Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Program
Welcome to the Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program website.
Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed clinicians who practice medicine in every specialty and setting. The role of the PA requires intelligence, sound judgement, intellectual honesty, appropriate interpersonal skills, and the capacity to respond to emergencies in a calm and reasoned manner. PAs are dedicated to expanding access to care and transforming health and wellness through patient-centered, team-based medical practice.
PAs are eligible to practice medicine with legal supervision of a physician after graduating from an accredited program, passing the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), becoming nationally certified, and obtaining state licensure. The PANCE is a multiple-choice exam that assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality. The PA profession is among the fastest-growing and essential professions in America.
The Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program is an accredited program that prepares students for success in the workplace and on the PANCE through a strong foundation in medical knowledge, clinical reasoning and problem-solving, professional behavior, clinical and technical skills, and inter-professional training. The curriculum and program defined competencies have been designed to meet our mission statement to educationally transform and mentor our students to become competent and compassionate Physician Assistants as well as to align with professional standards put forth by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. The curriculum is composed of 22 didactic year courses, 8 supervised clinical experiences and a summative evaluation course totaling 105 graduate credits.
Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Master of Science Degree in Physician Assistant Studies. After successful completion of the program, graduates are eligible to take the PANCE. After passing PANCE, PAs are issued NCCPA certification.
Erin Burns Kilduff MSPAS, PA-C
Program Director / Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies
Physician Assistant Program Virtual Tour
See what being on campus looks like for a student in the Physician Assistant Program at Misericordia University!
Physician Assistant Program Description
The Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program is a 25-month, year-round Graduate Program that starts in July. The didactic year (first year), is composed of 22 medical and clinical science courses that prepare students to enter the clinical year. The program curriculum prepares students to provide patient-centered care and collegially work on collaborative medical teams in an interprofessional environment. The curriculum establishes a strong foundation in health information technology and evidence-based medicine and emphasizes the importance of remaining current with the changing nature of clinical practice. During the clinical year, students must successfully complete 8 supervised clinical experiences and a summative evaluation course. Each experience has been designed with rotation-specific course topics, including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Surgery, Women’s Health, Emergency Medicine, and an Elective. Instructional objectives were created to complement and guide the PA student to achieve each course’s learning outcomes and prepare students for clinical practice.
The Program curriculum has been designed to support students' achievement of the mission and goals of the program and program competencies. Program competencies have been developed to align with professional standards put forth by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Competencies are the medical knowledge, interpersonal, clinical, and technical skills, professional behaviors, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities required for PA practice. Each student who successfully completes the Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program is required to possess the skills, characteristics and attributes listed in the program competencies.
Our Program team consists of experienced PAs, physicians, a pharmacologist, a professor of anatomy, a pathophysiologist, and inter-professional collaborators. We have devoted much time and attention to the development of a PA program that is rooted in sound biomedical concepts and clinical practice. The program fosters and promotes diversity, equity, and inclusion to prepare our students to provide service to others that is not exclusionary of any group, race, or culture.
Together, the didactic and clinical curriculum totals 105 graduate credits. Students who successfully complete the program are awarded a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. Misericordia University Physician Assistant Studies Graduates are eligible to take the PANCE for certification.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has issued the following Accreditation statement to the MU PA Program on October 18, 2022:
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Misericordia University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Misericordia University. 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 2032. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-misericordia-university/