework must be completed at the time of application.
- One non-science prerequisite course may be pending at the time of application, but must be completed prior to matriculation in the program.
- Labs for science pre-requisites must be completed in a face-to-face manner in the classroom, and not as an online component.
- Audited coursework is not accepted for prerequisite courses, nor are grades of PASS/FAIL.
- Application Deadline:
- October 15, 2020 is the deadline for verified applications.
- Please note, the deadline for application is for Verified applications. Submit your applications at least 4-6 weeks prior to the deadline to allow time for verification of information in your application.
- There must be documentation of 500 hours of hands-on patient care experience.
- Examples of hands-on patient care may include but is not limited to: nursing, CNA, ER tech, EMT/paramedic, lab technician, dietician, exercise stress test technician, mental health therapist, military medical/clinical specialist, occupational/physical therapist, pharmacist, pharmacy technician, phlebotomist, respiratory therapist, surgical technician.
- Medical scribe experience as a scribe is invaluable to documentation and observational learning, but hands-on patient care experience is not part of the scribe’s responsibility. As such, a scribe may use 100-200 hours of scribe work as part of the health care requirement, but the remainder must be in some capacity in which you have direct patient interaction.
- The following are NOT considered hands-on experience: PA or MD shadowing; non-clinical research assistant; candy striper; CPR instructor; patient transporter, pharmaceutical rep; ski patrol (unless EMT certified), lifeguard, aerobics instructor, therapeutic horse observers, unit clerk, medical insurance clerk, medical secretary.
- If you have additional questions regarding whether your particular experience suffices, please contact the program office directly to discuss.
- Completion of 24 hour minimum shadowing of a Physician Assistant.
- Shadowing must be completed and documented to the program via CASPA in order for the application to be considered ready for review.
- The program is not able to find or suggest sites for applicants to complete the shadowing requirement.
- Three letters of reference are required to be submitted: (PLEASE NOTE)
- One letter of reference must be from a PA with whom you have shadowed, and should speak to your understanding of the role of a PA and aptitude for the vocation of a Physician Assistant specifically.
- One letter of reference must be from an employer/supervisor of your patient health care experience, and should speak to your interaction and care of patients and aptitude for a profession as a health care provider.
- One letter must be from someone who can speak to your aptitude for successfully navigating the strenuous workloads and rigor that the curriculum will require.
- Technical Standards are physical, behavioral and cognitive abilities that must be met in order for a PA to complete the educational curriculum, and competently perform all duties required as a PA upon graduation. Please see Technical Standards for Physician Assistants that each student must be able to meet in order to be admitted to the PA program and function effectively in the PA profession.
- One or two semesters of general (inorganic) chemistry with lab (4 cr each) (two preferred)
- One semester of either organic chemistry or biochemistry with lab (both are preferred) (3 cr)
(if Organic chemistry or Biochemistry are taken at a community college, pre-req for that course must have been a college level general chemistry course)
- One or two semesters of general biology with lab (3-4 cr. each) (two are preferred)
- Botany, or survey course does not fill this requirement
- Human Anatomy & Physiology:
- May be completed as two semesters of A & P with lab done on-campus
- May be completed as individual Human Anatomy and separate Physiology course, again with on-campus lab component.
PLEASE NOTE: A & P is the cornerstone for all understanding in clinical medicine, and as such, the course must be rigorous, related to HUMAN anatomy & physiology, and should have been completed within 5 years of application, although more distant coursework of an applicant currently working in a medical field utilizing A & P may be acceptable.
- Microbiology: One semester with lab
- Psychology: One semester (lifespan, developmental or abnormal preferred)
- Statistics: One semester
- College algebra or higher: One semester (will accept high school AP credit)
- Medical Terminology: One semester (recommended within 5 years of application)
- English Composition: One semester minimum (will accept high school AP credit)
Highly recommended courses though not required:
- Additional Psychology classes
No advanced placement or transfer credit is granted if transferring from another PA or graduate program nor for foreign medical graduates or foreign physicians. No course credit is given for experiential learning.
NOTE: high school AP coursework for the basic sciences courses (Biology 1 and Chemistry 1) may be used for pre-requisite requirements. The statement above refers to AP in coursework taken at a previous PA program.