(Effective Fall 2018)

Physician assistants (PAs) are health professionals authorized by the state to practice medicine with the supervision of a licensed physician. Physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of services. The clinical role of physician assistants includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical settings in rural and urban areas. Students will learn to work successfully in the health care environment, provide treatment for patients, problem solve, and value their professionalism.

The role of the physician assistant 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 others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, an understanding of the inter-professional nature of modern health care and a commitment to the patient's welfare are essential attributes.

Graduates of the combined Bachelor/Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). To practice medicine as a PA, students must graduate from a program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), pass the PANCE, and obtain state-specific authorization to practice through state licensure, registration, or certification processes.

Career Opportunities

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physician assistants during the time frame of 2014-2024 is projected to increase by 30% (much faster than the average of 7% growth rate for all occupations). Physician assistant was added to the high priority occupations in Pennsylvania and by the Central Workforce Investment Board in 2015. Pennsylvania is listed as one of the states with the highest number of employed physician assistants. Certified physician assistants (PA-C) are employed in a variety of settings nationwide, including (but not limited to): family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, gastroenterology, plastic surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry, oncology and hematology, emergency medicine, orthopedic surgery, general surgery, cardiovascular surgery, correctional medicine, urology, and pediatrics.

Recommended High School Subjects

High school students should focus their academic course work on written and oral communication, upper level mathematics (e.g., college algebra and trigonometry), biology, chemistry, and physics courses with labs.

Special Equipment Needs

Students accepted into the didactic year of the combined Bachelor/Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program are required to have a laptop and will incur expenses for medical instruments, uniforms, malpractice insurance, clearances and certifications, etc. See the complete list on the program website.

Remediation Strategies

All developmental course remediation must be completed during the pre-PA curriculum to be considered for selection.

Program Goals

A graduate of this major should be able to:
  • use the skills necessary to become a certified physician assistant;
  • work as a compassionate, ethical, and culturally competent health care provider;
  • communicate professionally with patients, families and other members of the health care team;
  • demonstrate the technical skills for patient-centered care, including aspects of evidenced-based medicine, patient education resources, accessibility, and cost effectiveness; and
  • demonstrate critical thinking, analysis, scientific inquiry and problem-solving abilities.

Performance Standards

The grading scale in this program will be as follows:
A = 90-100
B = 80-89.99
C = 75-79.99
F = 74.99 and below – student has not met minimal requirements to pass
Grades are not rounded. Students must maintain a minimum graduation GPA of 2.0.

Curriculum

First Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
FYE101 First Year Experience 1 .50 1.50 S REQ
BIO108 Principles of Biology I 4 3 3 M REQ
CHM111 General Chemistry I 4 3 3 M REQ
ENL111 English Composition I 3 3 S REQ
CSC124 Information, Technology, and Society 3 3 S REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Second Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO109 Principles of Biology II 4 3 3 M REQ
CHM121 General Chemistry II 4 3 3 M REQ
MTD Math Elective (MTH180 or Higher) 3   M MTD
ENL121 English Composition II 3 3 S REQ
or
ENL201 Technical and Professional Communication 3 3 S REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 14
Third Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO115 Human Anatomy and Physiology I 4 3 3 M REQ
MTH160 Elementary Statistics with Computer Applications 4 3 3 M REQ
CHM210 Organic Chemistry I 3 3 M REQ
CHM211 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory 1 3 M REQ
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
TOTAL CREDITS 15
Fourth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHS115 College Physics I 4 3 3 M REQ
BIO125 Human Anatomy and Physiology II 4 3 3 M REQ
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
or
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3   S FOR
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3   S AAE
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3   S IFE
FIT Fitness and Lifetime Sports Elective 2   S FIT
TOTAL CREDITS 16
Fifth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO201 Microbiology 4 3 3 M REQ
PSY111 General Psychology 3 3 S REQ
SPC Speech Elective 3   S SPC
CHM370 Biochemistry 3 3 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 13
Sixth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
BIO310 Genetics 3 3 M REQ
MTR104 Basics of Medical Terminology 3 3 M REQ
OEA Open Elective 3   S OEA
HUM Humanities Elective 3   S HUM
or
SSE Social Science Elective 3   S SSE
or
ART Art Elective 3   S ART
or
FOR Foreign Language Elective 3   S FOR
or
AAE Applied Arts Elective 3   S AAE
or
IFE International Field Experience Elective 3   S IFE
TOTAL CREDITS 12
Seventh Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA516 Pathophysiology I 3 3 M REQ
PHA522 Pharmacology I 3 3 M REQ
PHA575 Human Cadaver Anatomy 4 3 3 M REQ
PHA547 Principles of Clinical Medicine I 4 3 3 M REQ
PHA505 Diagnostic and Procedural Methods I 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA539 History and Physical Assessment I 3 1.50 4.50 M REQ
PHA583 Principles of Dermatology 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 21
Eighth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA506 Diagnostic and Procedural Methods II 3 Science, Technology and Society Requirement 2 3 M REQ
PHA517 Pathophysiology II 3 3 M REQ
PHA523 Pharmacology II 3 3 M REQ
PHA540 History and Physical Assessment II 3 1.50 4.50 M REQ
PHA548 Principles of Clinical Medicine II 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA576 Human Cadaver Anatomy II 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA580 Principles of Emergency Medicine 1 1 M REQ
PHA584 Psychopathology 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 20
Summer Session Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA507 Diagnostic and Procedural Methods III 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA524 Pharmacology III 3 3 M REQ
PHA541 History and Physical Assessment III 3 1.50 4.50 M REQ
PHA549 Principles of Clinical Medicine III 3 2 3 M REQ
PHA558 Pediatrics 1 1 M REQ
PHA560 Professionalism and Ethics in Physician Assistant Practice 3 Cultural Diversity Requirement 3 M REQ
PHA581 Principles of Surgery 1 1 M REQ
PHA582 Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 18
Ninth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA609 Physician Assistant Internship Seminar I 1 1 M REQ
PHA612 Internal Medicine Internship 4 M REQ
PHA618 Elective Internship I 4 M REQ
PHA621 Pediatrics Internship 4 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 13
Tenth Semester Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA615 Emergency Medicine Internship 4 M REQ
PHA616 Psychiatry Internship 4 M REQ
PHA619 Obstetrics & Gynecology Internship 4 M REQ
PHA622 Physician Internship Seminar II 1 1 M REQ
TOTAL CREDITS 13
Summer Session Credits Notes Lecture Lab/Clinical M/S Type
PHA611 Family Practice Internship 4 M REQ
PHA617 Surgery Internship 4 M REQ
PHA623 Elective Internship II 4 M REQ
PHA696 Senior Capstone 3 Writing Enriched Requirement 3 M REQ
PHA PA Completion Requirement   M PHA
TOTAL CREDITS 15

Notice of Conviction

Child-abuse clearance, criminal background checks, and drug screens are required. Students desiring entrance into the Physician Assistant major should be aware that clinical institutions could bar them from their sites if a criminal record exists or if a positive drug test is noted. (By virtue of contract for Penn College students to be at clinical sites, agencies have the right to ask for drug testing and background checks.)

Inability to gain clinical education experience results in inability to meet program objectives and outcomes. The presence of a criminal record can result in agencies refusing to issue credentials necessary for employment.

Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Pennsylvania College of Technology Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Pennsylvania College of Technology. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.