Physician Assistant (PA)
Major: Physician Assistant
Degree Awarded: Master of Health Sciences (MHS)
Calendar Type: Quarter
Total Credit Hours: 117.0
Classification of Instructional Programs (CIP) code: 51.0912
Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) code: 29-1071
About the Program
The Drexel University Physician Assistant Program provides graduates with a Master of Health Science degree and eligibility to sit for the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination).
The physician assistant (PA) is a primary health care provider who, when graduated from an accredited program and national certified and state-licensed, is eligible to practice medicine with the legal supervision of a physician.
PAs perform many duties including, but not limited to, physical examinations, diagnosis and treatment of illnesses, ordering and interpretation of lab tests, assist in surgery, perform procedures, perform hospital rounds, prescribe medicines and provide patient education.
The mission of this program is to:
- Educate qualified primary care physician assistants
- Improve health care delivery in rural and urban medically under served areas
- Promote the physician assistant profession
For more information about this program, contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more details about the program, visit the College of Nursing and Health Professions Physician Assistant page.
The intensive curriculum consists of professionally related coursework taken during a continuous period (the part-time option requires an additional calendar year) and gives students an understanding of both the health care system within which they will work and the functions appropriate to the role of the physician assistant. The curriculum is divided into a full year of didactic courses followed by an additional 15 months of supervised clinical practice.
Training begins with four quarters of didactic education which integrates patient interaction throughout. The clinical training phase consists of six (6) five-credit, five week clinical rotations in medicine, surgery, women's health, pediatrics, emergency medicine, and psychiatry. The clinical phase of the curriculum is completed on a full-time basis for both full and part-time students.
The final portion of the curriculum consists of two, 10-credit quarter-long, primary care practica (preceptorships). During the preceptorship phase, each student is assigned to two primary care sites for individualized clinical training with physician preceptors. Training sites during the clinical year are located throughout Pennsylvania and in other states. Students are expected to relocate during the clinical phase and are responsible for all associated financial costs, including transportation and living expenses.
The program is intensely challenging, both intellectually and physically, and requires stamina as well as personal and financial sacrifice on the part of the students. The program demands a high degree of integrity, self-sufficiency, motivation, and self-discipline, and highly developed study skills.
The Physician Assistant program utilizes electronic documentation and communications. Therefore, all students are required to have laptop computers with Web access capability.
Contact the Physician Assistant Program for more information on the sequencing for the part-time option.
|PA 540||Clinical Anatomy||5.0|
|PA 545||Physician Assistant Practice||1.0|
|PA 543||Ethical Issues in Physician Assistant Practice||2.0|
|PA 542||Patient Communication||2.0|
|PA 544||Clinical Assessment||5.0|
|In this quarter, part-time students may take PA 546 Health Policy for Physician Assistance Practice and/or an elective in addition to the required courses. This will enable them to take the first summer quarter off. addition to the required courses.|
|PA 548||Principles of Medical Science I||2.0|
|PA 556||Clinical Medicine I||5.0|
|PA 551||Pharmacology and Therapeutics I||3.0|
|PA 559||Clinical Skills I||2.0|
|PA 547||Evidence Based Medicine for Physician Assistants||3.0|
|PA 549||Principles of Medical Science II||2.0|
|PA 557||Clinical Medicine II||5.0|
|PA 552||Pharmacology and Therapeutics II||2.0|
|PA 560||Clinical Skills II||2.0|
|PA 554||Biopsychosocial Issues in Patient Care||5.0|
|In this quarter, part-time students may take PA 546 Health Policy for Physician Assistant Practice plus an elective if they wish to attend during the summer quarter.|
|PA 550||Principles of Medical Science III||2.0|
|PA 558||Topics in Clinical Practice||5.0|
|PA 553||Pharmacology and Therapeutics III||2.0|
|PA 561||Clinical Skills III||4.0|
|PA 546||Health Policy for Physician Assistant Practice||2.0|
|The Clinical Phase (Full-time for all students, 5 quarters)|
|Graduate Project I||3.0|
|PA 635||Primary Care Practicum I||10.0|
|PA 638||Graduate Project II||3.0-6.0|
|PA 637||Primary Care Practicum II||10.0|
|Total Credit: 117.0-120.0|
|*Clinical Year Rotation Courses|
|The sequencing of the six clinical rotations will vary for individual students, but all students must take all six rotations.|
|PA 629||Medicine Rotation||5.0|
|PA 630||Pediatrics Rotation||5.0|
|PA 631||Obstetrics and Gynecology Rotation||5.0|
|PA 632||Psychiatry and Behavioral Health Rotation||5.0|
|PA 633||Surgery Rotation||5.0|
|PA 634||Emergency Medicine Rotation||5.0|
The Drexel University Physician Assistant Program utilizes the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All applicants must complete the CASPA application process no later than October 1st of the year prior to expected date of matriculation. Applications must be e-submitted, complete (including the receipt by CASPA of all transcripts, reference forms, and other supporting documentation such as foreign transcript evaluations and TOEFL score) and verified by CASPA by the October 1st deadline. Applicants may not apply directly to the Drexel University Physician Assistant Program. Applications made directly to the Office of Enrollment Management (Admissions) of Drexel University will not be processed.
- For the 2016-2017 admissions cycle, applications must be verified by CASPA no later than October 1st, 2016.
- Applications remaining unverified by CASPA for any reason after the October 1st deadline will not be processed.
- Effective with the 2017-2018 admissions cycle, all applications must be verified by CASPA no later than September 1st.
- Beginning with the 2017-2018 application cycle (open mid-April - October 1, 2017) all prerequisites must be completed at time of application.
For additional details about the application process, visit the Physician Assistant Program's Admissions web page.
- A minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 grading scale from all colleges and universities attended is required for the following three (3) categories: non-science courses, natural science courses, and combined overall courses. Applications will not be reviewed unless the applicant has attained these minimum requirements at time of application.
- Meet the technical standards for admission, progression, and graduation from the Physician Assistant Program. Each applicant is expected to review completely the “Technical Standards for PA Program” PDF at the end of this page. Individuals unable to meet these technical standards, with or without reasonable accommodation, are counseled to pursue alternate careers.
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended sent directly to CASPA.
- Non-United States-based educational institutional transcripts must be evaluated by an approved agency (see the listing of acceptable agencies on the CASPA website at https://portal.caspaonline.org/faq/foreign_transcripts.htm). Evaluation fees are the responsibility of the applicant. Evaluations must be sent directly to CASPA.
- Three completed reference forms with accompanying letters of recommendation attached and submitted as part of the official CASPA application. Preferred references are from individuals who have interacted with the applicant in a supervisory capacity or academic instructors who have personal knowledge of the applicant. Submission of references from friends, relatives, personal physicians, or instructors who do not possess a personal, supervisory knowledge of the applicants is discouraged.
- A personal statement recorded as part of the CASPA application.
- An applicant whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL iBT examination unless the applicant has graduated with a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university. The minimum required score for the iBT (Internet Based Testing) is 79 and a minimum score of 26 is required for the speaking component. Find more detailed information at http://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/. Scores must be submitted directly to CASPA.
- Meet the minimum prerequisite coursework as detailed in the “Admission Requirements and Process” PDF below.
A minimum of 500 hours of clearly documented volunteer/paid direct hands-on patient contact accrued by the time of application and recorded as part of the official CASPA application is required. Ensure that all hours are accurately reported. Applicants may list the same position in multiple sections in order to account for multiple experiences (patient contact, related health care, research, shadowing, etc.) accrued in the same position as long as each hour is not reported in more than one experience category. Please review the "Patient Contact" PDF below for more information regarding acceptable forms of patient contact.
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores are not required.
- The Physician Assistant Program does not grant advanced standing.