Sullivan University Launches First Physician Assistant Program Class June 30

Sullivan Campus

Sullivan University Campus

Sullivan University, continuing its tradition as an innovative leader in health care education, is launching its Physician Assistant Program on with Orientation for the new students on June 26th and 27th and classes beginning on June 28th. Sullivan is the first university in Louisville, and only the third university in Kentucky, to offer a Physician Assistant degree program. Graduates of the program receive a Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA).

Physician Assistants practice medicine as part of a team with the supervision of physicians and surgeons. They are formally educated as generalists who examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment. Students prepare for a professional role as clinicians with an emphasis on care in the primary care setting, preventive health care, as well as, acute and chronic disease management.

“By starting a Physician Assistant (PA) Program in Louisville, Sullivan University has laid the foundation to advance a growing and vital profession,” said Gretchen Paruch, Chair and Founding Program Director and PA Educator for over 30 years. “The PA Program will result in not only educating medical professionals, but also in increasing access to health care for the underserved in Louisville, in the Commonwealth of Kentucky and in communities throughout the region. This is an exciting time for all of us. Sullivan University is assisting in bringing Kentucky’s healthcare into the 21st century.”

Sullivan’s MSPA degree program will be 24 months in length. The curriculum consists of a 12-month didactic phase and a 12-month clinical phase.

  • The didactic curriculum builds a foundation for clinical practice and focuses on biomedical, clinical and behavioral sciences as well as courses in physical diagnosis and critical thinking. In addition to classroom instruction, students participate in clinical experiences and will be performing histories and physicals on consenting patients.
  • The clinical year consists of seven required clinical rotations and one elective clinical rotation. Rotations include areas of medicine which cover the life span: Pediatrics and Women’s Health, Family Practice, Surgery, Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Emergency Medicine. Each rotation is six weeks in length.
  • Prior to graduation, students complete a Capstone Project. The scholarly “Capstone Project” is a formal Grand Rounds type presentation to the university community.
  • After completion of the program, graduates must pass a national certification examination in order to practice as a physician assistant.

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 physician assistants.

The Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program recently received the following accreditation status from the Accreditation Review Commission for the Education of Physician Assistants:

The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Sullivan University Physician Assistant Program. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

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Ben Keeton

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Ben is the publisher of Medical News and focuses on the business of healthcare in Kentucky.
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