New Physician Assistant Institute at UB receives accreditation to begin classes in 2011
The University of Bridgeport Division of Health Sciences announced today that the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has given provisional accreditation for its new Physician Assistant (PA) Institute.
The seal of approval clears the way for students to begin classes in January 2011. The PA Institute will educate them to become professionals with skills in evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment.
Physician Assistants work under the supervision of a licensed medical doctor in clinics, offices, and hospitals, and in various settings, including surgery and many other specialties. While dependent in their relationship with physicians, Physician Assistants are autonomous in their practice.
“This is a major hurdle. It’s the highest level of accreditation available to a new program,” said Dr. David M. Brady, Vice Provost of the Division of Health Sciences. “Around the time that the first students graduate in 28 months, the Accreditation Review Commission will return to conduct a follow-up site visit and program review as part of subsequent full accreditation. The University, St. Vincent’s Medical Center, and our other medical partners are very excited about the program. We’ve received tremendous interest from top-notch applicants, and we already have a waiting list.”
The Physician Assistant Institute at UB will prepare students for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam, which confers authority to practice medicine as a physician assistant. Graduates may then seek to be licensed and to practice in any state in the country.
The curriculum includes 15 months of courses incorporating basic medical sciences, physical diagnosis, procedure skills, diagnostic interpretation, treatment, and counseling. The program is unique in that also exposes students to integrative medical care through interaction with acupuncture, nutrition, chiropractic and naturopathic medical practices. Global health will also serve as another focus for the program.
The final 13-month clinical phase of the curriculum emphasizes experiential clinical rotations at St. Vincent’s Medical Center, other area hospitals, and various outpatient settings in Fairfield County and throughout Connecticut.