The Mission of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is to educate physician assistants to provide comprehensive quality health care to all, respectful of patient/client values, committed to ethical principles and grounded in evidence-based practice and clinical reasoning. Graduates will contribute to the profession and communities and be prepared to practice medicine in a variety of primary care settings under the supervision of physicians. Graduates will also be prepared to provide service to medically underserved communities and diverse patient populations.
To achieve its mission, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program has three goals:
- To develop highly skilled, interdisciplinary prepared primary care physician assistants who demonstrate the medical knowledge to provide optimal patient care.
- To develop highly skilled primary care physician assistants who are prepared using an interdisciplinary approach and who regularly assess, evaluate and improve their patient care practices.
- To develop highly skilled primary care physician assistants who are prepared using an interdisciplinary approach and who demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with culturally diverse patients and families, professional associates, and a diverse health care system.
The curriculum includes core knowledge about the established and evolving biomedical, clinical preparatory, behavioral and social sciences; informational literacy; health policy and professional practice; and the application of this knowledge to patient care through supervised clinical practice and practicums. The curriculum is of sufficient breadth and depth to prepare students for clinical practice of medicine and assist students in becoming critical thinkers who can apply the concepts of medical decision-making and problem solving. Building on Carroll University's health sciences area commitment to provide service to culturally diverse populations, there is emphasis on primary care, cultural competency and Hispanic health care.
The philosophy of the curriculum incorporates both traditional and case-based learning concepts and culminates with a true problem-based learning experience (Capstone). A systems-based curriculum model integrates knowledge, provision of services and reflection. Common themes across the curriculum include ethical inquiry and practice, professionalism, scientific inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making as incorporated into the clinical practice and clinical research models, the presentation of content across the lifespan, and exploration of the effects of gender, culture and cognitive level on content. There is collaborative teaching across courses with planned redundancy of subject matter. Constant reinforcement of content with clinical experiences occurs through observations of, and exposure to, client/patients in academic courses, service-learning and clinical rotations. The students learn in an interdisciplinary heath care and graduate environment that promotes interdisciplinary clinical practice and lifelong learning. Ongoing self, student, peer, program and professional assessment occur to ensure that the program is reflective of optimal practice.
Click here to read more about the Carroll PA program from a student's perspective.