The AB School of Physician Assistant Studies strives to:
- Select highly qualified applicants through a non-discriminatory admissions process.
- Provide an educational experience designed to foster competent physician assistants ready to provide quality health care to diverse populations in primary and specialty care settings upon graduation.
- Emphasize the importance of life-long learning and the need to adapt to an ever-evolving health care environment.
- Continuously evaluate program effectiveness in an effort to increase student achievement and improve program quality.
Success at achieving our goals:
Goal Number 1: The AB PA program continues to select highly qualified candidates through a non-discriminatory process using a rubric designed to prioritize previous academic performance, former health care experience and strength of recommendations. Evidence of attainment of this goal can be shown by evaluating the retention rate, PANCE first-time pass rate, and diverse demographics of our student population. To maintain excellence in this process, our criteria for admissions are continuously reviewed and annually updated by the admissions committee, which is comprised of PA program faculty and administration, as well as the university’s registrar and graduate admissions liaison.
Goal Number 2: In addition to a curriculum that is structured to provide a strong foundation in clinical medicine from day one, the AB PA program integrates clinical experiences early in the didactic year to promote student confidence in the skills and procedures commonly entrusted to physician assistants. Formative assessment strategies are embedded throughout the didactic year to offer critical feedback and early intervention measures prior to students embarking on their clinical rotation year. Further, education in health care disparities, caring for diverse populations, patient education strategies and direct clinical experiences that engage students in health care across the life-span demonstrates the commitment of the program faculty to preparing students to deliver quality patient care in all settings and to all patient populations.
Goal Number 3: All students in the program are required to successfully complete courses that promote life-long learning, notably critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Successful completion of the biostatistics and evidence-based medicine course (semester 2; 2 credit hours), the health policy and professional practice course series (semesters 2-4; 3 credit hours), and the clinical problem-solving courses (semesters 2-4; 3 credit hours), along with didactic clinical assignments and structured simulation experiences prepare students for the unexpected scenarios that will require them to utilize the tools and skills necessary for adaptation and continuous learning within the ever-evolving health care profession.
Goal Number 4: Curricular changes are initiated based on multi-source evaluation analyzed by faculty and administration during annual curriculum review. From the ongoing critical analysis of program data to the small-group exit interviews with graduating students, there is a robust focus on program enhancement. Sources of data include, but are not limited to: course and faculty teaching evaluations, student PANCE performance, graduate exit interviews, preceptor feedback, faculty self-reflection on teaching, societal influences, and other circumstances as they arise.