Physician Assistant: Additional Details

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Applicants and students of the Physician Assistant Program should be aware of the following:

Our program seeks to educate individuals in becoming knowledgeable, compassionate and spiritually uplifting healthcare providers. Whether they practice locally, nationally, or globally, the PA program graduates individuals who embrace a mission of service to others.


The Physician Assistant program epitomizes our university's concepts of nurture, excellence, faith, and stewardship. These pillars embody our mission and the goals for our program and graduates.


AdventHealth University PA Program Goals

Program Goal 1 – Admissions requirements

Ensure that admissions requirements are clearly communicated to potential students and that admission decisions are made in accordance with those requirements.

Metrics: Alignment between requirements and published information, and between CASPA applicant information sheet and admissions decisions.

Benchmarks: 100% alignment between voted requirement, published information, and admissions decisions.

Program Goal 2 – Communication of expectations

The program will define, publish and make readily available to students upon admission academic performance and progression information.

Metrics: Receipt for student program handbook signed by student.

Benchmark: 100% of students will sign a receipt for the student program handbook.

Program Goal 3 - Quality program

Provide a quality education program in a safe, nurturing and spiritually enriching environment.

Metrics: Exit Survey, Program Support Survey, Noel-Levitz Student Satisfaction Survey, Crime Statistics, End of Rotations Student Survey

Benchmarks: Minimum average score of 4 out of 5 on program generated surveys, gap between importance and satisfaction less than 1 on Noel-Levitz Survey, no reported crimes in 80% of categories on Crime Statistics report.

Program Goal 4 - Student progress and remediation

Monitor and document the progress of each student in a manner that promptly identifies deficiencies in knowledge or skills and establishes means for remediation.

Metrics: Weekly Grade Review, In-class Test Grades, End of Rotation Exams, PACKRAT, Comprehensive Exam, Didactic GPA, Summative Exam, Remediation plans

Benchmarks: Passing grades on weekly grades and in-class tests, 70% average on End of Rotation Exams, minimum score of 120 or equivalent on post didactic PACKRAT and 140 or equivalent on post clinical PACKRAT, 77% minimum score on Comprehensive Exam, 79% minimum score on Summative Exam, 3.3 minimum didactic GPA, Remediation of all students who do not meet benchmarks.

Program Goal 5 – Well qualified faculty members

Provide faculty members and instructional personnel who have appropriate credentials and are outstanding educators.

Metrics: Faculty Credentials, Faculty CV, Teacher/Course Evaluations

Benchmarks: 100% of faculty will have current credentials required by their positions, 100% of faculty will submit an updated CV annually, 4 out of 5 minimum on Teacher evaluations

Program Goal 6 – Curriculum

Maintain a curriculum which covers all required instructional areas and prepares students for clinical rotations.

Metric: Curriculum map.

Benchmark: 100% of required instructional areas will be covered in the curriculum.

Program Goal 7 – Clinical Experiences

Provide supervised clinical practice experiences which enable students to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for entry into clinical PA practice.

Metric: Numbers and types of clinical sites, End of Rotation Student Evaluation of Preceptors.

Benchmarks: Number and types meets ARC standards, 4 out of 5 average on preceptor evaluation.

Program Goal 8 – Professionally competent graduates

Graduate professionally competent PA students who are prepared to enter the PA workforce.

Metrics: Attrition Rate, Pre-PANCE Survey, PANCE pass rates.

Benchmarks: Less than 15% attrition, 4 out of 5 average on readiness for PANCE questions, 90% first time pass rate on PANCE.

AdventHealth University Goals and Outcomes

Student Learning Outcome 1- Caring

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors including sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and disabilities when interacting with patients and their families.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 2-Communication

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will use interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, their patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and the health care system.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 3-Critical Thinking

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will be critical thinkers who demonstrate an investigatory and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 4- Ethical/Moral

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will demonstrate a commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices. Students will also demonstrate the capacity to address the spiritual needs of patients.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 5-Life-long Learning

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will be life-long learners who engage in practice-based learning and improvement by engaging in critical analysis of their own practice experience, medical literature, and other information resources for self- improvement.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 6-Professional Expertise

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will Demonstrate professional expertise by applying core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences to patient care in their area of practice.

Metrics: Caring Objectives in Courses, Caring Behaviors in Clinicals, Student Self-Assessment of Caring

Benchmarks: Set by Instructor of course, Student rated Exceeds Expectations by Preceptor, 4 out of 5

Student Learning Outcome 7-Service to the Community

Students in the Master of Science in PA Studies program will engage in socially responsible voluntary service to the community

Metrics: Student Self-Assessment, Service Spreadsheet.

Benchmarks: 4 out of 5 on self-assessment, minimum of 40 hours of service.


Medical Procedures Objectives

Upon completion students will:

  1. Understand the components and necessity of informed consent.
  2. Understand and apply all aspects of standard universal precautions.
  3. Demonstrate appropriate concepts associated with injections.
  4. Demonstrate the technique of administering sub Q and IM injections.
  5. Understand concepts associated with venipuncture including indications, contraindications, and complications.
  6. Demonstrate successful insertion of an IV line.
  7. Understand indications, contraindications, and complications associated with urinary bladder catheterization.
  8. Demonstrate successful insertion and removal of a urinary catheter.
  9. Understand the indications, contraindications, and complications of arterial puncture.
  10. Demonstrate successful performance of arterial puncture.

Suturing and Wound Objectives

Upon completion students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate hemostasis of a wound.
  2. Understand and demonstrating effective measures for the evaluation and removal of retained foreign bodies.
  3. Demonstrate effective exploration of a wound to determine damage of deep tissue structures such as tendon and muscle.
  4. Understand categories of wound healing to include: primary, secondary, and tertiary closure.
  5. Demonstrate choice and utilization of appropriate anesthetics.
  6. Understand choice of the needles for specific anesthetic purposes.
  7. Demonstrate appropriate procedure for wound preparation.
  8. Understand and recognize various wound repair instruments and their proper use.
  9. Understand and recognize various suture materials, needles, and their appropriate application.
  10. Demonstrate basic suture skill techniques to include: simple interrupted, running, vertical and horizontal mattress sutures.
  11. Understand and demonstrate principles of strapping, splinting and a casting of extremity injuries.

General Surgical Objectives Physician assistants are often in need of various surgical skills in the practice of medicine. Understanding the complexities and special circumstances often encountered in a surgical setting and when dealing with surgical patients is an essential aspect of training. Graduates of the AdventHealth University Master of Science in Physician Assistant studies will:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of perioperative patient care.
  2. Understand surgical suite procedures and at various common surgical treatments and interventions.

This program strives to develop competent primary care physician assistants who evaluate, manage, and impart exemplary health care to the general population. We expect students to complete all the program's academic and clinical requirements. The following technical standards specify which attributes our PA faculty consider necessary to thrive in the program.

  1. Observation: Students must be able to demonstrate sufficient capacity to observe demonstrations and experiments in basic and clinical sciences (including computer-assisted instruction), and must be able to observe a patient accurately at a distance or close at hand.
  2. Communication: Students must be able to demonstrate sufficient capacity to communicate accurately and with clarity, in oral and written forms, with appropriate respect and sensitivity towards faculty, patients, and all members of the healthcare team.
  3. Motor: Students must have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic maneuvers. They must be able to grasp and manipulate tools and equipment, stand, sit, walk and move as needed in a patient care setting.
  4. Senses: Students must have sufficient use of the senses of vision, hearing, touch, and smell necessary to directly perform a physical examination.
  5. Problem solving: Students must demonstrate sufficient ability to learn to measure, calculate, analyze, and synthesize data to reach diagnostic, therapeutic and surgical judgments.
  6. Clinical skills: Students must demonstrate sufficient ability to learn and perform routine laboratory tests and diagnostic, therapeutic, and surgical procedures. All students will be expected to perform physical examinations on both males and females.
  7. Behavioral attributes: Students must possess the emotional health necessary for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of sound judgment, the prompt completion of responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with faculty, clinical staff and patients.
  8. Judgment:Students must be able to learn and demonstrate the ability to recognize limitations to their knowledge, skills ,and abilities, and to seek appropriate assistance with their identified limitations.
  9. Stability: Students must be able to learn to respond with precise, efficient, and appropriate action in emergency situations.
  10. Perseverance: Students are expected to possess the humility to accept criticism, and the diligence to successfully complete the physician assistant curriculum and enter the practice of medicine as a certified physician assistant.
  11. Cognition: The physician assistant program is a concentrated and fast-paced program. In addition, physician assistants must often make critical decisions when evaluating patients and must make these decisions in a timely manner. Students must be able to assimilate large amounts of information quickly and efficiently, as well as gather and analyze patient data in a timely manner. Health conditions and/or drugs (prescription, over the counter or "recreational") that alter perceptions, slow responses, or impair judgment are not compatible with success in the program. These may also affect the student's ability to obtain a license or to practice as a physician assistant.
  12. Capability: Physician Assistants work in a variety of clinical settings and may be required to stand for extended periods of time, assist in major surgery, hold retractors, place invasive devices, assist in labor and delivery, perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, perform minor surgical procedures, or help move patients. Therefore, students must demonstrate sufficient capability to function safely, effectively, and efficiently in a classroom, laboratory, or clinical facility without any of the following: a surrogate, intermediate, companion (animal or human), translator, or assistive device that would interfere with or not be usable in a surgical or other patient care setting. Individuals with disabilities may be provided reasonable accommodations to fully participate in the program, as long as their condition does not interfere with patient care or safety, or lead to a high likelihood of absenteeism.

Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) is the accrediting agency that protects the interests of the public and PA profession by defining the standards for PA education and evaluating PA educational programs within the territorial United States to ensure their compliance with those standards.

The ARC-PA is an independent accrediting body authorized to accredit qualified PA educational programs leading to the professional credential, Physician Assistant (PA). Accreditation is a process of quality assurance that determines whether the program meets established standards for function, structure and performance. The ARC-PA does not accredit any academic degree awarded by the sponsoring institution of the PA program.

The ARC-PA encourages excellence in PA education through its accreditation process by establishing and maintaining standards of quality for educational programs. It awards accreditation to programs through a peer review process that includes documentation and periodic site visit evaluation to substantiate compliance with the Accreditation Standards for Physician Assistant Education. The accreditation process is designed to encourage sound educational practices and innovation by programs and to stimulate continuous self-study and improvement.

In addition to establishing educational standards and fostering excellence in PA programs, the ARC-PA provides information and guidance to individuals and organizations regarding PA program accreditation.

American Academy of Physician Assistants

Founded in 1968, the American Academy of Physician Assistants is the national professional society for physician assistants. It represents a profession of more than 95,000 certified PAs across all medical and surgical specialties in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services.

AAPA advocates and educates on behalf of the profession and the patients PAs serve. We work to ensure the professional growth, personal excellence and recognition of physician assistants. We also enhance their ability to improve the quality, accessibility and cost-effectiveness of patient-centered healthcare.

National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants

NCCPA is the only certifying organization for physician assistants in the United States. Established as a not-for-profit organization in 1975, NCCPA is dedicated to assuring the public that certified physician assistants meet established standards of clinical knowledge and cognitive skills upon entry into practice and throughout their careers. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories have decided to rely on NCCPA certification as one of the criteria for licensure or regulation of physician assistants. More than 100,000 physician assistants have been certified by NCCPA since 1975, and more than 95,000 are certified today.

Florida Academy of Physician Assistants

The Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA) is a fully authorized state chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. FAPA dedicates itself to pursuing and maintaining the practice rights of Physician Assistants within the State of Florida through a strong lobbying effort. The organization also provides multiple continuing medical education opportunities and strives to keep all Physician Assistants practicing in the State of Florida up to date with the most current news. FAPAs website is a repository of information and forms required for practice in the state of Florida.


If you already have a Bachelor's degree but are missing some prerequisites, Post-Baccalaureate courses are available for you. Once admitted for Post-Baccalaureate studies, you'll be allowed to enroll in a minimum of 6 credits per trimester for up to one year in general education courses at AHU. Financial aid is available for up to one year.

Being admitted for Post-Baccalaureate studies does not guarantee admission into the program.

More Info about Post-baccalaureate Studies →


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