Entire Sullivan University 2016 PA graduating class passes key exam

Every member of Sullivan University’s 2016 Physician Assistant (PA) Program inaugural class have passed the national certification exam.

The graduates have all passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), which assesses basic medical and surgical knowledge.

“This good news of our class of 2016 points toward bright futures ahead for graduates of the Sullivan University PA Program,” said Steven G. Gaskins, MPAS, PA-C, the program director and director of clinical education for Sullivan’s University physician assistant program. “Many of our second year students currently in the clinical phase of their education are receiving offers of employment upon their graduation.”

Physician assistants practice medicine on a team in collaboration with physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Students prepare for a professional role as clinicians with an emphasis in primary care and underserved areas, focusing on preventive healthcare services as well as acute and chronic disease management in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

Sullivan’s PA program – the only program in Louisville and one of just three PA programs in Kentucky – was launched less than three years ago and is already achieving the success that university administrators led by Chief Operating Officer Tom Davisson originally envisioned.

“The faculty and staff of Sullivan University PA Program are providing our students the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed,” Gaskins said. “We are grateful for the support and encouragement Sullivan University Administration has provided from our inception. Particularly vital is the strong relationship between new leadership in the program and mentors in the administration.”

Gaskins also thanked the healthcare community for its support of the program.

“We are grateful to healthcare professionals of the region, across the state and beyond who have contributed their considerable expertise, knowledge and experience to educating our students,” he said. “From lectures in the classroom to providing clinical experience opportunities in their practices they are an essential ingredient to our student’s success.”

According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from the growing and aging population and widespread chronic disease, combined with a shortage of physicians, will result in increased demand for healthcare providers, such as physician assistants.