Master in Medical Science
Physician Assistants (PAs) are medical professionals educated in general medicine and trained to diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and frequently serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile, collaborative, integral members of healthcare teams in many hospitals and clinical practices. The role of the physician assistant is to practice medicine under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician and provide diagnostic and therapeutic patient care in virtually all medical specialties and settings. PA job descriptions are as diverse as those of physicians, and include clinical practice, patient education, team leadership, medical education, health administration, and research.
Arcadia’s Physician Assistant (PA) program provides students from across the country with the foundation for professional growth through personal attention, quality instruction, diverse clinical experience, and a commitment to excellence. To that end, the program continues to enjoy an overall exceptional pass rate (A3.12c) on the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board examinations, with a five-year, first-time taker average pass rate for the program of 96%.
The program’s mission and goals produce graduates who are well-equipped to deliver high-quality, cost-effective health care in a wide variety of settings, including hospitals, clinics, physicians’ offices, and other community settings. Arcadia’s program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission of Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
The Arcadia University Physician Assistant Experience
- The PA Program is in the Department of Medical Science, in the College of Health Sciences which includes the departments of Physical Therapy and Public Health
- One program with two campuses: Glenside, PA, and Christiana, DE
- Option for Dual Degrees of Master of Medical Science—Physician Assistant and Master of Public Health (MMS, MPH) at Glenside Campus
- Technologically advanced 3D anatomy visualization tables for anatomy and physiology education that complements the protected human cadaver experience
- Clinical simulation experiences including standardized patients, training models, and multiple clinical skills and procedures and training opportunities throughout the two years
- Service and global opportunities in the didactic and clinical phases of the program
- Advanced technology to enhance the educational experience including video capture lecture for synchronous and asynchronous learning and electronic note service to promote a collaborative learning environment
- Eleven second-year program-secured clinical rotations consisting of seven required rotations (one of which is repeated) and three elective rotations
Many of our students find the experience of service or international practice to be an illuminating piece of their medical education. These experiences can offer unique perspectives on how medical care differs in various communities, both domestically and internationally.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Arcadia University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Arcadia University (A3.12a). Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The program’s accreditation history can be viewed when you can click on the “document” on the ARC-PA website.
Medical Interview and Counseling Skills
This course provides direction on the general approach to the patient with special attention to providing culturally competent care. Instruction is provided on how to elicit and document a complete history and how to offer basic counseling to patients.
Mechanisms of Disease
Lectures and conferences cover the function of cells, tissues, organs, and systems of the human body and the pathogenesis of common human illnesses.
Physical Diagnosis I
This course includes lectures, demonstrations, and practical exercises in the principles of medical history-taking and an introduction to the medical physical examination. Simulated patient encounters in small groups help reinforce medical knowledge, history taking and physical examination techniques.
This course provides an overview of behavioral health conditions commonly encountered in medical practice as well as various treatment modalities. Evaluation and management of the psychiatric patient is explored in both the primary care and emergent settings.
This course presents the general concepts needed for the physician assistant to care for patients with emergent conditions. The course emphasizes stabilization, medical management, and emergency procedures.
(A3.12d) The first three semesters of the program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework in the basic and clinical sciences, including a 12-week anatomy course with a prosected cadaver experience. First-year, didactic phase, students are introduced into clinical settings as part of the Medical Interview and Counseling course in the summer semester and these encounters continue into the clinical year. At the conclusion of the didactic phase, students complete their core competency examinations, receive training in clinical procedures and participate in standardized patient simulation experiences. During the clinical phase, in addition to coursework, students participate in supervised clinical experiences, standardized patient simulation experiences and return to campus periodically for exams and professional development days.
This is a 24-month program. At the discretion of the program director, students in the clinical phase may take up to a three-month leave of absence only. All degree requirements must be completed within 27 months.
(A3.12d) The clinical phase consists of eleven rotations. There are seven required rotations (one of which will be repeated): Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Behavioral Medicine, Internal Medicine, Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Surgery. In addition, there are three clinical electives. Prospective and enrolled students are not required to solicit clinical sites or preceptors. Students are still allowed to suggest clinical sites or preceptors, as long as the program evaluates and approves those suggestions for educational suitability. All clinical preceptors and sites must meet the requirements of the program. Each student’s clinical year schedule is at the discretion of the program. Changes to rotation schedules are not made at student’s request.” Faculty members perform site visits while the students attend their supervised clinical practical experiences. Every 12 weeks, the students return to campus for exams and professional development experiences.