NSU HPD Catalog 2021-2022

Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences—Department of Physician Assistant 437 Physician Assistant Program—Fort Myers Physician assistants (PAs) serve as essential components of a medical system that continues to struggle to provide quality, affordable health care for all Americans. Their roles in the systemwill continue to grow as changes in health care indicate. Today, there are more than 100,000 nationally certified physician assistants in the United States. PAs provide care that would otherwise be provided by physicians. PAs take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order and interpret tests, diagnose and treat illnesses, perform medical/surgical procedures, assist in surgery, and can write prescriptions in all states. PAs work in most medical specialties and in all types of communities. Many practice family and internal medicine, and more than one-third are in towns with fewer than 50,000 residents. According to the Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) U.S. Department of Labor, as published in the 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook, employment of PAs is expected to grow 37 percent from 2016 to 2026. It is the obligation of each physician/PA team to ensure that the PA’s scope of practice is identified; that delegation of medical tasks is appropriate to the PA’s level of competence; that the relationship with, and access to, the supervisory physician is defined; and that a process of performance evaluation is established. Adequate responsible supervision of the PA contributes to both high-quality patient care and professional growth. The Physician Assistant Program—Fort Myers offers an innovative program that lasts 27 months. Upon successful completion of study, students will earn a master of medical science (M.M.S.) in physician assistant degree. The curriculum includes rigorous instruction in the basic sciences, clinical medicine, physical diagnosis, clinical laboratory medicine, clinical pathophysiology, clinical procedures and surgical skills, electrocardiography, radiology, clinical behavioral medicine, legal and ethical issues in health care, cultural issues in health care, interpretation and evaluation of medical literature, complementary medicine and nutrition, and clinical pharmacology. During the clinical year of study, the student participates in clinical rotations throughout the state of Florida, primarily within 80–100 miles from NSU’s Fort Myers Campus. These rotations include familymedicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, gynecology and prenatal care, emergency medicine, and surgery, all complemented by two elective rotations and a selective rotation in one of the following areas: behavioral health, otorhinolaryngology, orthopedics, rural or underserved primary care medicine, or an internal medicine subspecialty. Each student should expect to complete one or more rotations in a rural or underserved area. This will likely entail traveling beyond the 80–100 mile radius of Fort Myers. For core rotations assigned by the program outside of the 100-mile radius, housing will be provided for the student. With a sound foundation in medical training, NSU graduates are prepared to work in many clinical areas, both in primary care and specialty medicine. Accreditation The NSU Physician Assistant Program—Fort Myers is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants, Inc., (ARC-PA). The NSU PA Program— Fort Myers was initially awarded provisional accreditation in 2005. The ARC-PA has granted Continued Accreditation to the Physician Assistant Program—Fort Myers, sponsored by Nova Southeastern University. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. Continued Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program, formerly the comprehensive review, by the ARC-PA will be March 2028. The program is a member of the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). Mission Statement In keeping with the principles of both Nova Southeastern University (NSU) and the Dr. Pallavi Patel College of Health Care Sciences (PCHCS) mission statements, the NSU Physician Assistant (PA) Program—Fort Myers endeavors to • provide an educational experience that emphasizes primary medical care • provide health care experiences in medically underserved communities • prepare students for lifelong learning • prepare students for leadership roles • produce PAs who uphold the tenets of professionalism • enable graduates to demonstrate competency and skill in a variety of clinical and cultural settings Admissions Requirements Prospective students are selected by the committee on admissions (COA), which considers the overall qualities of the applicant. Areas of consideration include interpersonal skills, personal motivation, knowledge and understanding of the PA profession, academic performance and level of