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.
It is our equally important mission to bring back the heart in medical practice, to infuse compassion, mindfulness, and cultural humility, and 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.
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.
Our vision is to become a national leader in PA education which graduates medical providers who are… culturally sensitive, curious, empathetic, genuine, insightful, mindful, critical thinkers and provide patients with timely access to appropriate, high-quality, holistic, patient-centered care.
To continue Emory & Henry College’s legacy of excellence and service with an emphasis on changing lives, our Mission is:
- To provide graduate-level education in an interdisciplinary environment that prepares our students for careers as PAs
- To improve access to high-quality, compassionate, culturally sensitive, patient-centered, evidence-based medical care in rural and underserved areas
- To foster professionalism among our students and graduates
- To foster critical thinking and life-long learning promoting improved patient experiences and outcomes
- To foster continuous mindfulness practices in healthcare
- Provide resources to support students in adapting to and managing the rigors inherent to PA education
- Provide a curriculum and experience promoting mastery of the skills and behaviors as an entry level Physician Assistant
- Foster a collaborative approach to working effectively in interdisciplinary patient-centered healthcare teams.
- Foster mindfulness-based practices
- Promote and support student and faculty civic engagement opportunities
- Encourage and support student and faculty professional activities promoting the PA profession
Program Learning Outcomes
Program learning outcomes represent the knowledge, interpersonal, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, and clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities that we believe are necessary for clinical practice. In developing our learning outcomes, we incorporated information from a variety of sources including the nationally recognized Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession, our faculty’s knowledge, and input from clinical preceptors and advisory board members.
Although our Learning Outcomes carry the same headings as the national Competencies for practicing PAs, these have been honed and adapted so as to represent skills acquired during the educational process, geared towards entry-level practice, and made specific to our program.
1. Medical Knowledge
Physician Assistant students must demonstrate core knowledge of established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in a variety of practice areas. In addition, Physician Assistant students are expected to demonstrate a critical thinking approach to clinical situations. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the medical, behavioral, and social science knowledge necessary to effectively evaluate, treat, and manage patients across the lifespan
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively recognize, assess, diagnose, and treat patients with a variety of problems seen in the emergent, acute and chronic presentations and clinical practice settings
2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
Physician Assistant students must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and the healthcare system. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate knowledge and application of effective and mindful interpersonal skills promoting effective and beneficial patient interactions and outcomes in addition to the effective and beneficial interactions with patient families and other members of the healthcare team.
- Communicate in a compassionate, mindful, patient-centered and culturally responsive manner to accurately obtain, interpret and utilize information and implement a patient-centered management plan.
3. Patient Care
Physician Assistant students must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable; includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to make informed, evidence-based, culturally sensitive decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
- Demonstrate the ability to promote and provide preventative care to patients across the lifespan
- Demonstrate the ability to effectively and mindfully work within an interdisciplinary and patient-centered healthcare team
Physician Assistant students must express positive values and ideals as care is delivered. Foremost, professionalism involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own while acknowledging professional and personal limitations. Physician Assistant students must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate professionalism in interactions with others including, but not limited to, patients, families, and other members of the healthcare team
- Demonstrate knowledge and application of an understanding of the PA role including ethical and professional standards regarding the PA profession
- Demonstrate knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements specific to the PA profession
- Demonstrate the ability to recognize their own professional and personal limitations in providing care and appropriate patient referral when necessary
5. Practice-Based Learning and Improvement
Physician Assistant students must be able to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, the student will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate research literature and apply that knowledge to educational and/or practice-based improvement projects promoting improved patient experiences and outcomes.
6. Systems-Based Practice
Physician assistant students must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the societal, organizational, and economic environments encompassing health care. Upon completion of the program, and acting in the capacity as an entry level PA, students will be able to:
- Demonstrate an understanding of various medical practice and healthcare delivery systems
- Demonstrate an understanding of health-care payment systems
- Demonstrate the ability to provide effective, evidence-based, and patient-centered care that balances quality and cost-effectiveness.
- Demonstrate knowledge and application of public health and preventative care practices
- Demonstrate knowledge of national and global health care disparities and practices to reduce these disparities
As part of our continuous self-study process our mission statement, goals, and learning outcomes will be routinely re-evaluated with input from our Advisory Board, Faculty, Students, Patients, Alumni, and Employers.