Physician Assistant Studies

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The Physician Assistant (PA) graduate programs are offered through the Department of Family and Community Medicine in the School of Medicine.

Master of Science Physician Assistant (M.S.P.A.) in Physician Assistant Studies

The physician assistant is often the first health care provider to see a patient and perform a variety of tasks, including collecting historical and physical examination data from the patient and ordering appropriate laboratory and diagnostic tests. The physician assistant synthesizes patient information and participates in formulating and executing a treatment plan to meet the patient’s needs. A physician assistant can evaluate psychological aspects of a patient’s health, counsel when appropriate, and teach patients about primary health problems. The physician assistant makes referrals when indicated and can perform procedures, such as EKGs, venipuncture, casting, suturing, and injections. The physician assistant prescribes medications. Graduates of the PA Program are trained as primary care providers and awarded the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (M.S.P.A.) degree.

The program utilizes a problem-based learning curriculum and clinical rotations to prepare primary care physician assistants to practice medicine with physician supervision.

Admission

To be considered for enrollment in the Physician Assistant M.S.P.A. program, prospective students must have at least overall, prerequisite, and science GPAs of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, be admitted to the Graduate School, complete the program prerequisites and other requirements. This program requires a nonrefundable $65 application fee (subject to change without notice by the SIU Board of Trustees) that must be submitted with the application for admissions to graduate study in the Physician Assistant Program. Accepted applicants will be required to submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to reserve a position in the class. The deposit is due within 10 days of the program’s invitation to the applicant. The deposit will be applied to the student’s Bursar account two weeks after matriculation. If an applicant, who has accepted an offer for admission, decides to drop, the enrollment deposit will not be refunded. M.S.P.A. students will not receive the border state decrease adjustment to their tuition and fees. Therefore, all out-of-state students will pay a higher tuition rate. No advanced placement is awarded towards completion of M.S.P.A. courses, even if the applicant is licensed as a medical doctor.

Degree Requirements

Prospective students must have completed all of the following prerequisite courses before matriculation:

  • Medical Terminology - one semester or proficiency
  • Chemistry with labs - two semesters (select from General, Inorganic, Organic, or Biochemistry)
  • Psychology - one semester
  • Human Physiology - one semester (higher level preferred)
  • Human Anatomy – one semester (higher level with cadaver lab preferred)
  • Microbiology with lab-one semester
  • General Biology for science majors, - one semester (may also select from Genetics or Cell and Molecular Biology)
  • Statistics-one semester
  • English Composition - one semester -AND-
  • CPR for Healthcare Providers
Graduate Record Examination (GRE), or MCAT scores must be submitted with application materials. Applicants must have successfully completed all the required prerequisites by the fall term prior to matriculation, with the exception of medical terminology and CPR for Healthcare Providers. Those must be completed by the end of the Spring term prior to matriculation.

Students who have completed or will soon complete a Bachelor’s degree and prerequisite course requirements should contact the program advisor or consult the program website for the most current application information.

Enrollment in the M.S.P.A. program is limited and based on a competitive process. Applicants will be evaluated on the overall submitted application package, including overall, science, and prerequisite GPAs that must each be a 3.2 on a 4.0 scale, academic potential, motivation, familiarity with the PA role, oral and written communication skills, interpersonal skills, and potential for success in the SIU Carbondale M.S.P.A. Program and the PA profession. Students will be selected by the Admissions Committee for an interview with a maximum of 40 being admitted to the professional sequence. The M.S.P.A. Program is extremely rigorous and outside employment while in the program is discouraged.

Students selected for the professional sequence will begin study in the summer session. Those accepted into the M.S.P.A. program will be notified of acceptance by the spring semester prior to the summer of entry. The curriculum is a 26-month sequence with the first 12 months (Phase I) consisting of problem-based learning activities, basic science and clinical medicine courses, and clinical experiences. The next 14 months consist of clinical rotations with seminars (Phase II) and a summer preceptorship (Phase III). All students complete a Master’s Project before graduation. During the clinical rotation phase, students may be required to relocate to other locations, called Hubsites, throughout Illinois. More information on deadlines or other requirements can be obtained from the M.S.P.A. program advisor at: paadvisement-L@listserv.siu.edu. All courses are restricted to students in the M.S.P.A. program.

First Year Sequence (Phase I) - 54 credit hours

PA 500, PA 501, PA 502, PA 503, PA 504, PA 505, PA 506, PA 507, PA 511, PA 512, PA 513, PA 514, PA 515, PA 521, PA 522, PA 523, PA 524, PA 525, PA 531, PA 532, PA 533, PA 534, PA 535, PA 536, PA 547, PA 550, PA 599

Second Year (Phase II & Phase III) - 36 credit hours

PA 545, PA 551, PA 580, PA 581, PA 582, PA 583, PA 596, PA 599

Total - 90 credit hours

Curricular Guide

Phase I

  • Semester 1 – Summer (Unit 1) – 10 Credit Hours
    • PA 500: Introduction to the Profession (1 CH)
    • PA 501: PBL, Unit 1 (3 CH)
    • PA 511: Pharmacology I (1 CH)
    • PA 521: Clinical Anatomy and Integrated Sciences I (2 CH)
    • PA 531: Patient Evaluation I (2 CH)
    • PA 547: Research Methods (1 CH)
  • Semester 2 – Fall (Units 2 & 3) – 22 Credit Hours
    • PA 502 -AND- PA 503: PBL, Units 2 and 3 (3 CH each)
    • PA 506: Patient Education/Behavioral Science (1 CH)
    • PA 507: Diversity in Medical Practice (1 CH)
    • PA 512 -AND- PA 513: Pharmacology II, III (1 CH each)
    • PA 522 -AND- PA 523: Clinical Anatomy and Integrated Sciences II, III (2 CH each)
    • PA 532 -AND- PA 533: Patient Evaluation II, III (2 CH each)
    • PA 550: Clinical Mentoring - Phase I (2 CH)
    • PA 599: Master’s Seminar (2 CH)
  • Semester 3 – Spring (Units 4 & 5) – 22 Credit Hours
    • PA 504 -AND- PA 505: PBL, Units 4 and 5 (3 CH each)
    • PA 506: Patient Education/Behavioral Science (1 CH)
    • PA 514 -AND- PA 515: Pharmacology IV, V (1 CH each)
    • PA 524 -AND- PA 525: Clinical Anatomy and Integrated Sciences IV, V (2 CH each)
    • PA 534: Clinical/Procedural Skills (2 CH)
    • PA 535: ACLS/EKG (2 CH)
    • PA 536: Introduction to the Surgical Setting (1 CH)
    • PA 550: Clinical Mentoring – Phase I (2 CH)
    • PA 599: Master’s Seminar (2 CH)

Phase II 

  • Semester 4 – Summer – 6 Credit Hours
    • PA 551: Clinical Mentoring – Phase II (1 CH)
    • PA 580: PBL Tutor Group – Phase II (1 CH)
    • PA 581: Clinical Rotations I (3 CH)
    • PA 599: Master’s Seminar (1 CH)
  • Semester 5 – Fall – 12 Credit Hours
    • PA 551: Clinical Mentoring – Phase II (2 CH)
    • PA 580: PBL Tutor Group – Phase II (2 CH)
    • PA 582: Clinical Rotations II (6 CH)
    • PA 599: Master’s Seminar (2 CH)
  • Semester 6 – Spring – 12 Credit Hours
    • PA 551: Clinical Mentoring – Phase II (2 CH)
    • PA 580: PBL Tutor Group – Phase II (2 CH)
    • PA 583: Clinical Rotations III (6 CH)
    • PA 599: Master’s Seminar (2 CH)

Phase III

  • Semester 7 – Summer – 6 Credit Hours
    • PA 545: Health Care Systems (3 CH)
    • PA 596: Preceptorship (3 CH)

A limited number of electives are also accepted:

PA Elective Courses:

  •     PA 508: Holistic Medicine (1-3 CH)
  •     PA 585: Independent Study (1-6 CH)

PA Continuing Enrollment:

  • PA 601: (1 CH)

Used to complete the M.S.P.A. project if all other program requirements are met.

For more information on the M.S.P.A. degree offered by the Physician Assistant Program, visit our web site at: siumed.edu/paprogram or email the Program Advisor.  

Doctor of Medical Sciences (D.M.Sc.) in Physician Assistant Studies

The Doctor of Medical Science (D.M.Sc.) in Physician Assistant Studies is offered by the School of Medicine Department of Family and Community Medicine Physician Assistant (PA) Program. The D.M.Sc. degree utilizes online learning activities and offers the choice of an education or clinical practicum. All of the courses in the D.M.Sc. degree are specific to PAs. Course activities are examined from the perspective of PAs in clinical practice and PA education.

The D.M.Sc. program at Southern Illinois University will prepare medical professionals who are thought leaders working in health care, higher education, research and innovative industries, as well as public and private agencies. These PA leaders will be thoroughly grounded in knowledge base, research paradigms, practical applications, and the ethical/legal implications of their respective career paths. The D.M.Sc. program will provide a balanced mix of theory, research, and practical application in the areas of medical practice, education, and leadership.

Admission

To be considered for enrollment in the D.M.Sc. degree program, applicants must have a master’s degree in PA studies from a PA program accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and either be in clinical practice or an educator in a PA program in the United States or Canada. Applicants must also have passed the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board examination and possess an unrestricted state license to practice as a Physician Assistant where applicable. This program requires a nonrefundable $75 application fee (subject to change without notice by the SIU Board of Trustees) that must be submitted with the application for admission to graduate study in the D.M.Sc. program. Accepted applicants will be required to submit a nonrefundable enrollment deposit to reserve a position in the class. The deposit is due within 10 days of the program’s invitation to the applicant. The deposit will be applied to the student’s Bursar account two weeks after matriculation. If an applicant who has accepted an offer for admission decides to drop, the enrollment deposit will not be refunded.  No advanced placement is awarded towards completion of D.M.Sc. Program courses.

Degree Requirements

Students selected for the D.M.Sc. will begin study in the summer session. Those accepted will be notified during or before the spring session prior to the summer session entry. The curriculum consists of online courses and activities, a longitudinal practicum or education series, and a scholarly project course and project submission.

Clinical Track: DMSC 510, DMSC 520, DMSC 530, DMSC 540, DMSC 550, DMSC 560, DMSC 561, DMSC 562, DMSC 563, DMSC 571, DMSC 572, DMSC 573, DMSC 574

Education Track: DMSC 510, DMSC 520, DMSC 530, DMSC 540, DMSC 550, DMSC 560, DMSC 561, DMSC 562, DMSC 563, DMSC 581, DMSC 582, DMSC 583, DMSC 584

Curricular Guide

The course sequence will be delivered over 5 units of instruction.  The general course sequencing for a summer start is:

Unit 1 (9 weeks)

DMSC 510: Organizational Behavior and Leadership (3 CH)
DMSC 560: Evidence-Based Research and Performance Improvement in Clinical Practice (3 CH)

Unit 2 (8 weeks)

DMSC 520: Healthcare Administration for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 561: Evidence-Based Research and Scholarly Project I (1 CH)
DMSC 571: PA Practicum I (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 581: PA Education Practicum (4 CH) 

Unit 3 (10 weeks)

DMSC 530: Healthcare Law for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 562: Evidence-based Research and Scholarly Project II (1 CH)
DMSC 572: Advanced Clinical Practicum II (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 582: PA Education Practicum II (4 CH)

Unit 4 (9 weeks)

DMSC 540: Global Health for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 573: Advanced Clinical Practicum III (4 CH) -OR -
DMSC 583: PA Practicum Program Evaluation (4 CH)

Unit 5 (9 weeks)

DMSC 550: Disaster Medicine for PAs (3 CH)
DMSC 563: Evidence-Based Research and Scholarly Project III (1 CH)
DMSC 574: Advanced Clinical Practicum IV (4 CH) -OR-
DMSC 584: PA Education Practicum IV (4 CH)