The Physician Assistant Department is dedicated to educating competent, caring Physician Assistants to practice primary care medicine in all areas of society.
WMU will prepare the highest quality Physician Assistants to practice medicine within the changing healthcare environment of 21st. century.
The aim of the program is to facilitate the acquisition of the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to respond positively to the challenges and opportunities of future trends in health care delivery. The focus is on "higher order learning" to prepare the physician assistant student for critical thinking, ethical decision-making and the synthesis and judgment of problems, based on the bio-psycho-social model. The PA student will be insightful and aware of his or her own professional role and limitations, as well as the needs, styles, and values of patients, and those of other health professionals. PA students are considered "lifelong learners" of the art and science of medicine, as well as active learners who ask questions, uncover meaning and make decisions.
A. The PA Program is committed to educating high quality, competent Physician Assistants, who are lifelong learners and who respond positively to the future challenges and opportunities in healthcare delivery.
- All graduates of the program are able to gather and assimilate clinical data, prioritize information to create a differential diagnosis and communicate those findings in a clear and effective manner, as evidenced by successful completion of summative evaluations and objective structured clinical examinations (OSCE’s), done throughout the curriculum. All graduates must receive satisfactory evaluations in these areas from their preceptors during their supervised clinical practice experiences.
- All graduates of the program demonstrate proficiency in practicing evidence-based medicine throughout the curriculum and completion of a capstone research project at the completion of the clinical year.
- All graduates of the program demonstrate the ability to evaluate, monitor and diagnose illnesses, perform therapeutic procedures and initiate referrals to healthcare resources, as evidenced by successful completion of a summative evaluation and the satisfactory evaluations in these areas from their preceptors during their supervised clinical practice experiences.
- All graduates of the program are able to educate and counsel patients as evidenced by successful completion of the Health Promotions course series during the didactic year and the Clinical Practice Issues course series in the second year. Satisfactory evaluations in these areas are required from their preceptors during the supervised clinical practice experiences.
- All graduates of the program are able to understand the importance of the diverse cultural and ethnic heritages of individuals, as evidenced by their successful completion of simulated diversity educational events in the didactic year, as well as satisfactory evaluations in these areas from their preceptors during their supervised clinical practice experiences.
- All graduates of the program are able to collaborate as members of the healthcare team as demonstrated through the successful completion of Interprofessional Educational events held within the college in both the didactic and clinical year, along with satisfactory evaluations in team-work from their preceptors during their supervised clinical practice experiences.
- All graduates of the program must maintain a 3.0 GPA in order to successfully complete the curriculum. Students are not allowed to progress through the curriculum without remediation, if they are unable to pass summative evaluations and clinical assessments.
- All graduates of the program successfully complete the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam, as evidenced by 99.5% of graduates ultimately passing the PANCE since 2012.
B. The PA Program is committed to contributing to the health and well-being of society.
- The program promotes health awareness through faculty-led community service and outreach activities. Students and faculty have been involved in more than 20 events in the past five years.
- The program provides students with opportunities to examine issues related to cultural and ethnic diversity, social determinants of health and health equity, as evidenced by successful completion of that curriculum in the Professional Issues and Health Promotion course series. In addition, participating in the college-wide ethnic and socio-economic diversity simulation experience held each spring semester.
C. The PA Program is committed to promoting and developing the Physician Assistant profession.
- The program provides the faculty with opportunities for continuing education and attendance at PA professional conferences as evidenced by 100% of faculty attendance at one or more professional conferences each fiscal year.
- The program provides students with opportunities to participate in the student PA society, facilitates PA student government and supports fundraising opportunities for the PA student society, as evidenced by all students having membership in the William Birch PA Student Society, named for the founder of the WMU PA program.
- The program encourages student membership in PA state and national professional organizations as evidenced by 50% of students becoming members of at least one organization over the past 10 years.
D. The PA Program will assist Western Michigan University and the College of Health and Human Services to accomplish their mission and goals.
- The program regularly reviews the curriculum to reflect changes in medicine and healthcare delivery through ongoing analysis of data collected from each cohort of students culminating in an annual program review and assessment.
- The program evaluates information from program assessments to improve the curriculum structure, as evidenced by yearly adjustments in the organ system content.
- The program is involved in interdisciplinary educational activities within the College of Health and Human Services and the University, as evidenced by participation in a minimum of three IPE events across the didactic and clinical years.
- The program provides students with access to a variety of clinical experiences within different cultural and socio-economic areas, when possible, as evidenced by the current comprehensive affiliation agreement database of clinical sites.
- The program provides PA faculty representation on and collaboration with College and University committees.