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    University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
   
 
  Dec 12, 2017
 
 
    
2017-2018 University Catalog

Physician Assistant Studies – MSPAS


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Vision

Our vision is that our graduates will strive for excellence in all academic and professional endeavors, ultimately becoming valued members of the healthcare team.

Mission

The mission of the graduate professional physician assistant program is to provide a comprehensive curriculum that educates students to become providers of quality, evidence-based medicine that encompasses the ethical, socioeconomic, and cultural sensitivities of each individual patient. The program will provide students with the motivation and skills to distinguish themselves as innovators and leaders in their field.

The University of the Sciences graduate professional physician assistant program will offer a broad-based quality curriculum that will allow students to follow any clinical pathway while reinforcing the importance of primary care, underserved populations, and geriatrics.

Our students will:

  • Embrace the value of the healthcare team.
  • Engage in evidence-based, lifelong learning and scholarly activity.
  • Participate in community and professional service that incorporates cultural and ethical sensitivities.
  • Maintain the highest standards of wellness for patients, community, and self.

Accreditation Status

ARC-PA has accepted the voluntary withdrawal of the PA Program at the University of the Sciences from the ARC-PA accreditation process effective February 22, 2017. The PA program will remain on Accreditation-Probation until it has completed teaching out currently enrolled students – but no later than June of 2019. The PA program will not accept any new students for enrollment. Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s). 

Degree Requirements


Students entering the graduate professional physician assistant program are expected to meet certain technical standards and to continue to meet those standards during the program. Information about these technical standards may be found at www.physicianassistant.usciences.edu/physician-assistant-studies/physician-assistant-graduate-technical-standards.

Progression and continuance in the graduate professional physician assistant program are based not only on scholastic achievement, they are also based on professional performance and the ability to meet the requirements of the program. For greater detail about the program’s requirements and policies, please see the program’s student handbook available from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.

Academic Standards

Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher to continue in and/or to graduate from the graduate professional physician assistant program. In addition, students must obtain a minimum grade of “C” in all courses with the prefix PHA and must successfully complete all other requirements for a specific course as specified in that course’s syllabus.

Behavioral Standards

During all phases of training, students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner. Appropriate behavior includes attributes such as:

  • Ability to work effectively with peers and other members of the healthcare team.
  • Personal, academic and professional honesty and integrity.
  • Concern for privacy of the patient.
  • Understanding professional roles and limitations.
  • Consistent attendance and punctuality.

Professional Performance Standards

Professional behavior and attitudes are an essential and required part of interaction with patients, peers, supervisors, other health professionals, and the general public. All physician assistant students are expected to maintain the highest standard of professional behavior possible and to comply with the ethical standards and codes developed by the American Academy of Physician Assistants and those in the University of the Sciences Student Handbook (available at www.usciences.edu/studenthandbook/).

Requirements for Progression Within the Didactic Phase

  • Remediation of any grade below a “C” on a written, physical, or combination examination may be required at the discretion of the course coordinator(s).
  • Any course with the prefix PHA must be passed with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Demonstration of required skills necessary for clinical practice as determined by the program.
  • Receiving a satisfactory rating from the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee by meeting all the academic and behavioral requirements.
  • Compliance with the policies of the university and the program.
  • Compliance with the behavioral standards and professional performance standards, and with the Standards of Conduct for the Physician Assistant Student (see the program’s student handbook available from the Department of Physician Assistant Studies).

Requirements for Progression Within the Clinical Phase

In addition to meeting the above Requirements for Promotion within the Didactic Phase, students must complete the following requirements in order to complete the graduate professional physician assistant program.

  • Satisfactory remediation for any grade below “C” in any examination.
  • Preceptor evaluations must be passed with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Each course with the prefix PHA or rotation within a course must be passed with a minimum grade of “C”.
  • Satisfactory completion of basic life support (BLS) and advanced cardiac life support (ACLS) training.
  • Demonstration of required skills necessary for clinical practice.
  • Receiving a satisfactory rating from the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee by meeting all academic and behavioral requirements.
  • Compliance with university and program policies and standards.

Graduation Requirements

Faculty and staff of the graduate professional physician assistant program will review all student records prior to graduation. Any outstanding financial balance must be reconciled prior to graduation. Students must fulfill all department and University requirements before being awarded a diploma and must be eligible for the PANCE examination. Specific requirements include:

  • Satisfactory completion of all program courses.
  • Satisfactory completion of all courses in the curriculum with a grade of “C” or better.
  • A cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher throughout the program.
  • Satisfactory completion of all assignments.
  • Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive summative written examination.
  • Satisfactory completion of a comprehensive Objective Structures Clinical Evaluation (OSCE).
  • Completion of the Physician Assistant Clinical Knowledge Rating and Assessment Tool (PACKRAT) examination.
  • Compliance with behavioral and professional performance standards.
  • Successful completion of comprehensive technical skills evaluation.

Academic Program Probation 

Any student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.00 and/or who receives a grade below a “C” in any course with the prefix PHA will be placed on academic program probation. The Academic and Professional Affairs Committee, with approval of the program director, will review the student’s case and create a contract with the student setting forth the terms of probation.

The student may be allowed to repeat the failed course once, based on a schedule created by the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee. Repeating a course may cause a delay in starting clinical rotations and/or graduation. All didactic phase courses must be satisfactorily completed before the student is allowed to progress into the clinical phase.

Students who fail to meet the terms of the contract of probation within the designated time frame will be dismissed from the program. Students who do not achieve a grade of “C” or higher after repeating a course with the prefix PHA will be dismissed from the program. Students are required to maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher to continue and/or to graduate from the program.

Students may be placed on probation only once during the didactic phase or once during the clinical phase. If a student is eligible to be placed on academic program probation for a second time in either phase of the program, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Behavioral or Professional Program Probation

Students who fail to adhere to the required Behavioral Standards and Professional Performance Standards or whose behavior is disruptive or inappropriate for a medical professional will be required to appear before the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee. Students placed on probation for behavioral or professional reasons who fail to meet the terms of the contract of probation within the designated time frame will be dismissed from the program.

Contract of Program Probation

A contract with the student will set forth the terms and conditions of program probation. These terms and conditions may include, but are not limited to, specific academic and behavioral requirements, remedial sessions, and any other items deemed necessary by the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee and/or the University’s student conduct process to ensure program and University standards as well as the welfare of faculty, peers and, most importantly, patients. Terms may also include a psychological and/or medical evaluation and clearance in order to continue in the graduate professional physician assistant program.

Removal from Program Probation

A student placed on program probation due to a cumulative GPA of less than 3.00 must acquire a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater by the end of the following semester. A student placed on program probation due to a grade of less than “C” in a course with the prefix PHA must retake the course according to the terms of the probation contract and must achieve a passing grade of “C” or higher in order to be removed from program probation. A student placed on program probation for academic and/or behavioral problems must fulfill ALL requirements of the contract of program probation within the designated time frame or the student will be dismissed from the graduate professional physician assistant program.

Dismissal from the Program

Failure to meet conditions for removal from academic or behavioral/professional program probation or being eligible to be placed on program probation more than once while enrolled in the graduate professional physician assistant program will result in dismissal from the program.

Students who are dismissed and who wish to be reinstated must petition the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee for readmission to the graduate professional physician assistant program. In order to be reinstated the student must establish to the satisfaction of the Academic and Professional Affairs Committee that the unsatisfactory performance: 1) was due to extraordinary and non-recurring circumstances AND 2) was not representative of the student’s academic ability and/or usual professional conduct. A student who is reinstated but who fails to satisfy the conditions of any program probation will automatically be dismissed from the program without further review or appeal within the graduate professional physician assistant program.

MSPAS Curriculum Requirements


MSPAS Curriculum Plan


First Year


Second Year


Third Year


Total Credits: 102


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