Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

Overview

Mission statement

To improve universal access to health care by graduating highly competent and confident physician assistants prepared to provide exceptional quality, ethical patient-centered health care in a collaborative environment.

Program goals

  • Prepare our physician assistant students to excel in all of the competencies required for PA practice by providing a rigorous and supportive program in which to develop the knowledge, interpersonal, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, and clinical reasoning and problem solving abilities necessary to clinical care
  • Prepare our physician assistant students to meet the needs of our health care system by providing a strong primary care experience caring for under-served populations and by developing an understanding of the health care delivery and payment systems that affect health care access, outcomes and potential disparities
  • Develop and support our physician assistant students’ commitment and ability to serve in leadership roles as advocates for patients and the PA profession
  • Develop and strengthen our physician assistant students’ skills and habits critical for life-long learning and continuous practice-based self-improvement
  • Facilitate achieving our program’s mission, vision and goals by integrating and supporting diverse perspectives throughout the curriculum, including global and inter-professional perspectives, in order to best serve the needs of our diverse patients and communities

Our success in achieving our goals will be closely and continually assessed by collecting, evaluating and analyzing essential information and implementing changes necessary to achieving our goals. Essential information includes admissions data, student scores in courses, rotations and summative evaluation. Student and alumni evaluation of program components will also be an integral component in successfully achieving our goals/focusing program efforts, including feedback regarding courses and faculty, clinical rotations and preceptors. Outcomes data will include PANCE scores, alumni success in obtaining patient care positions (post-graduation) and employer feedback of our graduates.

Why Bryant?

Bryant University's has a tradition of creating innovative academic programs that anticipate the future. In keeping with its mission to “deliver exceptional education in an age of unlimited global opportunity,” Bryant's Physician Assistant Program will prepare physician assistants to deliver exceptional health care in a complex, rapidly evolving health care system. Capitalizing on our strong undergraduate science program and innovative business programs, the Physician Assistant Program will be a key pillar of a new School of Health Sciences at Bryant University.

About Physician Assistants

A physician assistant is a medical professional who works with a physician as part of a team. 

Physician assistants conduct physical examinations, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret lab tests, perform procedures, assist in surgery, provide patient education and counseling, and make rounds of patients in hospitals and nursing homes. All 50 states and the District of Columbia allow physician assistants to practice medicine and prescribe medications.

Physician assistants work side-by-side with physician team members in all medical specialties.

The physician assistant profession is often rated first or second for overall job satisfaction. The average annual salary for a physician assistant working full time was $102,165 in 2012. The average physician assistant has been in practice for 12 years. The projected rate of growth in employment for physician assistants through 2020 is 30 percent, much higher than average.

Program Timeline

  • March 2013: Program Director and Medical Director hired
  • September 2013: Feasibility study due to the ARC-PA
  • January 2014: Program self-study due to the ARC-PA
  • March 2014: Accreditation site visit
  • April 2014: Admission process begins
  • September 2014: Notification of Provisional Application Status
  • January 2015: Matriculate inaugural PA class
  • January 2016: First PA class begins clinical rotations; matriculate second cohort
  • September 2016: Second accreditation site visit
  • April 2017: Inaugural PA class graduates

The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received. Students will be conditionally accepted to the program pending accreditation.

Admission

Applicant should:

  • Submit an online CASPA between April 16, 2014, and October 1, 2014
  • Complete a supplemental Bryant University Physician Assistant Program Application Package, mailed to you upon completion of CASPA application
  • Provide three professional references
  • Provide one personal reference
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution (no preferred major)
  • Maintain a minimum average GPA of 3.0
  • Complete the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) within the past 5 years. Scores should be submitted to CASPA using Bryant’s PA Program Code: 8825.
  • International applicants must complete the TOEFL with a score greater than 100, unless they have completed a baccalaureate degree in the United States
  • Document at least 2,000 hours of direct patient care experience
  • Complete the following prerequisites by July 1 with an overall minimum of 3.0 GPA and a "C" or better in each class:
    • Biology with lab: 8SH
    • Chemistry with lab: 8SH
    • Human Anatomy and Physiology: 8SH
    • Microbiology: 3SH
    • Organic Chemistry (4 SH) or Biochemistry (3 SH)
    • Psychology: 3SH
    • Statistics: 3SH
  •  Undergo a background investigation
  •  Meet all technical standards required for program completion
  •  Attend an on-site interview

Technical standards

Matriculated students must meet all technical standards required for program completion.

  • Physical abilities: In very basic terms, the physician assistant student must be able to carry out the physical tasks necessary to elicit a patient’s history and perform a physical exam, including the ability to observe/see the patient and physical exam findings, hear physical exam findings such as lung and cardiac sounds, and the coordination and manual dexterity to examine the patient such as palpation of the abdomen and to use the medical equipment routine to patient encounters such as a stethoscope. Additionally, the student must be able to stand for prolonged periods of time necessary for the surgical rotations and have the strength necessary to provide emergent interventions such as CPR.
  • Cognitive abilities: The physician assistant student must have the cognitive abilities required to elicit and understand a patient’s history, obtain and interpret physical exam findings, formulate a reasonable assessment and partner with the patient in the development of diagnostic and treatment plans. The student must also therefore be able to learn and understand, remember and apply the course content necessary to care for patients.
  • Behavioral abilities: The physician assistant student must have the behavioral abilities, including the interpersonal and communication skills, required for interacting with patients, the supervising physician, and other members of the health care team to be able to deliver care in a patient-centered, professional, ethically sound manner.

Transfer credit and advanced placement

The Bryant PA program does not accept transfer credits and does not award advanced standing/placement based on prior coursework.

Student employment while attending the PA Program

Employment by the student while enrolled in the PA program, while not prohibited, is strongly discouraged. The program is one of intense study with educational activities routinely scheduled from Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. during the didactic year (not including independent study) and becomes even more rigorous and time intensive during clinical rotations the following year.

Tuition/Fees

For 2015 academic year

Tuition

Class of 2017: $85,000 for the entire 27-month program

Fees

Physical Examination Equipment Package: $1,300

  • Pan optic diagnostic set with lithium ion battery
  • Coaxial ophthalmoscope
  • Littman III stethoscope
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Insufflation bulb
  • Transilluminator
  • GYN light source
  • Tuning forks
  • Measure tape
  • Babinski reflex hammer
  • ECG caliper
  • AdLight penlight
  • 8” goniometer
  • Monofiliment
  • Nylon medical bag
  • Welch Allyn Educational Value Pack

Equipment insurance: $77
White coat with logo: $72
Scrubs: $55
Rhode Island background investigation: $50
Nametags: $30
Student name stamp: $15
Professional liability insurance: $156
Lab fee: $750
Clinical rotations and packrat: $290
Audience response clicker: $49
iPad Air (required for Gross Anatomy)(Min 32Gb): $599
Student health insurance: $1,375 annually
Textbooks and software: $3,000 (approx.)
NCCPA PANCE: $475
AAPA student membership: $75
RIAPA membership: $25

Tuition refunds

The Registrar will handle tuition refunds. Fees will not be refunded.

A student withdrawing from Bryant must contact Academic Records, the Graduate School Office, and the Program Director in writing and complete a voluntary withdrawal form in order for his/her withdrawal to be official.

Tuition refunds will be calculated as follows: If written notification is received by Academic Records/Graduate School Office and the PA Program Director by the:

  • 1st week of classes: 80 percent
  • 2nd week of classes: 60 percent
  • 3rd week of classes: 40 percent
  • 4th week of classes: 20 percent
  • After 4th week of classes: No refund

Sources for financial assistance

A loan forgiveness pool offered by the Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island offers awards of up to $10,000 annually, for a total maximum award of $40,000, to physician assistants who qualify.

Coursework

DIDACTIC YEAR

  • First Quarter 2015: Physiology and Pathophysiology (3SH), Clinical Pharmacology (3 SH), Human Anatomy (4 SH), Clinical Laboratory (4 SH), Research Methods (1 SH), Genetics (1 SH)
  • Second Quarter 2015: Clinical Medicine One (5 SH), Clinical Medicine Two (5 SH), History and Physical Examination (3 SH), Electrocardiography (1 SH), Diagnostic Testing and Imaging (1 SH), Behavioral Medicine (2 SH), Clinical Correlations One (2 SH)
  • Third Quarter 2015: Clinical Medicine Three (5 SH), Clinical Medicine Four (5 SH), Pediatrics (4 SH), Orthopedics (4 SH), Public Health and Dental Medicine (1 SH), Clinical Skills (1 SH), Clinical Correlations Two (2 SH)
  • Fourth Quarter 2015: Clinical Medicine Five (5 SH), Clinical Medicine Six (5 SH), Emergency Medicine (6 SH), Surgery (3 SH), Medical Ethics and Law (1 SH), PA Professional Issues (1 SH), Clinical Correlations Three (2 SH)

CLINICAL YEAR 2016-2017

  • Inpatient Internal Medicine Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Outpatient Internal Medicine Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Family Medicine Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Surgery Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Pediatrics Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Psychiatry Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Emergency Medicine Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Orthopedics Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Dermatology Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (4 SH)
  • Elective Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (2 SH)
  • Mini-clinical Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (2 SH)

Please note

- The Bryant PA Program does not accept transfer credits and does not award advanced standing/placement based on prior coursework.

- Employment by the student while enrolled in the PA program, while not prohibited, is strongly discouraged. The program is one of intense study with educational activities routinely scheduled from Monday through Friday 8 a.m.-4 p.m. during the didactic year (not including independent study) and becomes even more rigorous and time intensive during clinical rotations the following year.

Accreditation

Bryant University has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2015, pending notification of provisional application status in September 2014.

Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards.

The program will not commence in the event that this provisional accreditation is not received. Students will be conditionally accepted to the program pending accreditation.

PA Student Manual (.pdf)

Program brochure (.pdf)


The first PA class is anticipated to take the PANCE after completion of the program in spring 2017. Scores will be posted on our website once they are available from the NCCPA.


Inquiries and Contact

For more information, please contact:

Physician Assistant Program
(401) 232-6556
Email: pa_program@bryant.edu