Austin College is pleased to announce the addition of a new Master-level program to begin in June 2024. The Physician Assistant (PA) Program is currently in development and, pending all necessary approvals, will confer upon graduates the degree of Master of Medical Science. The program must receive a designation of “Accreditation–Provisional” from the ARC-PA (Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant) and approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.
The College is renovating 13,000 square feet of space adjacent to Texoma Medical Center in Denison, Texas, to serve as its new Health Campus and house the planned PA program. The program is being developed under the leadership of experienced PA educator Dr. Diana Noller in collaboration with the program’s faculty, staff, and the College’s administration.
“This Austin College program will be one of only 12 programs of its kind in all of Texas and will address the critical national and regional shortage in healthcare providers,” said Austin College President Steven P. O’Day, J.D. “The addition to our courses of study reflects a forward vision for the College’s longstanding commitment to preparing health practitioners of excellence.”
According to the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), PAs are “medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medicines, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider.”
“PAs serve as an integral part of team-based healthcare and can improve access to care in underserved communities,” Noller affirmed. “Our program aims to educate PAs who understand the impact of illness and disease on the lives of others and are capable of providing high-quality, patient-centered healthcare that reflects the principles of medical humanities.”
The Austin College PA Program’s master-level curriculum is designed as an integrated set of courses delivered over 24 months, beginning with 13 months of intensive classroom training followed by an 11-month clinical phase. Courses are sequenced in a manner to build upon previous knowledge, skills, and experiences to fully develop an understanding of medical science. This will allow students to integrate, synthesize, and apply knowledge and skills as they progress through the program.
PA students at Austin College will experience personal attention, a rigorous curriculum, and excellent, hands-on supervised clinical experiences that will prepare them to enhance the lives of patients and contribute meaningfully to delivering quality health care. Opportunities for community service will foster servant leadership and a commitment to improving the lives of others.
By partnering with regional hospitals and health care providers for the clinical training phase of the curriculum, administrators of the new program hope to encourage graduates to reside in the area after their training to help address the healthcare needs of local communities.
For more information about enrollment and curriculum for the Austin College PA Program, contact program staff at PAprogram@austincollege.edu.