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About the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program

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.

Current PA Program Goals

To achieve its mission, the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program has three goals:

  1. To develop skilled primary care physician assistants who demonstrate the medical knowledge, skills, and abilities to provide quality patient care for entry level practice as a PA
  2. To develop PAs with a high level of professionalism and interpersonal communication skills
  3. To provide all students with practicum medical experiences in underserved areas or with underserved populations

Past, Fulfilled PA Program Goals

Design, implement and evaluate a cultural competence thread in Carroll University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies curriculum. Supported by: ARRA – Training in Primary Care Medicine and Dentistry: Physician Assistant Training in Primary Care. Funded amount $967, 687.00. 2010-2015.

  1. Design, implement and evaluate a culture competence thread in the physician assistant curriculum.
    1. Dedicated courses:
      • PHA 523 Foundations of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities I
      • PHA 524 Foundations of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities II
      • PHA 525 Foundations of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities III
      • PHA 526 Foundations of Cultural Competence and Health Disparities IV
    2. Publications
      • Beck B, Scheel MH, De Oliveira K, Hopp J. Integrating cultural competency throughout a first-year physician assistant curriculum steadily improves cultural awareness. J Physician Assist Educ. 2013;24(2):28-31. PMID: 23875495
      • Bahrke B, De Oliveira K, Scheel MH, Beck B, Hopp J. Longitudinal integration of cultural components into a physician assistant program’s clinical year may improve cultural competency. J Physician Assist Educ. 2014;25(1):33-7. PMID: 24765807
      • Beck B, Scheel MH, De Oliveira K, Hopp J. Cultural competency in a physician assistant curriculum in the United States: a longitudinal study with two cohorts. J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2014 Jan 27;11:2. PMID: 24699447
      • Oliveira KD, North S, Beck B, Hopp J. Promoting collaboration and cultural competence for physician assistant and physical therapist students: a cross-cultural decentralized interprofessional education (IPE) model. J Educ Eval Health Prof. 2015 May 27;12:20. PMID: 26072900.
  2. Develop and implement a recruitment plan with the goal of enrolling and retaining two (10%) educationally or economically disadvantaged individuals in each class.
    1. Present enrollment demographics and retention
      • In Cohorts 1 through 5, 31.8%, 33.3%, 25%, 30%, and 23.8%, respectively, of the students in the Program were/are educationally and/or economically disadvantaged.
      • Retention rate of educationally and/or economically disadvantaged students in the Program during the grant period was 96.4%.
    2. Publications
      • De Oliveira K, Volk K, Hopp J. Piloting a support model for physician assistant students. J Physician Assist Educ. 2014;25(2):36-41.
  3. Develop and implement a graduate placement mechanism that will annually place six (30%) of the program's graduates in practice settings that have a portion of their practice serving medically underserved communities (MUC) and individuals or Hispanic communities.
    1. Present data on job placements
      • Employment data on cohort 1 (n=19), cohort 2 (n=21), and cohort 3 (n=20) obtained at 6 months post-graduation by way of graduate survey and program follow-up:
          Of the 60 MSPAS Program graduates in Cohorts 1-3, 25 (41.7%) are working in a MUC, HPSA, or rural healthcare site. Of the 19 Cohort 1 graduates, 10 (52.6%) are working in a MUC, HPSA, or rural healthcare site. Of the 21 Cohort 2 graduates, 8 (38%) are working in a MUC, HPSA, or rural healthcare site. Of the 20 Cohort 3 graduates, 7 (35%) are working in a MUC, HPSA, or a rural health care site.
  4. Expand the cultural competence of MSPAS faculty and annually provide cultural competency training to 20% of clinical internship preceptors.
    1. MSPAS Program faculty and grant staff participated in professional development activities focused on culture during the five year grant period.
    2. Cultural Competency Modules for clinical preceptors. 1, entitled
      • Welcome to Healthy Communities: Supporting Practitioners to Reach Goals for Equity in Care. This module focuses on preparing practitioners to be culturally aware in their treatment approaches.
      • Welcome to Healthy Communities: Supporting Practitioners to Reach Goals for Equity in Care-Part 2. This module again focuses on preparing practitioners to be culturally aware in their treatment approaches and takes the health care professional through self-assessments and provides multiple opportunities for reflection and application to practice.
    3. Wisconsin Academy of Physician Assistant (WAPA) cultural modules.
      • "Cultural Diversity Training: Low Socioeconomic Status." April 2013. Presenters: Camillia Pignotti MPAS, MS, PA-C, Dr. Katie De Oliveira EdD
      • "Clinical Pearls for Improving Patient Compliance within Culturally Diverse Patient Populations." April 2014. Presenters: Camillia Pignotti MPAS, MS, PA-C, Dr. Katie De Oliveira EdD
      • "Health Literacy: Techniques for Improving Patient Outcomes I" October 2014. Presenters: Jessica M. Grusnick MPAS, PA-C, Cheryl Sinitz, MPAS, PA-C
      • "Health Literacy: Techniques for Improving Patient Outcomes II" March 2015. Presenters: Barbara Bahrke MPAS, PA-C, Cheryl Sinitz, MPAS, PA-C
    4. Publication
      • Sinitz CL, Bahrke BA, Hopp JF. Current health care climate demands evolution of provider education. J Physician Assist Educ. 2015 Dec;26(4):169. PMID: 26599308
 
 
 
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