About Our Program

About the E&H SHS Physician Assistant Program

Local and regional communities requested Emory & Henry College to develop health science programs; the goal was to assist in meeting the healthcare needs for underserved residents in Southwest Virginia and throughout Appalachia. The ARC-PA accredited Master of Physician Assistant Studies program prepares students for entry-level practice in any medical specialty. Beyond the core science and clinical medicine curriculum, the program also incorporates specific training in team-based patient-centered care, mindfulness, behavioral medicine and psychiatry, hospice and palliative care, medical research, and advanced procedural skills.

Our students begin their experiential training in their very first week of classes, accompanying faculty in the Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College (located right on our campus), gaining immediate and first-hand experience in evaluating patients. Students continue this experiential part of their training regularly throughout their entire first year of studies.

Such experiential training, beginning so early in the program's curriculum, is rather unusual for standard PA education, but integral to the student experience here at Emory & Henry College. Additionally, our students learn in an interprofessional, team-based care environment, training alongside Athletic Training, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy Students within the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences and participating in training with medical students and medical residents.

In concert with the high standards and student-centric mission of Emory & Henry College, the Program has a small class size with a low student:faculty ratio. 

The curriculum for the PA program is modularized by organ system, enabling students to learn the physiology/pathophysiology, genetics and epidemiology, clinical medicine, patient evaluation, and pharmacotherapy in a layered approach within the same block of time.

Graduates are eligible to sit for the NCCPA's Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). 

Further, the Program utilizes flipped-classroom and team-based learning modalities and regular simulation activities in our state-of-the-art simulation suite, to keep students and faculty energized and focused, enhance critical thinking opportunities and skills, and help to apply knowledge learned to clinical medicine cases.

The Program also incorporates a robust remediation process to ensure students gain competency in the material in each module before progressing to the next organ system module. With the use of such teaching pedagogy and built-in remediation opportunities, we foresee a stellar experience for both faculty and students and beneficial outcomes for patients.

Check our our Highlights page to learn more about why our Program is uniquely designed to be truly student-centric and patient centered.

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