Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Now Accepting Applications

Our Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is now accepting Graduate Student Applications.

Click to Apply

Welcome to the Emory & Henry College's

Department of Physician Assistant (PA) Studies

Here within the Department, we are committed to integrating the most current and effective instructional strategies, technology and learning experiences to best prepare our students to meet the present and future healthcare needs of the region and the nation.

With a primary goal to reduce suffering and empower our patients to lead lives of greater contentment, we focus on faculty, student and patient contentment throughout the PA program. In so doing, it is our goal to assist students in not only developing into stellar, competent, compassionate and mission-focused PAs, but also to become better at 'being'.

With a mission to train the next and future generations of advanced practice providers of the highest caliber and devotion, we take our lead from the historic motto of Emory & Henry College to "Increase in Excellence," assisting our students to lead lives of service, pursue and obtain productive careers, and participate wholeheartedly in global citizenship. The graduate programs within the School of Health Sciences were developed at the request of local communities to assist in meeting the needs of the region. Given this, our training emphasis is on rural primary care for the underserved. Understanding that such an emphasis demands training students to be capable of treating patients with highly complex medical conditions and comorbidities, our students will be well trained to pursue entry level physician assistant practice in any specialty and in any location.

It is our equally important mission to bring back the heart in medical practice -- to infuse compassion, mindfulness, and cultural humility -- to train our students to become well-rounded practitioners who are able to meet their patients' needs at pursuing lives of greater meaning and contentment.

Our website has been developed to provide you with easy access to details about our master's level PA program. After reviewing our website, I hope you will leave sharing my own excitement about developing a superb mission-focused, mindfulness-infused, patient-centered  and student-centric PA program specifically designed to carry on the wonderful legacy of Emory & Henry College in civic engagement and service to our communities.

Dr. Scott RichardsScott Richards, PhD, PA-C, DFAAPA
Founding Chair & Director, Associate Professor


  How We Promote Student Learning  

Here at the Emory & Henry College Master of Physician Assistant Program, we take our jobs seriously. We promote student and faculty success and excellent patient care as our primary intentions.

  • We strive to ensure mastery of information in each and every module for each and every student.
  • Students will begin on-site clinical experiences in the first week of their program at the Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College.
  • We will employ active learning, team-based, case-based teaching strategies promoting the concretization of material and critical thinking applications. 
  • Every module includes standardized patient and/or high-fidelity mannequin encounters in addition to actual clinical encounters.
  • Our exams are PANCE-like and exam items are mapped to our instructional and learning objectives following a similar style as the PANCE blueprints.
  • With robust, built-in remediation processes and protocols - attached to every written and practical examination - we hope to identify and address weaknesses from the first exam right through graduation.
In, short, beyond our stellar experiential activities, conducted throughout all phases of the Program, we also implement mindful active learning strategies that are purposive, holistic, reflective, complex, engaging, collaborative, and case-based.
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Emory, Va. Campus: P.O. Box 947, Emory, Va. 24327 (map)    276.944.4121
Marion, Va. Campus: 565 Radio Hill Rd., Marion, Va. 24354 (map)    276.944.6342 ·  276.781.7200