Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies curriculum is an innovative 24-month period of intense study to prepare the graduate for an entry level position in health care as a certified physician assistant. The program provides instruction with the use of cutting-edge technology, a cadre of medical professionals in their field of practice and collaboration with community health care partners. This multi-faceted training will prepare the graduate for success on the National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) board exam.
Bay Path University Physician Assistant Program educates a diverse student body to provide compassionate, culturally aware healthcare providers who advocate for their patients, provide their communities with the highest quality and ethical standards of care, and fosters the advancement of and leadership in the physician assistant profession.
Bay Path University strives to empower physician assistant students to take ownership of their learning by engaging them in a transformative, highly personalized educational experience utilizing technology and innovative teaching strategies to provide PA students with the necessary knowledge, skills and abilities to be team-based lifelong learners capable of adapting to the changing health care environment.
All students must complete the outlined 116 hours of graduate coursework to earn a M.S. in Physician Assistant Studies.
Student Learning Outcomes
Bay Path University Physician Assistant Program graduates are expected to perform and be competent in a variety of functions and in various clinical settings. The graduate must be able to identify, analyze, and manage clinical problems and be able to apply a scientific method, evidenced based medicine and critical thinking to the solution of the medical problems. The graduate’s functions and tasks are divided into seven categories: professional responsibility, evaluation, monitoring, diagnostics, therapeutics, counseling, and referral.
- The graduate shall respect the law, to uphold the dignity of the physician assistant profession, and to accept its ethical principles.
- The physician assistant shall not participate in or conceal any activity that will bring discredit or dishonor to the physician assistant profession and shall expose, without fear or favor, any illegal or unethical conduct in the medical profession.
- The graduate will be able to perform an accurate and comprehensive history and physical examination for patients of any age, in any health care setting, and be able to recognize and interpret pertinent factors in the patient’s history and physical findings.
- Elicit a screening and problem-based health history consisting of the chief complaint, history of present illness, pertinent review of systems, past medical history, family and social history and alternative therapy practices.
- Perform skills necessary to accomplish screening and problem-specific physical examination involving major organs and systems of the human body.
- The medical information obtained will be organized and presented in a form that lends itself to physician interpretation and will be recorded in the medical record.
- Recognize personal prejudices and biases that affect the ability to incorporate cultural beliefs and alternative therapy practices of patient groups into the care planning process.
- Develop rapport and trust by using interpersonal skills to facilitate patient sharing of personal information including cultural beliefs, at-risk behaviors, and alternative therapy practices.
- Synthesize patient data pertinent to the identification of age-related physiologic changes, health risk factors, medical illness, behavioral disorders, socioeconomic problems, cultural beliefs about health/illness, and alternative therapy practices.
- The graduate will be able to manage health care activities in the acute care, long term care, home care and outpatient settings by making rounds, ordering needed diagnostic tests and therapies, accurately recording progress notes and other documentation, providing services necessary for continuity of care, nursing homes and house calls.
- The graduate will be able to focus on identifying risk factors and characteristics for patient population groups at risk.
- Define accurately problems of a biological, functional, psychosocial, environmental, and cultural nature and their differential diagnosis.
- Generate care plans that are relevant to the further evaluation and management of a range of at-risk behaviors, illnesses, and injuries that incorporate the conventional medical therapies, cultural beliefs and alternative therapy practices of individuals.
- Implement problem management and treatment decisions for individuals seen initially or in follow-up for a previously diagnosed problem that acknowledges cultural beliefs and alternative therapy preferences.
- Provide continuous care to persons in the home, nursing home, extended care facility, hospital and any other setting considered part of the physician practice.
- The graduate will be able to initiate requests for diagnostic procedures, perform or assist with obtaining quality specimens and/or performing laboratory and diagnostic procedures, and establish priorities for appropriate diagnostic and laboratory testing.
- The graduate will be able to order and interpret a wide array laboratory procedures and diagnostic imaging and studies to further delineate and monitor health risks, illness, or injury with attention to risks and costs.
- The graduate will be able to perform therapeutic and/or diagnostic procedures including, immunizations, applying and removing casts and splints, debriding and repairing lacerations, wound care, managing and caring for conditions, assisting surgeons, and manage complex illnesses and injuries such as: initiating evaluation and management of acute life-threatening situations from motor vehicle accidents and trauma injuries, cardiac arrest, respiratory failure and other life-threatening situations.
- The graduate will be able to provide patient education and counseling services such as: instructing preventive medicine measures and the impact of habits and lifestyles on health; fostering an awareness of signs, symptoms and precautions for certain diseases common to certain age groups; helping patients and families understand issues of normal growth and development; sensitively working with patients making family planning decisions; helping patients cope with emotional problems of daily living; helping patients and family members cope with the emotional issue of the dying patient; and the ability to discuss implications of certain diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, diseases, and medications.
- Communicate with and counsel individuals and families about growth and development, family planning, disease prevention through risk factor reduction, diet and nutrition, immunizations, illness and injury evaluation, and therapeutic management plans including alternative therapies and advanced care directives.
- Assess patient and family member comprehension of a health problem, illness, or injury and the diagnostic and therapeutic care plans for that problem.
- The graduate will be able to recognize their own limitations and the limitations of their practice setting, facilitating timely and appropriate referral of patients to members of the health care team and social service agencies.
- Report, record, and retrieve findings obtained through interview, examination, and diagnostic testing to the supervising physician and other health care providers in an articulate, efficient, and accurate manner.
- Communicate with physicians, other members of the health care team, and peers about the evaluation and management of patients with a personal level of confidence.