At Carroll University, National Physician Assistant Week, Oct. 6-12, is a time to recognize the physician assistant (PA) profession and its contribution to the nation’s health.
Carroll is well-known for rigorous physician assistant studies program
. It is highly competitive, with 500 to 1,000 students applying each year for about two dozen slots. This year, all 20 graduating students passed their Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) resulting in a 100% first-time pass rate for the program. Passing the exam is required before a physician assistant can obtain a license to practice.
With the recent opening of the Waukesha Free Clinic at Carroll University
, Carroll clinical faculty and students are delivering care to patients there, providing a much-needed service to the community.
This year is especially significant as it falls during a global pandemic. PAs have stepped up in major ways, serving on the front lines of the COVID-19 response. PAs are medical professionals trained to diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans and prescribe medication. They also often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty.
PAs are educated at the master’s level with curriculum based on a medical model similar to physicians, which involves both classroom and clinical education. The average PA training is 27 months, with more than 1,000 classroom hours and over 2,000 clinical hours after being admitted into the program.