Here you will find information about the Department of Physician Assistant Education. If you are interested in applying to the MSPAS program, visit our Prospective Students area.
The Department of Physician Assistant Education supports the University's mission by educating Physician Assistants to deliver high quality competent and compassionate health care as team members within the health care delivery system.
The Western University of Health Sciences Department of Physician Assistant Education will be nationally respected and recognized as an innovative leader in Physician Assistant education. Our faculty will continue to be leaders in our profession as educators and clinicians. Our faculty will continue to educate a diverse student body who will provide compassionate and comprehensive primary care medicine.
The program will continue to foster student attributes that will enhance their role as effective health care professionals.
Our students, graduates and faculty will continue to serve in key leadership positions on a local, state and national level, to influence the future of the physician assistant profession, while striving to continue personal and professional development.
Physicians and health care delivery teams will seek our graduates. Through these partnerships, comprehensive patient care will be accessible for all populations.
Department of Physician Assistant Education Overview
Western University initiated a Primary Care Physician Assistant Program in 1990. In August 1999, the University's Board of Trustees voted to change the program to the masters degree level, effective for the class entering August 2000. As the profession grows, it is imperative that PAs stand on equal academic footing with their peers and colleagues in the health professions. Bringing educational requirements to the masters degree level elevates the reputation and standing of PAs on a national basis.
Physician assistants (PA) are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. Within the physician/PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance services. The clinical role of the PA includes primary and specialty care in medicine and surgical practice settings. PA practice is centered on patient care and may also include educational, research and administrative activity. The role of the PA demands intelligence, sound judgement, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to react to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. An attitude of respect for self and others, adherence to the concepts of privilege and confidentiality in communicating with patients, and a commitment to the patient's welfare are essential attributes.
The educational philosophy of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies emphasizes self-motivated learning and the role of the PA as a member of a health care team. The program incorporates the appropriate elements of the traditional osteopathic philosophy into students training. These elements include:
- An understanding of the patient as a whole person.
- Emphasis on those aspects of health education that stress health promotion and disease prevention.
- An appreciation of the role of physical assessment in the diagnosis and management of illness.
The Masters program prepares prospective Physician Assistants to provide health care to all patient populations. The program prepares entry-level graduates with the knowledge, skills and attitudes to perform in a primary care setting and function in a variety of roles within numerous clinical settings. This approach develops attributes that serve the graduate in the greatest spectrum of potential employment opportunities.
Western University's PA program is accredited by the Accredition Review Committee on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Since 1994, Western University PA graduates have scored well on the National Board Examination for PAs.
Board Passing Rates
The table below displays the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) rates from Western University for first-time test-takers in the past 5 classes. The national average is displayed for comparison.