Physician Assistant – Biomedical Sciences Major in Conjunction with PCOM
Physician assistants (PAs) are licensed health professionals who practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. PAs are educated with a focus on primary care medicine. They deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural, urban, and suburban communities throughout the country. With a physician assistant education, the graduate may choose to work in primary care, emergency medicine, surgery, and all other specialty practices. The PA profession has numerous employment opportunities and was recently rated as the best job and the fastest growing healthcare career in the U.S.
The undergraduate pre-professional physician assistant program partners with the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and Salus University graduate physician assistant programs in collaboration to foster excellence in education.
Undergraduate students enrolled in the accelerated entry-level program will complete the prerequisite courses in natural and social sciences and general education courses, as well as physician assistant–speciﬁc coursework at University of the Sciences (years 1–3). Those students who are admitted at the entry-level identify the PA program as their program of study. Students applying to the program should have a minimum 3.00 GPA; SAT scores: 550 Math, 550 Verbal, 500 Writing, or ACT score of 27; knowledge of the PA profession; work or volunteer hours in the healthcare ﬁeld; somatic and exteroceptive sensation; functional use of vision, hearing, and smell; gross and ﬁne motor skills and stamina; critical-thinking ability; and communication and interpersonal skills. Students must also comply with technical standards.
Acceptance into the pre-professional phase at USciences does not guarantee admission into a graduate professional program. In order to achieve progression into the graduate professional program at PCOM, students must maintain a minimum required cumulative and science GPA (3.2 after year 1), have sufﬁcient patient contact and shadowing hours, and complete the application for admission via CASPA during the summer prior to their planned matriculation to a graduate program. A successful interview with graduate faculty is also required. Requirements for progression are described in the Physician Assistant Student Handbook. After successful completion of the fourth program year, students will be awarded a bachelor of biomedical science from USciences. This degree does not qualify the graduate as a physician assistant. If accepted to a graduate PA program students will complete that program to earn a master of science from either PCOM, Salus or another graduate PA program. Graduates will then sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Successful completion of the exam allows the graduate to be employed by a supervising physician and apply for licensure as a PA.
Graduate Professional Program Curriculum – PCOM (years 4–5)
Further information regarding the specific graduate professional phase didactic and clinical curriculum can be found by consulting the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine’s website at: www.pcom.edu. This website offers information regarding curriculum, technical standards. and faculty. Students can also call 215.871.6772 or visit the PA Program offices at PCOM.
The professional phase of the program will provide intense, comprehensive medical education to students, preparing them for a lifetime career as a physician assistant. During their education, students will ﬁnd a wealth of physician assistants, osteopathic physicians, and other healthcare professionals to act as mentors for their didactic and clinical training, offering ongoing support and evaluation of them as future healthcare providers.