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Physician Assistant Studies

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Mississippi College is the state’s only physician assistant program. The Physician Assistant Program is a 30-month program of study leading to a Master of Science in Medicine degree.

Master of Science in Medicine (M.S.M.) Physician Assistant

Physician assistants (PA) are health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with their supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural and urban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, they conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications. Because of their close working relationship with physicians, physician assistants are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

This is the basic professional degree required for physician assistants to practice medicine in the state of Mississippi. The Physician Assistant Program admits a cohort of 30 students once each year, at the beginning of the summer semester. Completion of the program will assist graduates in successfully completing the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) making them eligible for licensure as a physician assistant in all 50 states. MC's five year PANCE pass rate for first time test takers is 95%.

Mission

The primary mission of the Mississippi College’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies is to help students acquire core competencies, as well as specialized knowledge and skills necessary to perform effectively as physician assistants and to prepare them to provide primary health care services in medically underserved areas of Mississippi and surrounding states. Secondary missions are to prepare graduates for roles in surgery and as hospitalists.

Physician Assistant Education at MC

PAs are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training. The program curriculum is advanced science-based. Students at our program are assigned to faculty-mentored learning teams. Problem-based learning, team-based learning, lecture, Objective Structured Clinical Experiences, lab exercises, and supervised clinical experiences supported by technologic innovation and service are just a few strategies used to achieve this mission. The program encourages scholarship, is responsive to changing healthcare and societal needs, facilitates personal and professional growth, and promotes life-long learning.

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies is currently accepting applications for the May 2019 session. For more information about the application process contact our office at (601) 925-7371