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About the Program

To be a graduate of DeSales' Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is to be dedicated to the total well-being of the patient and cognizant of the Christian humanistic traditions of DeSales University.

Regardless of patient diversity or delivery setting, we strive to ensure that you will deliver competent and compassionate including preventative services and wellness education to various patient populations across many different environments. We teach you to consider the patient holistically in the context of family, community, and  and incorporate ethical principles into a patient-focused practice. Our hope is that all DeSales MSPAS graduates will serve their patients by using evidence-based medicine and promoting life-long learning in the profession.

Upon completing the program, you will be able to:

  • Perform with competency and proficiency functions and tasks involved inpatient evaluation, monitoring, diagnostic, therapeutic, counseling, and referral in diverse practice settings.
  • Conduct yourself in a professional demeanor expressing sensibility and understanding of the nature and impact of mental and physical disease.
  • Demonstrate behaviors that are essential to acquiring and sustaining the confidence of colleagues, other health care professionals, patients, and the community.
  • Initiate management and provide supportive care for acute life-threatening emergencies.

Goals of the MSPAS program:

Maintain PANCE pass rates higher than the national average, with the ideal being 100 percent.

DeSales students have an average 99 percent first-time pass rate on the PANCE since program inception through the class of 2018.

Foster and maintain close connections between the students and faculty in a collaborative learning environment.

  • Student to faculty ratio in the DeSales PA Program is 11:1, as compared to the national average of 14:1 for all PA programs.
  • DeSales PA Program faculty teach 96% of our own courses, as compared to the national average of 68.6% for all PA programs.
  • 100% of DeSales PA Program faculty have roles in both the first and second years to maintain continuity in student contact.
  • All faculty members in the PA Program serve as student advisors.  All faculty offices are located in the same building as the main lecture room. We have dedicated time built into the first year schedule for advising and discussion.
  • In the second year, students are visited on 100% of rotations, either in person or via phone, by a faculty member on every clinical rotation. Formally, every student is assigned a faculty advisor and they meet at least every semester.

Provide ongoing clinical experiences throughout the program to complement classroom teaching and foster development of excellent clinical reasoning and skills.

Utilize critical thinking skills and case-based learning to guide learners to develop as clinicians while maintaining focus on patient-centered care.

  • The Clinical Reasoning course utilizes case-based learning in large and small group settings.
  • Several of our courses use a flipped classroom format, incorporating pre-lecture learning with facilitated classroom discussions.
  • During the clinical year, pre-rotation breakout sessions provide specialty focused workshops utilizing simulation.

Provide experiences with diverse and vulnerable populations to reinforce compassionate and ethical medical care, as illustrated by the Christian humanism of St. Francis DeSales.

Emphasize a focus on the patient in primary care medicine which spans all specialties and includes interprofessional education.

  • In the first year of the program:
    • 73% of cases utilized in the Clinical Reasoning course are set in a primary care setting
    • 100% of the clinical skills taught are skills utilized in a primary care setting
    • PA students participate in an interprofessional simulation experience with physical therapy students
  • In the second year of the program, 55% of rotations are in a primary care specialty.
  • During the entirety of the program, students are exposed to interprofessional experiences with colleagues from nursing, physical therapy, medical school, case management, occupational therapy, speech therapy and others.

Contact Us

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS)
Gambet Center