Want to be a vital part of improving the quality of healthcare?

Here within the Department of Physician Assistant Studies, 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”.

The E&H School of Health Sciences Dean and Department of PA Students Staff and Faculty accomp...The E&H School of Health Sciences Dean and Department of PA Students Staff and Faculty accompanying the MPAS Program Class of 2019 students for a group shot in front of our main building on the Marion campus.

Program Highlights

Student-Centric and Mission-Focused…

Our Program is all about the student and the patient!

Here are some of the highlights that separate our program from other programs:

  • Begin clinical experiences very first week of the program
  • Student-centric program with small class size
  • Student leadership involvement in program
  • Emphasis on rural primary care for the underserved
  • Evidence-based teaching and evaluation methods with emphasis on case-based & experiential learning
  • Team-based learning (active learning!)
  • Evidence-based curriculum, modularized by organ system (course alignment so when studying for one course you are studying for other courses)
  • Robust, built-in remediation strategies
  • Clinical activities embedded throughout the didactic phase of the program
  • New state-of-the-art facilities including 10 room simulation suite with both standardized patient examination rooms and high-fidelity simulation mannequin hospital room and dedicated state-of-the-art cadaver lab

Additionally, and based on our review of other programs, we are among the very few or only programs to offer:

  • Two full semesters of training in psychiatry/behavioral medicine
  • Three semesters of physiology/pathophysiology coursework modularized by organ system coinciding with clinical medicine coursework
  • Three semesters of pharmacology/pharmacotherapy coursework modularized by organ system coinciding with clinical medicine coursework
  • Three semesters of training in mindfulness meditation and mindfulness practices in healthcare
  • Along with other core rotations, all students also complete required cardiology/pulmonology rotation & hospice/palliative rotation

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.
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/813-why-does-the-program-require-a-background-check">Why does the Program require a background check and drug screen?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">There are three main reasons the Program requires successful completion of a background check and drug screen:<br/><br/>1) Students will be providing care for vulnerable populations (e.g., children);<br/><br/>2) Many medical facilities require background checks and drug screens in order for students to participate in supervised clinical practice experiences at those locations;<br/><br/>3) Students who cannot successfully pass a background check may have difficulty obtaining state licensure or organizational credentialing, preventing them from securing employment following graduation.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/809-what-type-of-health-care-related-experience-is">What type of health-care related experience is required?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Students are required to have completed a minimum of 300 hours of health-care related experience at the time of application and complete 500 hours by the time of matriculation. A wide variety of activities can meet this experience, ranging from volunteer patient care activities to paid positions, as long as the activity involves direct patient care. Shadowing activities do not meet this requirement. Examples of acceptable activities include nursing aid; home health care aid; mental health care worker; patient intake worker; phlebotomist; EMT; medical assistant; scribe, nurse. Health care for a family member or relative does not meet this requirement. Many candidates complete their required 500 hours of health-care related experience over the course of 2-3 years.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/818-what-will-the-average-day-be-like">What will the average day be like?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer"><p> You certainly don’t have to worry about being bored in the Program. Our days will be filled with classroom, lab, and experiential activities. We will also include regularly scheduled built-in study time, remediation time, and a daily hour of built-in lunch time. Many of your classroom activities will involve active learning - you won’t be sitting in your seat dozing off to a PPT lecture!</p><p> For the didactic phase of the program, students should expect to be present on campus from 8:00 am through 5:00pm, Monday through Friday. These days will be filled with classroom, anatomy lab, physical exam lab, simulation, Free Clinic activities, and built-in small-group or individual study time. Occasionally, students will also be required to participate in evening and weekend activities. Students will be notified several days in advance of such ‘after hours’ activities. During the didactic phase, students will have the occasional holiday and off-time between semesters (semester breaks), although these times will most often be shorter and occur at different times than undergraduate semester breaks.</p><p> For the clinical phase, students should expect to be participating in their clinical rotations for a minimum of 40-50 hours per week. Clinical rotation schedules will differ from one rotation to another and often require nighttime and weekend activities. Additionally, students will have call-back days to the Marion campus between clinical rotations for further didactic activities and training.</p></div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/819-is-attendance-mandatory-for-classroom-and-lab">Is attendance mandatory for classroom and lab activities?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Attendance is mandatory for all didactic and clinical phase activities, including regularly scheduled and any ‘after hours’ activities.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/807-is-their-a-certain-timeline-in-which-the-gre-must">Is their a certain timeline in which the GRE must be completed?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Yes. Applicants must complete their Graduate Record Examination (GRE) within 5 years of applying to the program. Additionally, only the most recent GRE attempt will be accepted. The Program will not average scores from multiple GRE attempts or review multiple GRE scores to choose the highest score.<br/><br/>Applicants must submit their official GRE scores for their CASPA applications to be considered complete.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/800-my-cumulative-undergraduate-courses-science">My cumulative undergraduate courses, science courses and/or prerequisite courses GPA are just under 3.0. Can I still be accepted into the Program?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer"><p> As a policy, the Emory & Henry College Master of Physician Assistant Studies program does not round-up any grades, including our own course examination scores and course GPAs. This also applies to prospective applicant cumulative science and prerequisite GPAs.</p><p> However, if your cumulative undergraduate total GPA is below 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, and specifically only for the cumulative total undergraduate GPA, we are mindful that some students do poorly in their freshman year but then excel in their remaining undergraduate years. Here in the PA Program, we view this as a sign of academic and emotional maturity. If you are such a student, and only once your CASPA application has been completed and verified, you may email Dr. Richards (<span class="obfuscated_link_text">srichards@ehc.edu</span>) and request that the Program evaluate your transcripts. If approved, the Program may then count only your Sophomore, Junior and Senior course grades at a 4-year college or university in the cumulative GPA calculation. It is important to understand that this is done on a case-by-case basis and the program decision regarding permitting the recalculation and the results of the recalculation are final and not open to consideration for appeal.</p></div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/814-how-many-students-will-be-accepted-each-year">How many students will be accepted each year?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Our classes are limited to a maximum of 40 students per cohort.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/805-can-i-apply-to-the-program-even-though-i-not-yet">Can I apply to the Program even though I not yet completed my Bachelor’s degree?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer"><p> Yes. Applicants can still be completing other courses leading to their bachelor’s degree but must have all courses completed prior to matriculation. Additionally, applicants can have up to three of the prerequisite courses pending completion by time of application.</p><p> Applicants must document that they are enrolled to complete any outstanding courses in their application. Additionally, all courses, including those pending and completed after the application process, must meet all applicable grade and GPA requirements for the Program.</p></div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/804-to-apply-what-type-of-academic-degree-is-required">To apply, what type of academic degree is required?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">All candidates are required to have completed their bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation. Although the Program requires a good-deal of prerequisite natural science courses, the degree can be in any field, as long as all prerequisite coursework has been met.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/798-when-does-the-program-begin-interviewing-students">When does the Program begin interviewing students?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Our CASPA application cycle opens each July and ends each March. On-campus interviews start each September and generally continue on a monthly to every-other-month basis until mid-late March.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/802-can-i-apply-to-the-program-even-though-i-still">Can I apply to the Program even though I still have to complete one or more prerequisites?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer"><p> Yes. Up to three of the prerequisite courses can be pending completion by time of application. Additionally, beyond the prerequisite courses, applicants can still be completing other courses leading to their bachelors degree but must have all courses completed prior to matriculation.</p><p> Applicants must document that they are enrolled to complete any outstanding courses in their application. Additionally, all courses, including those pending and completed after the application process, must meet all applicable grade and GPA requirements for the Program.</p></div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/797-when-will-caspa-be-opened-for-accepting">When will CASPA be opened for accepting applications to the Program?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Our CASPA application process opens every July 1st and ends March 1st.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/823-does-provisional-accreditation-allow-students-to">Does provisional accreditation allow students to sit for their national board examinations?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Yes! Our accreditation organization, the ARC-PA, has two general types of accreditation, Provisional and Continuing - both are full accreditations and both allow graduates to sit for their national boards and pursue state licensure. All new PA programs who meet requirements are provisionally accredited for their first three years, and prior to progressing to Accreditation-Continuing. Thus our students, from the beginning, will be attending an accredited program providing their eligibility to pursue national credentialing.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/793-where-is-the-eamph-mpas-program-located">Where is the E&H MPAS Program located?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer">Our Program is located in the College’s impressive and brand new School of Health Sciences campus at 565 Radio Hill Road, Marion, VA.</div></aside>
  • <aside class="faq-widget"><div class="faq-widget-question"><a href="/live/blurbs/820-does-the-college-offer-any-scholarships-to-defray">Does the College offer any scholarships to defray tuition costs?</a></div><div class="faq-widget-answer"><div class="faq_desc"><p> As with many other graduate health science programs, Emory & Henry College is presently unable to offer scholarships for our Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program. </p><p> However, we encourage all students to explore the National Health Service Corps <a href="http://www.nhsc.hrsa.gov/scholarships/index.html">scholarship</a> and <a href="http://www.nhsc.hrsa.gov/loanrepayment/index.html">loan repayment</a> programs for physician assistant students. </p></div></div></aside>