Sep 27, 2020  
2011-2012 University Catalog 
    
2011-2012 University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant – BSHS Major in Conjunction with PCOM


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Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed health professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs are educated with a focus on primary care medicine. They deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural, urban, and suburban communities throughout the country. With the physician assistant education, the graduate may choose to work in primary care, emergency, surgical, and other specialty practices. The PA profession has numerous employment opportunities and was recently rated as the second best job and the fastest growing healthcare career in the U.S.

The physician assistant program at University of the Sciences (USciences) and Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) is a collaboration to foster excellence in education.

Undergraduate students enrolled in the 5-year accelerated entry-level program will complete the prerequisites in natural and social sciences and general education courses as well as physician assistant–specific coursework at University of the Sciences (years 1–3). Those students who are admitted at the entry level identify the PA program as their program of study. Students applying to the program should have a minimum 3.00 GPA; SAT scores: 550 Math, 520 Verbal, or ACT score of 24; knowledge of the PA profession; work or volunteer hours in the healthcare field; somatic and exteroceptive sensation; functional use of vision, hearing, and smell; gross and fine motor skills and stamina; critical thinking ability; and communication and interpersonal skills. Students must comply with PCOM technical standards. See www.pcom.edu for specific details.

Acceptance into the pre-professional phase at USciences does not guarantee admission into the professional phase at PCOM. In order to achieve progression into the professional phase of the program at PCOM (years 4–5), students must maintain a minimum required GPA, have sufficient patient contact hours, and complete the application for admission to PCOM via CASPA during the summer prior to their third undergraduate year. A successful interview with PCOM faculty is also required. Requirements for progression are described in the Physician Assistant Handbook and PA student contract. After successful completion of the fourth program year (which takes place at PCOM), students will be awarded a bachelor of science in health science from USciences. This degree does not qualify the graduate as a physician assistant. Students will complete the fifth clinical year at PCOM preceptor sites across the U.S. to earn a master of science from PCOM. Graduates will then sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Successfully completion of the exam allows the graduate to be employed by a supervising physician and apply for licensure as a PA.

Degree Requirements

Students will sign a “pre-professional academic performance agreement” upon entrance into the program. Successful completion of the pre-professional phase at USciences provides progression into the professional phase at PCOM only after the student has fulfilled all required criteria:

  • For students entering the program in Catalog Years 2008–2010 (see Catalog Year for Degree Requirements), successful completion of all required pre-professional coursework at USciences with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00 and minimum natural science GPA of 3.00. These minimums must be earned and maintained from second year through graduation. There are also requirements at the end of first and second year to advance. (Note: grades of “C-” or lower in any natural science and  “C+” or lower in PA-specific course do not qualify). All second- and third-year natural science and PA-specific courses must be taken at USciences.  Transfer credit is at the discretion of the program director.
  • For students entering the program in Catalog Years 2011 and beyond, successful completion of all required pre-professional coursework at USciences with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.20 and minimum natural science GPA of 3.20. These minimums must be earned and maintained from second year through graduation. There are also requirements at the end of first and second year to advance. (Note: grades of “C-” or lower in any natural science and “C+” or lower in PA-specific courses do not qualify). All second- and third-year natural science and PA-specific courses must be taken at USciences. Transfer credit is at the discretion of the program director.
  • Completion of the PCOM application via CASPA (an online application service), which includes three letters of recommendation (one must be from a physician assistant) and a one-page narrative describing the applicant’s motivation for a career as a physician assistant. The narrative should demonstrate knowledge of the profession, motivation, interpersonal skills, and maturity.
  • Documented completion of a minimum of 200 hours of direct patient contact that offers the students an awareness of the intricacies of healthcare and/or human service with exposure to care of the sick or injured. Hours may be volunteer or paid service. Students are strongly encouraged to become familiar with the depth and breadth of the physician assistant role.
  • Demonstration of professional behavior, good judgment, maturity, motivation, and ability to perform well at the post-baccalaureate level.
  • Passing the writing proficiency examination is a graduation requirement for students who entered in Catalog Year 2008 or earlier. Students who have failed the examination are urged to seek assistance from the Writing Center.
  • Successful interview with the PCOM admissions committee.
  • Students must meet PCOM technical standards.

Sample Physician Assistant Pre-Professional Curriculum (years 1–3)


Students entering in Catalog Year 2008 (graduating class of 2012)—with general education.

First Year


Minimum of 20 hours of shadowing/patient contact required prior to start of first year.

Second Year


Summer


  • Minimum of 100 documented hours of shadowing/patient contact hours prior to start of second year.

Fall Semester


  • Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 20


Spring Semester


  • Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 20


Third Year


Summer


  • Application to PCOM.
  • Minimum of 200 documented hours of patient contact required by start of third year.

Fall Semester


  • Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 20


Spring Semester


  • Elective Credits: 9

Credits/Semester: 19


Total Credits: 113


Footnote:


Must be taken at USP.

General Notes:


In order to progress from University of the Sciences to Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, students must successfully complete the writing proficiency exam at University of the Sciences.

Note that second year students are required to shadow and participate in hospice during the academic year.

Elective courses recommended:

Professional Phase Curriculum (years 4–5)


Further information regarding the specific professional phase didactic and clinical curriculum can be found by consulting the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s website at: www.pcom.edu. This website offers information regarding curriculum, technical standards. and faculty. Students can also call 215.871.6772 or visit the PA program offices at PCOM.

The professional phase of the program will provide intense, comprehensive medical education to students, preparing them for a lifetime career as a physician assistant. During their education, students will find a wealth of physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, and other healthcare professionals to act as mentors for their didactic and clinical training, offering ongoing support and evaluation of them as future healthcare providers.

Sample Physician Assistant Pre-Profession Curriculum (years 1–3)


Students entering in Catalog Years 2009 and beyond (graduating classes of 2013 and beyond)—with general education.

First Year


Minimum of 20 hours of shadowing/patient contact required prior to start of first year.

Second Year


Summer


  • Minimum of 100 documented hours of shadowing/patient contact hours required prior to start of second year.

Fall Semester


  •  Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage I Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 20


Spring Semester


  • Humanities Discipline Requirement Credits: 3

Intellectual Heritage II Credits: 3


(Choose one)

Credits/Semester: 20


Third Year


Summer


  • Application to PCOM.
  • Minimum of 200 documented hours of patient contact required by start of third year.

Fall Semester


  • Elective Credits: 3

Credits/Semester: 20


Spring Semester


  • Elective Credits: 9

Credits/Semester: 19


Total Credits: 113


Footnote:


Must be taken at USP.

General Notes:


Note that second year students are required to shadow and participate in hospice as part of their academic curriculum during the school year.

Elective courses recommended:

Professional Phase Curriculum (years 4–5)


Further information regarding the specific professional phase didactic and clinical curriculum can be found by consulting the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s website at: www.pcom.edu. This website offers information regarding curriculum, technical standards. and faculty. Students can also call 215.871.6772 or visit the PA Program offices at PCOM.

The professional phase of the program will provide intense, comprehensive medical education to students, preparing them for a lifetime career as a physician assistant. During their education, students will find a wealth of physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, and other healthcare professionals to act as mentors for their didactic and clinical training, offering ongoing support and evaluation of them as future healthcare providers.

Faculty


Janet E. DeSipio PA-C
BA (Lehigh); MSPAS (Beaver)
Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies
Director, Physician Assistant Studies, Pre-professional Phase
Phone: 215.596.8675
E-mail: j.desipi@usciences.edu

Associate Faculty

Wassim Anwar, MBBS, Anatomy & Physiology
John Cavenagh, PhD, PCOM, PA Chair
Trudy McKee, PhD, Biochemistry
Margaret Reinhart, MS, Hematology & Immunology
Robert Smith, BS, MS, Microbiology

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