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Physician Assistant (BS+MS), 4.5-Year

D'Youville Physician Assistant students in a clinical skills lab

Become a licensed physician assistant in only four and a half years with our combined BS+MS physician assistant program.

Overview

Overview

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs' responsibilities include, but are not limited to: conducting physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting laboratory and radiological tests, counseling on preventive health care measures, and assisting in surgery. PAs can write prescriptions in all 50 states, in the majority of the U.S. territories, and in the uniformed services. Within the physician-PA team, physician assistants’ specific duties depend on the setting in which they work, their specialty, and their level of experience.

At D'Youville, you can become a physician assistant in just four and a half years after entering our ARC-PA-accredited combined bachelors/masters program. You'll benefit from direct entry to the department, which means there's no need to re-apply for upper-level program studies. You'll graduate six months faster than at other programs because, during your clinical rotation phase, you'll be taking graduate courses in the evenings, online, or during scheduled breaks.

Why Choose D'Youville?

  • Studies show that teamwork across clinical specialties improves patient outcomes. D'Youville's unique interdisciplinary education lab offers the opportunity for you to practice teamwork while treating "patients" (played by actors) with a team of healthcare students from 7 other healthcare majors at DYC - all under the supervision of a skilled instructor.
  • In 2018, 100% of D'Youville Physician Assistant students who were first-time test takers, successfully passed the PANCE exams. Our graduates report a 95% job placement rate -- within six months of graduation, in their medical fields of their choice.
  • Our close-knit faculty and staff help you complete an extensive 18-month clinical training program that includes ten core rotations and two elective rotations. Individualized rotations are offered in diverse areas of practice.
  • D'Youville has developed relationships with a diverse set of clinical fieldwork sites in a wide array of settings, facilities, and treatment protocols. 

AUTOMATIC MERIT-BASED SCHOLARSHIP CONSIDERATION

 

When you apply for admission at D’Youville, we’ll automatically consider you for our merit scholarships. Undergraduate scholarships can cover as much as 50% of your tuition, and there is no need to fill out a separate application!

Transfer students can qualify for scholarships, as well. Unlike other schools, maintaining your scholarship is easier at D'Youville, because we use realistic GPA requirements to determine your eligibility each year. 

Check out the chart below to see if you qualify:
Scholarship SAT (M & EBRW)* or ACT⁺ / GPA Tuition Scholarship Room & Board Waiver GPA Required to Retain
President's 88/1170 or 24 $13,000 $3,000 2.75
Founder's 83/1080 or 21 $10,000  $2,000 2.5 
Dean's 80/980 or 19
Anyone with a 90 GPA can receive this award without test score consideration.
$8,000   2.25
Transfer 3.5+ $5,000  

2.5

Transfer 3.25 - 3.49 $4,500  

2.5

Transfer 3.0 - 3.24 $4,000   2.5
Transfer 2.75 - 2.99 $3,500   2.5
Dillon 93/1360 or 29 100% off $3,000 2.75
Buffalo Say Yes 90/1080 or 21 100% off   2.75
Alumni Kinship   $300-$2,000   Must reapply each year. Only open to relatives of D'Youville alumni.

*Scores are based on the new SAT score format which went into effect in March 2016.
⁺D'Youville only requires that you submit the results from one test.

More information can be found on our scholarships page.

Curriculum

Curriculum Sequence

4 1/2 Year BS/MS Degree Curriculum-First & Second Year

Course Number Course Name Credits
BIO 107

Human Anatomy & Physiology I

This is a study of the structural and functional relationships of the human organism, emphasizing cells and tissues, the integument, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system and sense organs. This course consists of three lectures a week.

Prerequisites: CPC-022, 1 semester of college chemistry., BIO-107L

3.0
BIO 107L

Human Anatomy & Physiology Laboratory

This course accompanies BIO 107. This course consists of three hours of laboratory a week.

Prerequisites: BIO-107

1.0
CHE 101

General Chemistry I

This introduction to fundamental chemical principles includes topics such as atomic structure, bonding and properties of gases, liquids, solids and solutions. The course consists of three lectures and three hours of laboratory a week.

Prerequisites: High school chemistry and CPC-022 or 3 years of high school mathematics or MAT-117 or MAT-122, CHE-101L

3.0
CHE 101L

General Chemistry Laboratory

Three hours of laboratory.

Prerequisites: CHE-101

1.0
ENG 111

Introduction to Literature: Acad Writing

This course is an introduction to literature and the fundamentals of academic writing. Students learn the skills essential to college success:critical reading and analytical thinking, interpretation, scholarly discussion and collaboration, effective oral presentation, composition of writing for both readers and listeners.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
CSC 110

Computers and Computing

This is an introduction to the fundamental ideas of computers and their implementation: office applications (word processor, spread sheet, presentation and database), elementary website design, blogging, Internet use for research (hardware, software, early pioneers of the computing industry, common terminology, etc.) and some elementary programming. Instructors may include other appropriate topics. Both Windows and MAC OS will be utilized. (Not open to those with credit in CSC 151.)

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PSY 203

Developmental Psychology

This course explores milestones of physical,cognitive and psychosocial development from conception through old age. Emphasis is placed on global principles that guide human growth and change across the lifespan. The course meets the core requirement in psychology.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
BIO 108

Human Anatomy & Physiology II

This continuation of BIO 107 emphasizes the digestive system, respiratory system, blood, cardiovascular system, urinary system, reproductive systems, endocrine system, human genetics and development. This course consists of three lectures a week.

Prerequisites: CPC-022, Prior completion of BIO-107/L, BIO-108L

3.0
BIO 108L

Human Anatomy & Physiology II Lab

This course accompanies BIO 108. This course consists of three hours of laboratory a week.

Prerequisites: BIO-108

1.0
CHE 102

General Chemistry II

This course is a continuation of Chemistry 101. Topics include chemical equilibria, kinetics and oxidation reduction systems.

Prerequisites: CHE-101, CHE-102L

3.0
CHE 102L

General Chemistry Laboratory II

Three hours of laboratory.

Prerequisites: CHE-101L, CHE-102

1.0
ENG 112

Liberal Arts Seminar: Research Writing

This course teaches academic research skills and writing based on a liberal arts topic. Topics vary by instructor.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
MAT 123

Introduction to Applied Statistics

This course includes the underlying fundamental mathematical principles and their application to a wide range of statistical methods and tests. Included are the following: sampling, frequency distributions, probability, regression,confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, t-test, analysis of variance, chi-square and correlation. Existent computer software such as MiniTab is utilized by students to aid and facilitate the analysis of results. Not open to those who have taken MAT 120

Prerequisites: one computer science course or take 1 course from PHY-101L PHY-103L or PHY-111L or be a pre-pharmacy student.

4.0
CHE 219

Organic Chemistry

This course is a survey of the functional groups germane to organic chemistry. In particular, emphasis is placed on the physical properties, nomenclature, conformation, synthesis and reactions of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes. Additionally, the recognition of isomers from constitutional stereoisomers such as enantiomers and diastereomers is also stressed.

Prerequisites: CHE-101, CHE-101L, CHE-102, CHE-102L, CHE-219L

3.0
CHE 219L

Organic Chemistry Lab

This lab emphasizes purification techniques central to organic chemistry such as recrystallization, distillation (simple and fractional), extraction, chromatography (column and thin layer), and chemical modification. Also, several syntheses are chosen to illustrate lecture material such as, but not limited to reactions such as substitution and bond cleavage. It consists of three hours of lab a week.

Prerequisites: CHE-209 or CHE-219

1.0
BIO 208

Microbiology

This course is an introduction to the morphology, physiology, ecology and replication modes of bacterial and eukaryote microorganisms as well as viruses. Pathogens associated with human disease are used to illustrate these general concepts. Methods used by microbes to resist antimicrobial drugs, transfer antimicrobial resistance and methods used to control the growth of microorganisms are also discussed. Emphasis is given to mechanisms of pathogenesis used by bacteria and viruses. The means used by humans to prevent or rid the body of microbial agents are also discussed. In the laboratory, students gain skills in sterile technique, stain procedures and biochemical tests used to characterize bacteria. Methods used to control microbial growths are also studied. The course consists of three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory per week.

Prerequisites: (BIO-101,BIO-101L,BIO-102,BIO-102L) or (BIO-107,BIO -107L,BIO-108,BIO-108L), Bio-208L, 2 semesters of college chemistry or take CHE-114.

4
BIO 208L

Microbiology Lab

This course accompanies BIO 208. This course consists of three hours of laboratory a week.

Prerequisites: Bio-208

0
HSM 203

Medical Terminology

This course applies medical terminology including word components (root word, prefix and suffix), medical abbreviations, pathologies and diagnostic tests. Students also learn how to conduct a chart review, interpret admission notes, surgical reports, discharge summaries, and understand the components of a SOAP note.

Prerequisites: None

1.0
BIO 303

Biochemistry

This one-semester course emphasizes structure/function relationships among the components responsible for the biochemical functions of life. Topics include proteins, enzymes, carbohydrates, bioenergetics, metabolism (catabolism and anabolism), lipids, membranes, nucleic acids, biotechnology, biochemical methods, vitamins and nutrition. This course is cross-listed with CHE 303.

Prerequisites: 1 group: (CHE-219 CHE-219L BIO-101 BIO-101L BIO-102 BIO-102L) or (CHE-219 CHE-219L BIO-107 BIO-107L BIO-108 BIO-108L) or be a chemistry major and take (CHE-219 CHE-219L CHE-220 CHE-220L), BIO-303L

3.0
BIO 339

Human Gross Anatomy

This is a lecture and laboratory course in human gross anatomy, which uses cadaver dissection and other materials illustrative of human anatomy. Emphasis will be placed upon the anatomy of skeletal muscles, including their bony attachments, nerve and blood supply and their functions in movements. Additional dissections will involve a survey of abdominal and thoracic organs, anatomy of the head and contents of the cranial cavity. The course consists of two lecture hours and eight lab hours a week.

Prerequisites: BIO-339L. Physician Assistant students will take BIO-639L., (BIO-107 BIO-107L BIO-108 BIO-108L) or BIO-317.

6.0
BIO 639L

Gross Anat Lab

This is a lecture and laboratory course in human gross anatomy, which uses cadaver dissection and other materials illustrative of human anatomy. Emphasis is placed on the anatomy of skeletal muscles, including their bony attachments, nerve and blood supply, and functions in movements. Additional dissections involve a survey of abdominal and thoracic organs, anatomy of the head and contents of the cranial cavity.

Prerequisites: None

0.0
PHI 214

Challenges of Death

This course examines the ways that death challenges human meaning and action. Topics include the meaning of suffering and death, challenges of death to morality, psychological spiritual processes of dying and bereavement are considered.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PHI 312

Bioethics Seminar

This course analyzes ethical dilemmas and problems posed by developments in the biosciences. Problems discussed include choices for life or death, allocation of resources, human experimentation, reproductive technologies and professional-client relationships.

Prerequisites: PHI-201 or PHI/RS-214

3.0
BIO 307

Pathophysiology

This is a study of disease processes as disturbances of the body's homeostasis. The body's defense mechanisms and their breakdown are emphasized. Various clinical assessment methods are discussed. The course consists of three lectures a week.

Prerequisites: BIO-107,BIO-107L BIO-108,BIO-108L (CHE-111,CHE-112) or (CHE-101 CHE-101L CHE-102 CHE-102L) Chiropractic students can take BIO-507L BIO-508L BIO-659 BIO-660

3.0
Total 59
Course Number Course Name Credits
PHI/RS

One elective fromPHI-201 or RS-201

Choose two electives from PHI 201 or RS 201
3
SOC One course in Sociology 3
HUM Three courses in Humanities 9
PSC/ECO One course in Political Science or Economics 3
HIS One course in History 3
Elective Three Electives 9
Total 30

Core requirements subtotal: 89

*Courses must be taken at D'Youville College. No transfer credit will be given for courses completed over 18 months prior to the beginning of professional phase courses.

** Fulfills departmental curriculum requirements and core requirements.

Didactic Year Requirements - Third Year

Course Number Course Name Credits
PA 303

Clinical Medicine I

This course is a comprehensive study of diseases with emphasis on etiology, pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnostic procedures, critical review of medical literature, preventive care and therapeutic measures involved in treating medical problems. Topics will be presented through demonstrations, discussions and clinical conferences as well as lectures by physicians, physician assistants and other appropriate health professionals. This course will include discrete blocks on major organ systems and special populations. It is closely integrated with the pharmacology, clinical skills and physical diagnosis courses.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: BIO-307 BIO-339, PA-335 PA-309 PA-312

5.0
PA 305

Behavioral Medicine

This course focuses on understanding human behavior in health and illness. Health, illness and sick role behaviors, psychosocial factors in the etiology of illness, patient compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, use of health behavior models in patient education, health maintenance, and disease prevention and sexuality will be discussed.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: None

2.0
PA 309

Clinical Laboratory Medicine I

This course explores common laboratory procedures employed in the evaluation of disease processes. Students develop proficiency in understanding such routine procedures as a CBC, urinalysis, gram stains and cultures. Students develop skills in interpreting clinical laboratory values in relation to disease, therapy and prognosis.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: BIO-208 CHE-102, PA-303 PA-335 PA-312

2.0
PA 311

Clinical Skills

Proper methods of performing various clinical procedures such as intravenous catheter insertion, intramuscular injections, passing nasogastric tubes, applying casts and drawing blood will be covered in this course.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: BIO-208 BIO-339, PA-304 PA-310 PA-312 PA-336

3.0
PA 312

Physical Diagnosis I

Most of the course is devoted to the development of physical examination skills and the art of developing a rapport with patients. By the end of the course, students will have received instruction and training in basic communication skills and how to conduct a medical interview, as well as training in techniques of physical diagnosis. The course includes the use of simulated patients, as well as a range of field experiences to provide direct contact with patients and practicing physicians. This allows students to interact with patients and to integrate knowledge and skills in the setting of clinical interactions
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: BIO-339, PA-303 PA-309 PA-335

2.0
PA 312L

Physical Diag Lab



Prerequisites: None

0.0
PA 335

Pharmacology I

This course includes topics such as pharmacotherapeutics, drug absorption, distribution and metabolism and drug interactions. The course is closely integrated with the clinical medicine course. All major systems of the body are covered in relation to drugs and diseases.
Offered in: Fall Only
Prerequisites: BIO-107 BIO-108 BIO-303, PA-303 PA-309 PA-312

3.0
PA 304

Clinical Medicine II

Continuation of Clinical Medicine I.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: PA-303, PA-336 PA-311 PA-313 PA-310

5.0
PA 310

Clinical Laboratory Medicine II

This course is a continuance of PA 309.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: PA-309, PA-304 PA-311 PA-313 PA-336

2.0
PA 313

Physical Diagnosis II

This course is a continuation of PA 312.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: PA-304 PA-310 PA-311 PA-336, PA-312

2.0
PA 313L

Physical Diagnosis Lab



Prerequisites: None

0.0
PA 336

Pharmacology II

This course is a continuation of Pharmacology I. The course explores clinical pharmacology and medical therapeutics, including disease states and their medical management.
Offered in: Spring Only
Prerequisites: PA-335, PA-304 PA-310 PA-311 PA-313

3.0
Total 29

Clinical Year Requirements - Fourth Year

Course Number Course Name Credits
PA 401B

Internal Medicine

Over a four-week period, the course provides the foundation for clinical evaluation and treatment. Training may occur in inpatient internal medicine in hospitals or outpatient internal medicine. The rotation will expose the student to adult populations and their medical problems. The student will learn clinical presentation of general medical problems, evaluation, therapeutic intervention and methods of documentation.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 401C

Family Medicine

This course is presented on a four-week rotation and exposes students to patients from all age groups, from pediatrics to geriatrics. Students will learn the clinical presentation of general medical problems, evaluation, therapeutic intervention and methods of documentation in a family practice setting.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 402

General Surgery

During the four-week general surgery rotation, students will learn management of surgical patients in the hospital and in ambulatory settings including presentation and workup of common surgical problems, as well as surgical interventions, and in-hospital care of the pre-and postoperative patient.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 403

General Pediatrics

This six-week rotation provides the opportunity to assess medical problems that require both inpatient and outpatient management of children. Students will get practical clinical experience in the outpatient setting managing routine childhood illnesses and health maintenance, and with the medical team in the hospital at the time of delivery assessing, the newborn and caring for children with more severe medical problems. Documentation in the medical record will augment skills previously acquired for data collection. Students will come to understand the influence that family interactions can have on the course of the patient’s development, wellbeing and illness.

Prerequisites: None

5.0
PA 404

Obstetrics and Gynecology

OB/GYN is a four-week rotation with the purpose of providing practical clinical experience for the evaluation and treatment of women. Experience will be gained in the areas of general women's health; family planning, pre-, intra- and postpartum care; as well as routine gynecologic care for sexually transmitted diseases, dysmenorrhagia and menopausal health. Students will come to understand the effects that sexual activity, childbearing and menopause have on a woman's psychological, social and medical well-being.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 405

Psychiatry

The purpose of the four-week psychiatry rotation is to provide the student with clinical experience in the varied presentations of mental illness. The student will have an opportunity to evaluate, identify and learn management of both acute and non-acute psychiatric patients.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 406

Emergency Medicine

Emergency medicine is a four-week rotation with the purpose of providing practical clinical experience in the care of acute medical emergencies. Students will develop an understanding of the concept of triage in an emergency situation where care is provided to the development of physical examination skills, and the art of developing rapport with patients. By the end of the course, students will have received instruction and training in basic communication skills and how to conduct a medical interview, as well as future care.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 407

Geriatrics

The two-week course will take place in a freestanding, long-term care facility or inpatient skilled nursing facility and provide students with experience addressing the special needs of this patient population. Prerequisite: Successful completion of all third-year courses.

Prerequisites: None

1.0
PA 408

Orthopaedics

The four-week orthopedics rotation will give students the opportunity to observe treatment of common musculoskeletal complaints. The rotation will combine clinical experience in an ambulatory practice setting with following orthopedic patients in the hospital.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
Total 27

Masters Level

Course Number Course Name Credits
PA 500

Professional Issues

This course provides a historical perspective of the physician assistant profession, as well as content related to current trends and issues. The course will include discussion of the importance of professional responsibility in the health care role, as well as information on professional organizations, graduate certification and re-certification,employment considerations, professional liability and prescriptive authority.

Prerequisites: None

1.0
PA 501

Elective Clinical Rotation I

Elective Clinical Rotation 1 offers an opportunity for physician assistant students to explore subspecialty area of medicine not covered in the current curriculum, spend more clinical time in primary care, or work with a physician that has been identified as a potential employer. Open to physician assistant students only.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 502

Elective Clinical Rotation II

Elective Clinical Rotation II offers an opportunity for physician assistant students to explore subspecialty areas of medicine not covered in the current curriculum, spend more clinical time in primary care, or work with a physician that has been identified as a potential employer.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 503

Primary Medicine Core Practicum

Primary care, an eight-week rotation provides the opportunity to refine the foundation in clinical evaluation and treatment and to establish patient education and community education skills. This will occur in a setting, which provides continuity of patient care and the opportunity to establish an ongoing preceptor/P.A. relationship. Training occurs over an eight-week period at a single clinical site. Open to physician assistant students only.

Prerequisites: None

6.0
PA 504

Graduate Seminar I

Graduate Seminar I offers an opportunity for physician assistant students to receive instruction in professional practice, community service, patient education, medical malpractice legislation,recognizing an impaired medical provider and other issues pertinent to their development as health care professionals. The students will also have an opportunity to participate in clinical enrichment lectures and workshops, focusing on particular issues pertaining to medical management of the critically ill inpatient.

Prerequisites: None

1.0
PA 505

Graduate Seminar II

Graduate Seminar II offers an opportunity for physician assistant students to receive instruction in areas of professional practice, to receive additional enrichment in areas of particular clinical interest to the student,and to address other issues pertinent to their development as health care professionals.

Prerequisites: None

1.0
PA 603

Applied Research Methods

This course will introduce the graduate-level PA student to concepts of critical thinking related to scientific research. The course will emphasize the rigors involved in completing the research project required as part of the master's degree portion of the PA degree. In this course, the student will be introduced to quantitative, qualitative and survey methods of research, students will be instructed on critical review of the medical literature from peer-reviewed journals. A review of creative writing and concepts in performing literature searches is provided. The framework for completion of the subsequent phases of the research project(Applied Project Seminar I & II)will be introduced during Research Methods. Finally, the PA student will choose their research topic.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 604

Applied Project Seminar I

During this course, the student completes the first phase of the research project:the research proposal. The PA student is guided through the sequence of developing the research project,completing an outline of objectives for the project and creating a clear vision of the importance of the original project. During the second phase of the course,the student completes a literature review applicable to the research topic. The third phase involves developing the materials and methods and then applying for approval of the project though the Institutional Review Board (IRB)at D'Youville. The PA student can then proceed to completion of the project in Applied Project Seminar II (APSII).

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA 605

Applied Project Seminar II

During this course the PA graduate student will complete their research project. During the last six months of their training, the PA student will collect data or complete surveys based upon the research method pertaining to their project. The student is guided at interpretation of the data,presentation of the data in the results and conclusions from the data. The student then defends their project with a poster presentation at the end of their training.

Prerequisites: None

3.0
PA

Two Electives from PA 509, PA 511, PA 512 or PA 606

Choose two electives from PA 509, PA 511, PA 512, or PA 606
6
Total 30

Total of B.S./M.S. Degree: 175

Courses PHI 214 can be replaced by RS 214 and PHI 312 can be replaced by RS 312.

*Denotes Clinical Rotation

Careers

Careers

Physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision and your D’Youville training will prepare you to work with physicians in all clinical disciplines. Nationally, physician assistants are employed in both primary and non-primary care specialties.   

A PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT'S ROLE

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs responsibilities include but are not limited to conducting physical exams, diagnosing and treating illnesses, ordering and interpreting laboratory and radiological tests, counseling on preventive health care measures, and assisting in surgery.

PAs can write prescriptions in all 50 states, the majority of the U.S. territories and the uniformed services. Within the physician-PA team, physician assistants’ specific duties depend on the setting in which they work, their specialty, and their level of experience.

The training you receive at D’Youville will prepare you to work with physicians in all clinical disciplines in a wide variety of clinical environments. In fact, because physician assistants are in such high demand, many discover they can take their pick of clinical placements, allowing for substantial career flexibility and mobility.

POST-PROFESSIONAL DEGREES

While many of our graduates go into clinical practice, others enter advanced academic programs in order to pursue careers in research and teaching in both private and public organizations. These students typically pursue post-professional degrees such as doctor of science (D.Sc.), doctor of education (EdD), or doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. If you choose to pursue this path you can rest assured that the rigorous academic, research, and clinical work you’ll complete in our PA program will provide you with a solid foundation for advanced study and practice.

Graduates who want to take their education one step further can also enter specialized residency programs that provide intensive training in specialties such as surgery, emergency medicine, pediatrics, and rural health. With the demand for physician assistants growing at such a rapid pace and showing no signs of slowing down — the opportunities for well trained, motivated, forward-thinking physician assistants like our graduates are limitless.

Career Outlook

Changing demographics and the expansion of the healthcare system in the United States have created a strong demand for healthcare professionals, and physician assistants are one of the groups in greatest demand.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that jobs for physician assistants will increase 38% through 2022, an increase the BLS calls "much faster than average." This kind of growth hasn’t gone unnoticed by experts in the healthcare industry: US News places physician assistant in the top 10 of their "Top 36 Health Care Jobs of 2015," Monster.com declares physician assistant to be the 2nd fastest growing job in healthcare (2015), and CareerProfiles.com places physician assistants high in their list of the "10 Fastest Growing Allied Health Careers." (2015).

In fact, because physician assistants are in such high demand, many discover they can take their pick of clinical field of practice, allowing for substantial career flexibility and mobility.  In addition, physician assistants earn generous salaries and benefits, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting that the median salary for physician assistants in 2012 (the last year that figures were available) was $90,930 per year, almost twice the median salary for young adults with a master’s degree or higher as reported by the US Department of Education.

For more information about the job outlook for physician assistants, visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics website.

Clinicals

Clinicals

The clinical rotation experience entails long hours of work and study for students, but it provides a safe, supervised clinical environment in which to hone individual clinical skills and help determine the area of medicine to pursue after graduation. Professional contacts made during the clinical year are an invaluable source for potential employment opportunities and job references.

D'Youville is proud to be able to offer an extremely wide range of clinical rotation opportunities to our students, some of which are above and beyond what other programs offer including a separate 4 week OB/GYN clinical rotation. D'Youville has hundreds of clinical affiliations with hospitals, physician groups, and HMOs allowing us to provide our students with an extremely diverse set of clinical settings to explore.

Structure

During your 18-month clinical phase you’ll rotate through a series of 12 clinicals in the following areas:

  • Internal Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Family Medicine (4 weeks)
  • General Surgery (4 weeks)
  • General Pediatrics (6 weeks)
  • Ob/Gyn (4 weeks)
  • Psychiatry (4 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • Geriatrics (2 weeks)
  • Orthopedics (4 weeks)
  • Two (2) Electives (4 weeks ea.)
  • Primary Care Core (8 weeks)

Locations

During your clinical phase, you'll have a broad selection of locations available to you in Western New York. While some locations will require somewhat extensive day travel, your ability to have a quality experience during this period is our top priority.

Community Education Project

During your clinical phase, you'll have the opportunity to work with your preceptor to design and implement a community education project at a clinical site during your Primary Care Core rotation. You'll research topics important to the lives of the patients you'll serve at the primary care site, develop patient education materials related to the promotion of good health and disease prevention, and present the results of your project at the end of your clinical phase.

Many of our students find that this experience, one in which you'll find yourself using your creativity, knowledge, and skills to make a difference in the lives of your patients, to be the highlight of their clinical phase and an important springboard for understanding the role of physician assistants in promoting and supporting public health.

Graduate Research

Graduate Research

The graduate portion of the DYC Physician Assistant Program incorporates an original research project which involves direct research participation from proposal development through the point of dissemination of research results through poster presentation. The intent is to reinforce evidence-based approaches to health care delivery and give students practical experience and enhanced understanding of research to improve their ability to critically review research papers. Students will thoroughly examine their research topic and complete a review of the associated scientific literature to make certain that the proposal represents a unique investigation of a health-related topic and/or fills a gap in the literature.

Recent student projects/posters have been presented at national conferences, have won research awards at major professional  conferences,  and research abstracts have been published in professional journals such as JAAPA. 

If you have an interest in pursuing a career in research, our unique Community Education Project provides a great way to gain the kind of experience vital to entering into a research career in the public or private sector.

Admission Requirements

Admission Requirements

Admission Criteria

Due to the limited number of available seats, the selection process for admission to the PA department is extremely competitive. We accept applications for admission from freshmen and transfer students. 

Qualified applicants are determined on the basis of several criteria:

  • Verbal and written communication skills
  • Written application materials
  • Results of personal interview
  • Ability to master the rigorous academic content of the program
  • Emotional maturity and understanding of and motivation to enter the profession

Requirements: Incoming Freshmen

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is offered to a select group of students who meet the following criteria. Applications and all required documents must be submitted by November 1 for consideration.

  • Combined SAT score of at least 1170 (Math & EBRW sections) or a composite ACT score of 24 or higher.
  • A minimum class average of 85 percent .
  • Three years of math, one year of Chemistry and one year of Biology. Math and science subjects must have a minimum grade of at least 83 (B).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Admissions essay specifically addressing the topic of why the student wants to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
  • Official documentation of at least 80 completed hours of direct patient interaction either through volunteer activities or employment activities.
  • Compliance with technical standards of the profession as noted in the application.

Requirements: Transfer Students

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is offered to a select group of transfer students who meet the following criteria. Applications and all required documents must be submitted and verified by CASPA by October 1st. Please be aware that verification of applications can take up to 4 weeks.

  • A minimum overall and science GPA of a 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Earned grade of B- or better in all science courses (which can only be transferred in for direct credit to the program if they are less than six years old at the time of acceptance into the department).
  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • Admissions essay specifically addressing the topic of why the student wants to pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
  • Documentation of at least 80 completed hours of direct patient interaction either through volunteer activities or employment activities.
  • Compliance with technical standards of the profession as noted in the application.

Following review of application materials, select applicants are invited for an interview by PA department faculty and practicing physician assistants. Not all applicants who meet the minimum application requirements will be invited to campus for an interview. 


Technical Standards

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) (Public Law 101-336) was established to empower qualified persons with disabilities to seek employment opportunities, transportation, and access to programs and services without fear of discrimination. The Physician Assistant Program at D'Youville College is prepared to make reasonable modifications to policies and practices in order to allow students with disabilities an equal opportunity to participate and succeed in the academic program. No otherwise qualified person shall be excluded from participation, admission, matriculation, or denied benefits solely by reason of his or her disability. The Physician Assistant Program will not discriminate against qualified individuals but will expect applicants and students to meet certain minimum academic and technical standards. In carrying out their functions, the program will be guided by the technical standards set forth in this proposal.

The holder of a Physician Assistant Certificate must have the knowledge and skills to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. In order to carry out the activities described below, candidates for the PA certificate must be able to consistently, quickly, and accurately learn, integrate, analyze, and synthesize data. They must have functional use of the senses of vision, and hearing. Their exteroceptive (touch, pain, temperature) and proprioceptive (position, pressure, movement, stereognosis, and vibratory) senses must be sufficiently intact in the upper extremities to enable them to carry out all activities required for a complete PA education. Candidates must have motor function capabilities to meet the demands of PA education and the demands of total patient care.

A candidate for the PA certificate must have abilities, attributes, and skills in five major areas: 1) observation, 2) communication, 3) motor, 4) intellectual, including conceptual, integrative, and quantitative abilities, and 5) behavioral and social.

  1. Observation: Candidates and students must have sufficient vision and somatic sensation to be able to observe demonstrations, experiments, and laboratory exercises in the basic sciences. They must be able to observe a patient accurately at close range and at a distance.
  2. Communication: Candidates and students should be able to speak, to hear and to observe patients in order to elicit information, examine patients, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and perceive nonverbal communications. They must be able to communicate effectively and sensitively with patients. Communication includes not only speech but also reading and writing. They must also be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written form with all members of the healthcare team.
  3. Motor: Candidates and students should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation and percussion, as well as carry out diagnostic maneuvers. A candidate should have motor function sufficient to execute movements reasonably required to provide general care and emergency treatment to patients. Such skills require coordination of gross and fine muscular movements, equilibrium, and sensation.
  4. Intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative abilities: These abilities include measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis, and synthesis. Problem solving, the critical skill demanded of PAs, requires all of these intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates and students should be able to comprehend three dimensional relationships and to understand the spatial relationships of structures.
  5. Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates and students must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities attendant to the diagnosis and care of patients, and the development of mature, sensitive and effective relationships with patients. He/she must have a high level of compassion for others, motivation to serve, integrity, and consciousness of social values. A candidate must possess sufficient interpersonal skills to interact positively with people from all levels of society, all ethnic backgrounds, and all belief systems. Candidates and students must be able to tolerate physically taxing workloads and to adapt to changing environments, to display flexibility and to learn to function in the face of uncertainties inherent in the clinical problems of many patients.

The D'Youville College Physician Assistant Program and its sponsoring institutions will attempt to develop creative ways of opening the Program to competitive, qualified individuals with disabilities. In doing so, however, the Program and sponsoring institutions must maintain the integrity of the curriculum and preserve those elements deemed essential to the education of a Physician Assistant. The Program and sponsoring institutions cannot compromise the health and safety of patients. It is inevitable that adherence to minimum requirements will disqualify some applicants and students, including some who have a disability. Exclusion of such an individual, however, does not constitute unlawful discrimination. An applicant or student who is unable to meet the minimum academic and technical standards is not qualified for the practice of the profession.

Fees

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

Is shadowing a PA required for admission into the program?

No. However, it is very important that applicants understand the role and function of a physician assistant. Therefore, if shadowing would strengthen the applicant's knowledge in this light, it is encouraged. The program does not arrange shadowing experiences for applicants. Please note that shadowing a physician assistant will not count towards one’s direct patient care requirement.

What qualifies as direct patient care experience?

The 80 hours of direct patient care experience can be completed through paid employment or volunteer work, but the point of this requirement is to ensure that applicants have had exposure to patients, preferably in a clinical setting. This means that your activities should include one-on-one interactions with patients.

Acceptable direct patient care: Transporting patients, helping with meals, leading activity times.

Excellent direct patient care: Participation in medical procedures, patient assessments, leading/assisting patients in therapy or daily activities such as dressing or eating, taking vitals, obtaining medical histories or previous work history as a paramedic, EMT, nurse, medical scribe, or other healthcare provider.

Examples of activities that do NOT count as direct patient care include: Pharmacy Technician, shadowing/observing, any clerical work, making beds, restocking shelves, or any other type of work that does not involve talking with and actively engaging with patients, etc.

If you have additional questions about what constitutes direct patient care, feel free to contact the admissions office at 716-829-7600.

Will I improve my standing if I complete my bachelor's degree in XYZ major before applying?

Yes and no. While students do not get any "bonus points" for already having a bachelor's degree, a student who has a bachelor's degree in a science discipline such as Chemistry or Biology, has already proven that she/he is capable of handling a difficult science curriculum. A bachelor's degree in a non-science program, however, is given no extra merit over any other candidate. Whether or not a candidate has a bachelor's degree, the committee will be looking for the number of college level science courses a candidate has taken and whether or not she/he did well in these courses.

In short, a bachelor's degree will not necessarily improve a candidate's standing in the application pool, but completing several college level science courses with solid grades, may help improve a candidate's application profile.

Are there certain prerequisites I need to apply and be accepted to the program?

No there are no prerequisite courses, but most of our applicants have demonstrated academic achievement of a 3.0 or higher overall GPA as well as a strong foundation and in their science coursework. Applicants should review the admission criteria tab for further details.

If I submit an application to CASPA, will it be forwarded to the D'Youville Program?

Yes.

Transfer Students

D'Youville is now accepting applications from transfer students to the physician assistant program using the CASPA application. Transfer students to the PA program should not complete the D'Youville College online application.

High School Students (First time Freshman)

High school (first time in college) students should submit their PA application via the D'Youville College online application.

If I meet the minimum academic requirements, am I guaranteed an interview and admission into the PA Department?

No. As applicants are accepted on a competitive, space available basis, not all applicants satisfying minimum academic requirements will be admitted into the program.

When will I find out if I'm being interviewed?

Completed applications are reviewed from May to October 1. Invitations to the interview will be sent to the email address you used on your application, and a letter will also be sent to your mailing address. Interviews are conducted in the fall.

What can I expect during the interview?

Expect to be on campus for a few hours. You will be introduced as a group to the PA faculty and staff by the Department Chair and asked to fill out a brief questionnaire that will be used with the rest of your application information during your interview. You will be given an opportunity to meet with the faculty, staff and many of our current students over coffee, either before or after your interview and will also have a chance to go on a tour of the campus with a current PA student.

Applicants are interviewed in groups of three with a panel of two to three interviewers. The interprofessional interview panel consists of PA/DYC faculty and community medical providers. The three applicants are not competing against one another and the interview session is designed to be collegial and informative, rather than competitive.

When will I get a decision/What can I expect after the interview?

Most applicants are notified of the department’s decision within a few weeks after the final scheduled interview date. We will notify you in writing of the decision, and if offered admission, you will be notified of your placement in a class year and receive a transfer credit summary.

How long is the program for transfer students?

It varies for everyone, but a few things are typical; the full program is 4 ½ years and students graduate with a combined bachelors/masters degree. Transfer students are generally placed into the first two years of the program. Certain coursework must be taken at D'Youville prior to starting the didactic phase (these classes include biochemistry, pathophysiology & human gross anatomy & lab).

Can I transfer directly into the Didactic (third) year of the program?

The majority of students are required to complete PA Department prerequisites at D'Youville College and therefore do not transfer directly to the Didactic phase from outside the college. Placement in any graduating class is dependent upon seat availability.

Does the D’Youville PA Program Offer Advanced Placement?

The D’Youville PA program’s curriculum is administered in a sequential fashion with each subsequent semester of coursework building upon the previous one. Consequently, the program does not routinely consider applicants for advanced placement.

How will I know what credits will transfer?

Your official transfer credit statement and class year will be determined if you are offered admission to the PA program. An earned grade of B- or better in all science courses is required (courses will transfer if they are less than six years old at the time of acceptance into the department). You can get an idea of what courses may transfer by using our online course equivalency tool.

I've been accepted, now what?

Follow the steps to take our our Accepted Student page. 


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