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Physician Assistant Studies students working on casts and splints

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Augsburg’s PA Program is a full-time program (33 students per class) that provides a broad, case-based, primary care curriculum.  There is an emphasis on diverse and underserved populations throughout the curriculum. Our core mission is to train highly capable PAs who will serve the community with uncompromising commitment and compassion.

The Augsburg PA Program was established in 1995 and was the first accredited PA program in Minnesota.  Students are trained using an active-learning model which incorporates case-based small group discussions, in-lecture clinical vignettes, and hands-on skill-based workshops. In the Clinical Seminar Course, PA students are assigned reading material beforehand and then work with clinicians to synthesize, apply and justify the use of that medical knowledge in small group settings.

Augsburg PAs have a proven track record of success — graduates of our PA program consistently pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) at a rate that is higher than the national average: Augsburg’s Five-Year pass Rate Report.

From the 2018 graduating cohort, 100% of new PAs were employed within six months of graduation. Augsburg PAs continue to be innovative in identifying and creating new areas for PAs to practice medicine. They report employment in primary care, women’s health, emergency medicine, urgent care, psychiatry, surgical specialities, and internal medicine sub-specialities.

MISSION OF THE PROGRAM

The mission of the Augsburg PA Program is based on a foundation of respect and sensitivity to persons of all cultures and backgrounds and oriented towards providing medical care to underserved populations. Students are well educated in current medical theory and practice, and graduates are encouraged to work in primary care settings. The program promotes dedication to excellence in performance, with the highest standards of ethics and integrity, and commitment to lifelong personal and professional development.

Goals AND OUTCOMES

The Augsburg PA Program will:

  • Enroll an intentionally diverse mix of PA students:
    • Benchmark: matriculate at least 20% of underrepresented minority students within the program annually. This is consistent with the national average, defined and reported by the PAEA.¹
    • Outcome: for the past three years, Augsburg PA Program has matriculated an average of 30% underrepresented minority students.²
  • Educate Physician Assistant students to achieve the foundational knowledge required to enter into PA professional practice:
    • Benchmark: achieve a first-time PANCE pass rate that is above the national average 
    • Outcome: the program has a first-time pass rate of 99% for the past 5 years; the national average first-time pass rate is 96%.³
  • Graduate Physician Assistant students with a demonstrated commitment to primary care (family medicine, general internal medicine, pediatrics):
    • Benchmark: alumni will work in a primary care field of medicine at a rate above the national average of PA’s working in primary care as documented by NCCPA.⁴
    • Outcome: the program alumni survey from 2018 ⁵ indicate that 50% of our alumni work/have worked in primary care at a level above the national average of 25% as published by the NCCPA.⁴  Augsburg’s Five-Year pass Rate Report
  • Graduate Physician Assistant students committed to providing medical care to underserved and diverse populations:
    • Benchmark: 30% of alumni will provide care to underserved and diverse populations
    • Outcome: the program alumni survey collected up to 2018 indicates that 30% of our alumni report working with underserved and diverse populations. ⁵
  1. Physician Assistant Education Association, By the Numbers: Student Report 3: Data from the 2018 Matriculating Student and End of Program Surveys, Washington, D.C.: PAEA, 2019. doi: 10.17538/SR2019.0003
  2. Augsburg PA CASPA matriculant data from 2017-2019.
  3. Augsburg PA Program data from the NCCPA Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination Five Year First Time Taker Summary Report, last updated on August 2019.
  4. National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc. (2019, July). 2018 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants by Specialty: An Annual Report of the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. Retrieved Date, from www.nccpa.net/research
  5. Data obtained from Augsburg PA alumni surveys from 1997-2018 cohorts, last updated on August 2019.

Accreditation

At its June 2019 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Augsburg University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Augsburg University on Accreditation-Probation until its next review in June 2021.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

Chair and Program Director (Dr. Alicia Quella, phone #612-330-1325 and/or email quella@augsburg.edu)

Read the program’s response to the accreditation status.