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MASTER IN PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT STUDIES (MS-PAS)

Allied Health careers are rapidly expanding in the United States and in Alabama. According to current estimates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 16 of the top 30 fastest-growing occupations are in health-related fields. Specifically, Physician Assistant employment is expected to grow five times faster than average through 2026, with a national employment change of 37.3%.PA Hands-On loop

There are projected to be over 39,000 new jobs for Physician Assistants (PAs) over the next ten years. And, in 2018,  the median annual salary was $108,610 and is expected to continue to increase! (BLS Employment Projections.) Likewise, Alabama data indicates a comparable growth rate (36.7%) for PAs. (Alabama Rate of Job Growth.)

The vision of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies is to earn a reputation as one of the leading contributors to the field of healthcare by graduating outstanding Physician Assistants, developing distinguished faculty members, and serving the local community by providing increased access to quality medical providers.

The mission of the Faulkner University Physician Assistant program is to train competent and caring medical professionals, in a Christian environment, to address the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs of individuals in the communities where they live and work.

Physician assistant in white coat wearing stethoscope and examining pediatric patient

First Time PANCE Pass Rate

2023-2024 Application and Admission Requirements

2023 - 2024 Admissions Cycle Information

Faulkner University PA Studies will be extending the 2023-2024 application deadline to July 19, 2024 to be considered for matriculation in Fall 2024. All application materials must be received by this date. Any prerequisite courses, healthcare experience hours, and/or shadowing hours must also be completed by July 19th. 

Applications can be submitted directly through Faulkner University by completing the Graduate Application found at this link: https://go.faulkner.edu/apply60/inquiryform , or by clicking the “Apply Now” button just under the mission statement on our PA Program website. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and qualified applicants will be offered an interview. Following the interview, the admissions committee will make selections and notify applicants of the decision to accept or deny admission.

See below for application and prerequisite requirements.

Applicant Requirements:

  • Official transcripts from every accredited United States College or University attended, or from a University outside of the United States with verified US equivalency
  • Bachelor's degree and all prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of application date. Degrees and courses completed more than 10 years ago will not be accepted.
  • Evidence of earned, or pending, bachelor’s degree and all prerequisite courses 
    • Up to nine credit hours may be in progress at time of application as long as they are successfully completed prior to starting the PA Studies Program
    • See prerequisite course requirements below
  • Cumulative GPA ≥ 3.0 (extra consideration will be given to candidates who excelled in their academic coursework)
  • Prerequisite GPA ≥ 3.0 (minimum of a C in each course, extra consideration will be given to candidates who excelled in their prerequisite coursework)
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • At a minimum, one letter must be from an MD, DO, PA, or NP
    • Letters from family or friends will NOT count towards the 3 letter requirement. 
  • Personal Statement
  • 100 minimum Direct Patient Care Experience Hours
    • Direct Patient Care Experience Hours will be accepted with experience in any of the following fields:: 
      • Allied Healthcare Provider
      • Emergency Department/Hospital Clinic Technician
      • Medical Assistant
      • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Aide
      • EMT or Paramedic
      • Operating Room Technician
      • Emergency Department/Clinic Scribe
      • Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Respiratory Therapist/Aide
      • Radiology Technician/Technologist
      • RN/LPN
  • 40 minimum Shadowing Hours with a PA
  • GRE scores, including the writing component (Institution code 5028)
  • Supplemental Faulkner graduate application

Applicants may enhance their application by meeting any of the below conditions:

  • Missional Alignment with Faulkner University
  • Faulkner Legacy Student: defined as a student graduating from Faulkner University or having strong ties to the University through family relationships
  • Excellence in both Cumulative and Prerequisite coursework GPA 
  • Completion of additional coursework, examples listed below, that would enhance performance in the PA Program (Max of 3 courses will be considered for application enhancement)
    • Immunology
    • Genetics
    • Health Education
    • Pathophysiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Physics
    • Cell Biology
    • Organic Chemistry
  • Additional Patient Care and Shadowing Hours over and above the minimum requirements.
  • Volunteer Hours (minimum of 100 hours for enhancement)
  • Military Service
  • Advanced Degree in Health Related Studies (example Masters in Public Health)
  • Leadership Experience in a service area related to the healthcare profession
  • The Program seeks to promote a cohort of students from varied backgrounds and experiences in order to foster a learning environment that prepares PAs to address the needs of a diverse society.

The Faulkner Physician Assistant program does not accept advanced placement credit. (Standard A3.13(c))

Additional questions should be addressed to Faulkner Graduate Enrollment at chsadmissions@faulkner.edu

Prerequisite Requirements

The following prerequisite courses are minimums and must be completed at a regionally accredited institution in the United States, or at an institution outside of the US with proven US equivalency, within 10 years of matriculation:

8 semester hours of general biology for science majors with lab
3 semester hours of microbiology
8 semester hours of human anatomy & physiology with lab
8 semester hours of general chemistry for science majors with lab
3 semester hours of statistics (math or psychology)
3 semester hours of general psychology
3 semester hours of abnormal or developmental psychology
1 semester hour of medical terminology
Total Prerequisite Hours: 37 hours

Click to view average statistics for accepted students.

2024-2025 Application and Admission Requirements

Timeline for 2024-2025 Admissions Cycle:

May 1, 2024 CASPA Cycle Opens

December 1, 2024 Application deadline

Applications will be reviewed after completion. Once reviewed, invitations to interview will be issued to the top candidates and will continue with rolling admissions until a full cohort has been reached.

Program Applicant Minimum Requirements:

  • Official transcripts from every accredited United States College or University attended, or from a University outside of the United States with verified US equivalency.
    • Courses completed at Faulkner University do not require official transcripts to be requested.
  • Evidence of earned, or pending, bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited United States University or from a University outside of the US with verified US equivalency and all prerequisite courses: 
    • Up to 2 prerequisite courses may be in progress at the time of application as long as they are successfully (with a letter grade of C or better while maintaining minimum GPA requirements of ≥3.0) completed by June 1st of the matriculation year.
      • Accompanying labs are not considered additional courses.
      • If Medical Terminology has not been completed, this will not count towards the two outstanding prerequisite course limit.
    • All prerequisites must be completed within 10 years of matriculation date. Courses completed more than 10 years prior to the date of matriculation will not be accepted.
    • At the discretion of the Admissions Committee, comparable courses completed during a terminal health related degree may be considered in lieu of undergraduate prerequisite courses.
  • Cumulative undergraduate GPA ≥ 3.0:
    • This will include post-baccalaureate courses; graduate level coursework will be excluded.
    • Extra consideration will be given to candidates who excelled in their academic coursework.
  • Prerequisite GPA ≥ 3.0 (minimum of a C in each course, extra consideration will be given to candidates who excelled in their prerequisite coursework).
    • If courses are repeated, all grades achieved in that course will be averaged for GPA calculation.
  • Three letters of recommendation
    • At a minimum, one letter must be from an MD, DO, PA, or NP.
    • Character references from family or friends (regardless of credentials) will NOT count towards the 3 letter requirement.
  • Personal Statement
  • 100 minimum Direct Patient Care Experience Hours (Documented in CASPA)
    • Direct Patient Care Experience Hours will be accepted with experience in any of the following fields: 
      • Allied Healthcare Provider
      • Military Medic/Clinical Specialist Corpsman
      • Emergency Department/Hospital Clinic Technician
      • Medical Assistant
      • Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) or Aide
      • EMT or Paramedic
      • Operating Room Technician
      • Emergency Department/Clinic Scribe
      • Physical Therapist/Physical Therapist Assistant
      • Respiratory Therapist/Aide
      • Radiology Technician/Technologist
      • RN/LPN
      • Pharmacy Technician
      • Other types of experience may be considered at the discretion of the admissions committee
  • 40 minimum Shadowing Hours with a PA (documented in CASPA, virtual shadowing hours not accepted)
  • Supplemental Faulkner graduate application ($75 fee)

 Applicants may enhance their application by meeting any of the below conditions:

  • Missional Alignment with Faulkner University
  • Faulkner Legacy Student, defined as one of the following:
    • previous degree from Faulkner University
    • completion of at least half of prerequisite coursework at Faulkner University
    • submission of a character reference letter from someone affiliated with Faulkner University
  • Excellence in Cumulative, Prerequisite and last 60 hour coursework GPA.
  • Prerequisite science courses taken in a university setting.
  • Completion of additional coursework with letter grade of B or higher, examples listed below, that would enhance performance in the PA Program:
    • Immunology
    • Genetics
      • While Genetics is not a required prerequisite course, it is strongly encouraged
    • Pathophysiology
    • Biochemistry
    • Physics
    • Cell Biology
    • Organic Chemistry
  • Direct patient care experience as one of the following:
    • Nurse (LPN, RN), EMT/Paramedic, Military Medic/Clinical Specialist Corpsman
    • CNA, AT, PT/OT, Home health with verification of duties, Scribe
  • Additional Patient Care and Shadowing Hours over and above the minimum requirements (documented in CASPA).
  • Healthcare Related Volunteer Hours (minimum of 100 hours for enhancement, documented in CASPA).
  • Military Service
  • Advanced Degree in Health Related Studies (example: Masters in Public Health)
  • Leadership Experience in a service area related to the healthcare profession
  • Graduate of a school that has established an articulation agreement with Faulkner University's Physician Assistant studies program.

Additional Notes

  • Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the program will honor up to two “Pass” grades in prerequisite classes taken anytime between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. No more than 2 total prerequisite courses may be pass/fail.
  • Advanced Placement (AP) credit is accepted to satisfy up to one prerequisite course if the AP credit is accepted by the applicant's degree-granting institution, and is posted on official academic transcripts as credit toward a specific course.
    • Note: While AP credits are accepted, it is recommended to have AP prerequisite courses repeated in a university setting.
  • CLEP examination credit is not accepted.
  • Science prerequisites must be specifically for science majors
  • Online courses that meet the general coursework requirements are typically accepted; however, prerequisite science courses are recommended to be in-person/on-ground.
    • For applicants with many online courses on their transcript, it is recommended to take several in-person upper-level sciences. This demonstrates the ability to handle the level of rigor of an in-classroom setting.
  • Each course may only satisfy one prerequisite.
  • Applicants submitting prerequisite courses and/or a Bachelor’s degree from a university outside of the United States must provide a certified, translated transcript from NAIA Incred or World Education Services that specifically states the US equivalent course(s) and/or degree.
  • The Program seeks to promote a cohort of students from varied backgrounds and experiences in order to foster a learning environment that prepares PAs to address the needs of a diverse society.
  • The Faulkner University Physician Assistant Studies program does not accept advanced placement credit toward PA Studies courses. (Standard A3.13(c))
  • A completed application must be submitted through CASPA in order to be reviewed by Faulkner University. The application cycle for the Fall start will begin in May annually. The deadline for all application materials to be verified in the CASPA application portal is December 1st annually.
  • Refer to the Faulkner University Physician Assistant Studies website for additional matriculation requirements. https://www.faulkner.edu/graduate/graduate-degrees/physican-assistant-studies-ms-pas/

Matriculation Requirements

Once candidates have been offered a seat in our program, there are several requirements that must be met prior to matriculating in the Fall. All acceptances are contingent upon satisfactory completion of the following requirements. Acceptance letters will provide detailed instructions for each item listed below.

  1. Seat Deposit - Once an offer is extended, the candidate will be required to pay a non-refundable deposit in order to reserve their seat. 
  2. Prerequisites / Bachelor’s Degree - If any prerequisites were in progress at the time of application, the candidate will be required to submit official transcripts to verify successful completion. If a Bachelor’s Degree is pending at the time of application, the candidate will be required to submit official transcripts showing degree conferral. All items must be completed by June 1st of the matriculation year. 
  3. Criminal Background Check and Drug Screen - The PA Program will set up an account for the candidate to complete a criminal background check and drug screen. The candidate will be responsible for the cost of the background check and drug screen. Unsatisfactory results will result in forfeiture of the candidate’s seat.
  4. Health Insurance - All students must maintain a valid major medical insurance policy while registered at Faulkner University. This includes classes during the didactic and clinical phases of the program. 
  5. Physical Examination - Candidates must have a comprehensive physical examination performed by their healthcare provider to demonstrate that the student is free of any physical or mental impairment(s) which may pose a potential risk to him/herself or to patients or which may interfere with the performance of clinical responsibilities.
  6. Immunizations - All students are required to maintain immunizations that are recommended by the CDC for Healthcare Workers. These include: hepatitis B, influenza, COVID-19 (or exemption), measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), varicella (chickenpox), Meningococcal, and tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap).

Additional questions should be submitted to:

PA Admissions
paadmissions@faulkner.edu

Click to view average statistics for accepted students.

Prerequisites

*For 2023-2024 Prerequisite requirements, see above 2023-2024 Application and Admission Requirements tab.

2024-2025 Prerequisite Requirements

Total Prerequisite Hours: 34 hours

General Biology for Science Majors, Lab required; In-person/On-ground recommended
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 7-8
Description: An upper level Biology Elective may be accepted in place of one of the general biology courses. The upper-level biology course must be taken in the biology department, in a university setting, at the 300/3000 level (or the level designated as upper-level per the offering institution), and should be at the level required for science majors.

Microbiology, Lab required; In person/On-ground recommended
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 4

Human Anatomy & Physiology, Lab required; In-person/On-ground recommended
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 8

General Chemistry for Science Majors, Lab Required; In-person/On-ground recommended
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 8
Description: An upper level Chemistry Elective may be accepted in place of one of the general chemistry courses. The upper-level chemistry course must be taken in the chemistry or biochemistry department, in a university setting, at the 200/2000 level or greater and should be at the level required for science majors. 

Statistics
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 3
Description: Statistics from Math or Psychology Department. Business Statistics is NOT acceptable.

Psychology
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 3
Description: General, Developmental or Abnormal Psychology accepted; must be taken in the psychology department.

Medical Terminology
Min Grade: C
Min Credits: 1

Tuition and Fees

Faulkner University Physician Assistant Studies Program
Tuition, Fees, and Associated Cost of Attendance
Effective 2024-2025

Please Note: Tuition, fees, and associated costs of attendance are estimates only. Tuition and Fees are officially established annually at the Faulkner University Board of Trustees meeting.

Tuition and Fees: 2024-2025 Tuition Fees
$900 per credit hour $1960 per semester
Total $96,300* $13,720

*Current curriculum is 107 credit hours.
*New curriculum design is anticipated to begin in Fall 2024 and will increase to 116 credit hours. Tuition will increase by $8,100

Program Required Expenses
The table below includes *estimates of additional expenses incurred by students.

Books / Medical Equipment $4,300
Laptop / iPad $2,000
Scrubs $120
Health Insurance $8,400
Background Check  $59
Drug Screen $29

Other Expenses
Other expenses are *estimated in the table below.

Lodging $36,400
Transportation $3,500
Graduation Fee $150
PA National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Fee $550
Student Memberships (AAPA, ASPA) $100
Miscellaneous (renters insurance, additional study resources, etc.) $2,000

*Estimated expenses updated in 2024 based on a survey of previous students.

Withdrawal and Refunds

The MS-PAS Program will follow Faulkner University policy for refunds in the case of student withdrawal. If a student withdraws from classes, they are only subject to a refund if they withdraw within a certain time frame. A student who withdraws through the 7th day from start date of term: 100% refund, less $110. Through the 10th day from start date of term: 50% refund, and after the 10th day of start date of term: 0% refund. Drop fees are assessed on the first day of class.

Accreditation

At its March 2023 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Faulkner University Physician Assistant Studies Program sponsored by Faulkner University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next review in March 2025.

Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC- PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation - Provisional or Accreditation - Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC- PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director, Brittany Syner, at bsyner@faulkner.edu and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at https://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-faulkner-%20university/.

Curriculum

MS Degree Plan

Students will complete the program with their cohort in the following sequence:

  Semester 1  
PAS 5102 Introduction to PA Practice 1 Unit
PAS 5103 Bioethics 1 Unit
PAS 5104 Medical Communications 1 Unit
PAS 5205 Biostatistics and Evidence Based Medicine 2 Units
PAS 5106 Introduction to Pharmacology 1 Unit
PAS 5500 Human Anatomy with Lab (3:4) 5 Units
PAS 5401 Medical Physiology with Lab (3:2) 4 Units
  Semester 2  
PAS 5510 Clinical Medicine I 5 Units
PAS 5311 Physical Examination I with Lab (1:2) 3 Units
PAS 5212 Clinical Skills and Procedures I 2 Units
PAS 5314 Pharmacology I 3 Units
PAS 5117 Introduction to Pediatrics 1 Unit
PAS 5215 Neuroanatomy  2 Units
  Semester 3  
PAS 5520 Clinical Medicine II 5 Units
PAS 5321 Physical Examination II with Lab (1:2) 3 Units
PAS 5222 Clinical Skills and Procedures II 2 Units
PAS 5324 Pharmacology II 3 Units
PAS 5127 Introduction to Emergency Medicine 1 Unit
PAS 5128 Geriatrics 1 Unit
  Semester 4  
PAS 5530 Clinical Medicine III 5 Units
PAS 5331 Physical Examination III with Lab (1:2) 3 Units
PAS 5232 Clinical Skills and Procedures III 2 Units
PAS 5334 Pharmacology III 3 Units
PAS 5235 Research Methods 2 Units
PAS 5118 Introduction to Surgery 1 Unit
  Semester 5,6,7 (Clinical Rotations)  
PAS 6510 Elective I 5 Units
PAS 6511 Elective II 5 Units
PAS 6508 Women’s Health 5 Units
PAS 6509 Behavioral and Mental Health 5 Units
PAS 6501 Pediatrics 5 Units
PAS 6502 Family Medicine 5 Units
PAS 6503 Internal Medicine 5 Units
PAS 6504 General Surgery 5 Units
PAS 6505 Emergency Medicine 5 Units
  Total 107 Units

Course Descriptions:

PAS 5102 Introduction to PA Practice (1 Unit)

This course will provide the student with an introduction to the profession of Physician Assistant, including its history and development and possible future directions. The role of the PA across all aspects of medicine will be discussed with an emphasis on primary care. This course will also address how the PA fits into the healthcare team and explore various practice settings. Important issues, such as licensing, credentialing, insurance, and legal and legislative, will also be explored.

PAS 5103 Bioethics (1 Unit)

This course examines both Christian and secular principles and approaches to bioethical issues faced by the physician assistant.  Students, using case-based scenarios, will discuss and debate multiple ethical issues including provider-patient relationships, beginning of life, end of life, and foregoing medical care.  Students will also consider established bioethical codes as they begin to form and develop a personal bioethical code.

PAS 5104 Medical Communications (1 Unit)

This course is designed to introduce students to the art of medical history-taking and offers practical strategies for effective, patient-centered interpersonal communication. Learners will be instructed in the appropriate formats for documentation of patient history as well as techniques to enhance the effectiveness of both history-taking and patient education.

PAS 5205 Biostatistics and Evidence-Based Medicine (2 Units)

This course is designed to access, and critically interpret medical literature. As lifelong learners, PAs must be able to locate, understand and apply concepts derived from the medical literature as they relate to the treatment of their patients. The students should learn to differentiate between statistical and clinical significance as they focus on an evidence-based approach to interpreting medical literature.  This course will evaluate basic biostatistical methods and formulae.

PAS 5106 Introduction to Pharmacology (1 Unit)

This course introduces the pharmacologic principles and concepts which are essential for making sound pharmacotherapeutic decisions. This course covers pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug metabolism, and pharmacogenetics, as well as an introduction to the general classification of medications.

PAS 5500 Human Anatomy with Lab (5 Units)

This is a systems-based course that will emphasize the application of anatomical knowledge to clinical practice.  This course covers gross anatomy while demonstrating the design inherent in the human body and how alterations from the norm can affect function. Structure-function relationships will be explored at multiple levels of organization, specifically, cell, tissue, organ, and systems.

PAS 5401 Medical Physiology with Lab (4 Units)

This is a systems-based course that will emphasize the application of knowledge of human physiology to clinical practice.  This course covers system structure and function while demonstrating the design inherent within cells and systems and how alterations from the norm can affect function.

PAS 5510 Clinical Medicine I (5 Units)

This course is the first in a three-course sequence that is designed to teach students clinical medicine in an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The course will be primarily lecture-based and supplemented by case discussions. Information will be presented in organ system-based sequences that will include the mechanism, clinical presentation, and approach to the diagnosis of disease as well as health promotion.

PAS 5311 Physical Examination I with Lab (3 Units)

This course is the first in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students the techniques to obtain a pertinent history and perform an appropriate physical examination in complement to the information learned in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5212 Clinical Skills and Procedures I (2 Units)

This course is the first in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students foundational knowledge in clinical diagnostic skills that prepare the student for required responsibilities in patient care. Course content includes clinical, laboratory, and basic surgical techniques required in primary care. Students learn best practice approaches to caring for patients and guidelines for preventive care and disease screening.

PAS 5314 Pharmacology I (3 Units)

This course is the first in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students appropriate pharmacotherapeutics in an organ systems-based approach that complements the sequencing in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5117 Introduction to Pediatrics (1 Units)

This course is designed to introduce students to pediatric care by providing an overview of specific illnesses, diagnostic tests, terminology, and treatment in this special population while emphasizing the role of the PA in a general pediatric practice. The course will explore normal growth and development and immunization recommendations and, also, provide an overview of the similarities and differences between pediatric and adult populations.

PAS 5128 Geriatric Medicine (1 Unit)

This course will focus on issues specific to geriatrics, examining the similarities and, primarily, the differences inherent to this population. The process of death and dying and end of life issues will be discussed.

PAS 5520 Clinical Medicine II (5 Units)

This course is the second in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students clinical medicine in an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The course will be primarily lecture based and supplemented by case discussions. Information will be presented in organ system-based sequences that will include the mechanism, clinical presentation, and approach to the diagnosis of disease as well as health promotion.

PAS 5321 Physical Examination II with Lab (3 Units)

This course is the second in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students the techniques to obtain a pertinent history and perform an appropriate physical examination in complement to the information learned in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5222 Clinical Skills and Procedures II (2 Units)

This course is the second in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students foundational knowledge in clinical diagnostic skills that prepare the student for required responsibilities in patient care. Course content includes clinical, laboratory, and basic surgical techniques required in primary care. Students learn best practice approaches to caring for patients and guidelines for preventive care and disease screening.

PAS 5324 Pharmacology II (3 Units)

This course is the second in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students appropriate pharmacotherapeutics in an organ systems-based approach that complements the sequencing in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5118 Introduction to Surgery (1 Unit)

This course is designed to introduce students to the field of surgery and studies major and minor surgical conditions with an emphasis on indications for surgical intervention. Management of patients through the pre-, intra-, and post-operative stages in both ambulatory and inpatient settings will be discussed.

PAS 5127 Introduction to Emergency Medicine (1 Units)

This course explores various types of urgent and emergent conditions across the lifespan that present in an emergency medicine setting. Students are prepared to triage, stabilize, evaluate, treat, and monitor such conditions. Disposition of patients, including admission criteria, referrals, and specialty consultations, will also be discussed.

PAS 5215 Neuroanatomy (2 units)

This course is an in depth study of the structure and function of the neurological system, including gross anatomy, histology, embryology and physiology. Students will be introduced to selected pathologies and special tests that facilitate the understanding of the relationship of the nervous system to function of the human body.

PAS 5530 Clinical Medicine III (5 Units)

This course is the third in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students clinical medicine in an integrated and multidisciplinary approach. The course will be primarily lecture based and supplemented by case discussions. Information will be presented in organ system-based sequences that will include the mechanism, clinical presentation, and approach to diagnosis of disease as well as health promotion.

PAS 5331 Physical Examination III with Lab (3 Units)

This course is the third in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students the techniques to obtain a pertinent history and perform an appropriate physical examination in complement to the information learned in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5232 Clinical Skills and Procedures III (2 Units)

This course is the third in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students foundational knowledge in clinical diagnostic skills that prepare the student for required responsibilities in patient care. Course content includes clinical, laboratory, and basic surgical techniques required in primary care. Students learn best practice approaches to caring for patients and guidelines for preventive care and disease screening.

PAS 5334 Pharmacology III (3 Units)

This course is the third in a three course sequence that is designed to teach students appropriate pharmacotherapeutics in an organ systems-based approach that complements the sequencing in the clinical medicine course.

PAS 5235 Research Methods (2 Units)

This course is designed to introduce students to methods, and areas need, in research to improve the delivery of care and/or patient outcomes and to foster an interest in promoting Physician Assistant scholarship.

PAS 6510 Elective I (5 Units)

This course is a three week supervised clinical practice experience designed to allow students to explore new areas of PA practice or reinforce and strengthen areas of perceived deficits. Students may also choose to utilize the elective rotation to evaluate, and be evaluated by, a potential employer.

PAS 6511 Elective II (5 Units)

This course is a three week supervised clinical practice experience designed to allow students to explore new areas of PA practice or reinforce and strengthen areas of perceived deficits. Students may also choose to utilize the elective rotation to evaluate, and be evaluated by, a potential employer.

PAS 6508 Women’s Health (5 Units)

This course is a three week supervised clinical practice experience in women’s health including prenatal and gynecologic care in various clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6509 Behavioral and Mental Health (5 Units)

This course is a three week supervised clinical practice experience in behavioral and mental health in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6501 Pediatrics (5 Units)

This course is a six week supervised clinical practice experience in general pediatric care providing exposure to patients across the lifespan of infant, children, and adolescents. Education may occur in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6502 Family Medicine (5 Units)

This course is a six week supervised clinical practice experience in family medicine and is designed to provide exposure to patients across the lifespan of infant, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly. Education may occur in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6503 Internal Medicine (5 Units)

This course is a six week supervised clinical practice experience in internal medicine and is designed to provide exposure to patients across the lifespan of adults and the elderly. Education may occur in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6504 General Surgery (5 Units)

This course is a six week supervised clinical practice experience in general surgery and is designed to provide exposures to patients across the lifespan and include management of pre-, intra-, and post-operative issues. Education may occur in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

PAS 6505 Emergency Medicine (5 Units)

This course is a six week supervised clinical practice experience in emergency medicine and is designed to provide exposure to patients across the lifespan and include management of urgent and emergent issues. Unique opportunities to be an integral part of a multidisciplinary team are expected. Education may occur in varied clinical settings and is designed to provide encounters necessary to acquire the requisite competencies of a practicing physician assistant.

Technical Standards

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MS-PAS) is designed to provide comprehensive knowledge and skills to allow the graduate to enter into a practice environment equipped to be an effective health care provider. In order to achieve this goal, students must possess and exhibit emotional, physical, and cognitive capabilities to complete this rigorous program. Faulkner University is committed to providing the necessary accommodations to prepare students from both didactic and clinical aspects. The faculty of the MS-PAS program has identified the following minimal technical standards that are required to complete the program:

Critical Thinking: Students must exhibit the mental capacity to assimilate, analyze, synthesize and integrate concepts and apply problem-solving skills to formulate assessments and create treatment plans.

Communication Skills: Students must exhibit both oral and written abilities that allow for clear, concise, and effective communication with patients and colleagues.

Sensory and Observational Skills: Students must possess visual, auditory, tactile, and other sensory abilities sufficient to allow them to observe classroom demonstrations, participate in technical procedures and elicit accurate patient information to formulate correct diagnoses and treatment plans.

Motor Skills: Students must exhibit the gross and fine motor skills needed to execute the technical procedures involved in the practice of medicine and surgery. They must be able to calibrate and use the equipment, maneuver in restricted spaces, and move and position patients.

Interpersonal Skills: Professionalism is a core competency for Physician Assistants, therefore students must possess a wide range of interpersonal skills. These include:

  • maintain the emotional health required to manage high-stress situations while simultaneously displaying full intellectual abilities;
  • have an ability to exercise good judgment;
  • possess excellent time management skills (arrive on time, start and finish tasks on time);
  • exhibit a propensity to complete all assigned patient care responsibilities in a timely manner;
  • have the capacity to develop mature, compassionate, and effective relationships with colleagues, faculty, staff, patients, and their families;
  • cultivate an ability to recognize and channel one’s own emotional states in a way that allows you to engage with others in a constructive way;
  • be a team player.

Core Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession

About Us

As part of Faulkner University's commitment to Christian services, this new master's program in physician assistant studies provides a nurturing environment for our students while increasing access to quality medical care in our community.

Our systems focused curriculum presents medical knowledge, technical skills, and clinical experience in a clinically relevant manner so that you are not just learning information, but becoming a physician assistant. As a member of Faulkner's developing College of Health Sciences, you will collaborate with students from other disciplines and experience the optimal team practice approach that is central to the PA Practice.

Faculty/Staff Profiles

Brittany Syner, DMSc, PA-C

Program Director

bsyner@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7450

 

 

Michaela Kinney

Clinical Coordinator

mkinney@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7497

 

 

Deet Scott

Deet Scott, MD

Principal Faculty

dscott@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7272

 

 

Lora-Emily Banks

Lora-Emily Banks, PA-C, MHS

Principal Faculty, Director of Didactic Education

lbanks@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7332

 

 

Rebecca Johnson, MSPAS, PA-C Principal Faculty rjohnson@faulkner.edu (334) 386-7383

Rebecca Johnson, MSPAS, PA-C

Principal Faculty

rjohnson@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7655

 

 

Nathan Stanton, MS PA-C, PA-C, ATC

Principal Faculty

nstanton@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7335

 

 

Karen Harness, DMSc, PA-C

Principal Faculty

kharness@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7247

 

 

Trudie Seirafi, PA

Principal Faculty, Director of Clinical Education

tseirafi@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7202

 

 

 

Kristi Witcher

Kristi Witcher, MD

Medical Director

kwitcher@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7450

 

 

Trinity Goff

Administrative Coordinator

tgoff@faulkner.edu

(334) 386-7383

FAQs

How will clinical site choices work?

All core clinical sites have been established and vetted by the Director of Clinical Education and the program. Additional sites may be developed on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the DCE and the Program Director.

I am most curious about the general program structure and where clinical rotations will take place.

The PA Program is 28 months in length with 16 months of in-classroom didactic education and 12 months of clinical education. Clinical rotations mostly occur local to the university or at clinical sites within a 70-mile radius of Montgomery. However, the program also utilizes clinical sites in many different states.

What are the names of the hospital and health care facilities that will be affiliated with Faulkner‘s PA Program?

Faulkner has partnered with several health systems and private based clinics throughout the state. Locally, we have an excellent relationship with both Jackson and Baptist Hospital Systems,Health Services Inc. (our local FQHC) and Veterans Affairs.

How many clinical rotations does this program plan to offer, and how many of those rotations are electives?

Students currently have 9 Clinical Rotations:

Family Medicine
Internal Medicine
Emergency Medicine
Pediatrics
Women's Health
Behavioral Medicine
General Surgery
Two Electives

Clinical rotations will include office-based (outpatient), hospital-based (inpatient), Surgical, and Emergency Department experiences.

Does Faulkner University allow for clinical rotations abroad or within different states?

  • We do not currently offer any clinical rotations abroad. However, the opportunity to offer rotations abroad is being actively pursued. ARC PA’s new standards only allow utilizing abroad clinical sites for elective rotations. All core rotations must be completed in the U.S.
  • Faulkner‘s PA program does have contracts in place with several health systems in neighboring states.
  • ARC-PA mandates that all clinical sites and preceptors must be extensively vetted by the DCE. This will be the major rate-limiting step for the development of additional sites.

After each clinical, will we have summation exams? lectures? meet physically back on campus?

Students will meet back on campus after clinical rotations for debriefing and for End of Rotation Exams.

What is the process of remediation if a student is struggling?

PA program faculty are dedicated to the success of our students and believe in early identification of students that are demonstrating a negative trend in grades or behaviors. Effective for Cohort 3 entering in the fall, 2022, grades are reflected as letter grades (A, B, C, D, F). Students are kept abreast of their performance during their course by their course directors, at mid-term, and at routine meetings with their advisor. Students at risk of successful progression in their courses and/or in the Program are identified early on and placed on a remediation plan to support their success and retention.

ls the curriculum mostly lecture style? small group/case study? problem-based learning where a group of students teach each other the concepts?

The curriculum is mostly lecture style but also includes team-based learning, case-based learning, discussion, and simulation.

Assessments are varied and include: written exam, discussion questions, oral presentation, case-based learning, team—based learning, and simulation.

Will there be opportunities to do community service, a certain number of hours each quarter?

Community service will largely be elective but offered routinely. We value service to the community highly and recommend these interactions to engage with other members of the medical community.

Will there be a Capstone project as we approach our graduation month?

The Capstone project will be introduced in the 4th semester as the main focus of PAS 5325 Research Methods.

What do you (the staff) believe sets the Faulkner University Physician Assistant Studies Program apart from other physician assistant programs?

Faulkner's PA program has a few unique strengths: Extensive clinical experience from a diverse core staff; extremely close relations and interprofessional opportunities within the College of Health Sciences (PA, PT, OT, and SLP); deeply rooted Christian faith-based approach to caring for the whole person.

There is $1,000 amount worked into our tuition for computers from the website... any particular type?

It is listed as a cost, not part of tuition. Any will do.

Are there simulation labs in which we get to interact with robots that can provide us with many different health-related scenarios?

Yes, CHS is actively enhancing our in-house simulation lab. Additionally, we have an agreement with a 20,000 sq. ft. simulation center: Baptist Health Institute for Patient Safety and Medical Simulation

How early are we exposed to hands-on patient interaction?

First Semester

What characteristics are you looking for in your applicants?

In evaluating applicants for our program, we were looking for evidence of a commitment to healthcare, a team-based focus, professionalism, and a strong work ethic.

When would be the projected dates of orientation?

August

What would a typical day look like for us (Monday-Friday) during the first 4 semesters? The last 3 semesters?

PA education is rigorous. During the first 4 semesters, you need to be available to the program 8AM-5PM M-F and occasional Saturdays. ln the clinical phase, your schedule is determined by your preceptor and will include nights and weekends.

What materials are we required to purchase? Are any materials included in the tuition?

See costs section on website.

Student Attrition Table

  Graduated Classes
Class of 2022 Class of 2023 Class of 2024
Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA) 35 50 50
Entering class size 35 49 50
Graduates 33 46 TBD
* Attrition Rate 5.7% 6.1% TBD
** Graduation Rate 94.3% 93.9% TBD

* Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.

** Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.