Physician Assistant Studies (MHS)
|Physician Assistant Studies Administrative Staff||(251) 445-9334|
|Chair Interim||Erin McAdams, PA-C, MHS|
|Medical Director||Shannon Tyler, M.D.|
|Assistant Professor||Kestler, McAdams, Pelekanos, Risling-de Jong|
Physician assistant program master of health science degree
What is a physician assistant?
Physician Assistants (PAs) are highly skilled nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine on healthcare teams with physicians and other members of the health professions. The quality and value of the services they provide is well recognized in virtually all medical and surgical specialties and subspecialties to include: physicians practices (private and group, institutional settings, correctional institutions, rural and urban community health centers, the uniformed services and other federal government agencies, nursing homes, schools and other university-based facilities and retail clinics.
Physician Assistants take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order and analyze diagnostic data(i.e. laboratory and imaging studies), and perform major and minor therapeutic procedures. The Physician Assistant develops and implements a patient-centered treatment plan, to include appropriate decisions regarding referral and interprofessional collaborative with other members of the healthcare team. Physician Assistants prescribe medications in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and all U.S. territories, with the exception of Puerto Rico; to include scheduled pharmaceuticals per State law.
Culturally appropriate patient education and counseling are important aspects of a physician assistant's daily activities. Physician Assistants advise patients concerning health promotion and disease prevention, with special emphasis on social determinants of health, health screenings, health disparities and health risk behaviors.
To perform at this level of responsibility, the education of Physician Assistants is provided by physicians and highly skilled physician assistants to assure patient-care functions provided by the Physician Assistant are equivalent in quality to those of the physician who delegates them.
Mission, vision, and goals
The mission of the University of South Alabama Physician Assistant Program is to educate compassionate and competent individuals from diverse backgrounds to become highly qualified physician assistants in accordance with the highest professional standards to provide a broad spectrum of preventative and curative health care to patients in various communities and clinical settings with physician supervision including underserved populations in Alabama both rural and urban. The emphasis of the program is one of primary care, including a broad foundation in the medical and surgical specialties.
The Physician Assistant Studies program curriculum is closely related to the goals of the University of South Alabama as well as to the degree. The program fosters an environment that promotes the acquisition and application of culturally sensitive, patient-oriented clinical knowledge and skills to produce a diverse workforce of primary care physician assistants who practice medicine with competence, professionalism, and compassion, driven by academic excellence and a spirit of service to the community.
The goals of the program are to:
- Emphasize primary care and a desire among physician assistants toward service in rural and medically underserved communities; especially in Alabama
- Promote excellence in health care by preparing competent physician assistants to practice evidence-based medicine in all clinical settings; especially in Alabama
- Ensure opportunities for placement of qualified military veterans through participation as a PAEA Member Program offering assistance for veteran entry into physician assistant programs;
- To recruit, select, and educate a highly qualified diverse student body, (to include underrepresented minorities, environmentally or economically disadvantaged, rural, racially, ethnically, culturally, etc), and provide fair and equitable admission criteria;
- Prepare physician assistant students to provide patient-centered health care services as part of an inter-professional, collaborative team in a variety of clinical settings;
- Charge physician assistant students to become graduates who reflect high standards of legal, ethical, and moral conduct;
- Foster the growth and development of PA education by preparing physician assistant graduates who possess depth of knowledge, clinical skills and abilities for excellence in practice;
- Promote in our physician assistant students the importance of lifelong learning skills and ongoing professional development to meet and/or exceed contemporary standards within their area(s) of clinical practice.
Degrees, Minors, or Certificates
|Physician Assistant Studies (MHS) Faculty|
|Kestler, Brianne E.||Physician Assistant||Assistant Professor||BS, University of Portland
MMSC, Wake Forest University
|McAdams, Erin N.||Physician Assistant||Assistant Professor||BS, University of South Alabama
MHS, University of South Alabama
|Risling-De Jong, Robin D.||Physician Assistant||Assistant Professor||BA, California State U-Fullerton
MHS, University of South Alabama