Nora Lowy, PhD, MPA, PA-C
Director of PA Program
The mission of the three-year BS/MS PA Program is to prepare professional academic clinicians committed to quality healthcare for all individuals.
The Wagner College PA Program is accredited by the New York State Department of Education and the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Wagner College PA Program sponsored by Wagner College. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 by the ARC-PA will be 2019. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
The Wagner College PA Program is committed to preparing future professionals possessing sound academic knowledge and proficiency in clinical skills, requisite for providing and promoting quality healthcare to all individuals. The program is dedicated to the advancement of PA education, promotes service to the community, and emphasizes the acquisition of the knowledge and skills required of the PA functioning in a dynamic healthcare environment.
The three-year BS/MS Program in PA Studies is a comprehensive program of didactic (academic), clinical and research (graduate) work that reflects upon the academic, clinical, and professional skills required of the PA. Students completing the prescribed three-year program in PA studies receive their BS and MS degrees and are eligible to take the national certifying examination leading to the title of Certified Physician Assistant (PA-C).
The Didactic Phase (Year I) includes classroom and laboratory instruction in courses such as the Medical Sciences (such as Clinical Anatomy, Medical Physiology, Medical Microbiology, Pathophysiology and Human Genetics); Clinical Preparatory Sciences (such as Patient Assessment, Primary Care, Pharmacotherapeutics, & General Medicine); and PA Professional Practice. Clinical exposure begins in the didactic phase of the program by providing for experiences with interview skills and performance of physical examinations in a variety of clinical settings. That clinical exposure extends into the Clinical Phase (Year II) with the introduction of supervised clinical experiences and further developed in the Graduate Phase (Year III) with elective clerkships.
The structured Clinical Phase takes place at affiliated clinical institutions - hospitals, outpatient clinics, private offices and other in-state and out-of-state sites. The Clinical Phase provides students with full-time, direct patient care in outpatient, inpatient, long-term care and emergency settings. The clinical experiences are intensive, supervised, hands-on learning experiences in various medical and surgical areas. These supervised clinical rotations are in various disciplines (such as emergency medicine, internal medicine; pediatrics; surgery; long term care, primary care, psychiatry/behavioral medicine, and women’s health. All clinical experiences emphasize the provision of diagnostic, therapeutic and health maintenance services.
Graduate level courses are introduced in the second year of the program and extend into the third year or Graduate Phase to fulfill the requirements for the Master of Science degree. These courses provide the PA with the knowledge and skills required for professional and career development. In keeping with the philosophy of PA education, the graduate phase consists of didactic coursework complemented with clinical experiences including the elective clerkships.
Clerkship experiences are available in elective clinical areas of unique interest to each student. Examples include community medicine, family medicine, forensic medicine, medical subspecialties (cardiology, dermatology, electrophysiology, gastroenterology, hematology-oncology, infectious disease, neurology and pain management); surgical subspecialties (burn unit, cardiothoracic surgery, ENT surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, plastic surgery, urology, surgical intensive care, trauma and urology); and women's health.
The requirements for the Master of Science include the development of a research thesis project. The proposal for the thesis must be approved by the department and either the hospital IRB (Institutional Review Board) or college HERB (Human Experimental Review Board) prior to its implementation. The final thesis, approved by the Research Committee, is presented at Poster Presentations and defended at the Annual Research Forum.
Upon completion of the PA Program, students are awarded a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Advanced PA Studies from Wagner College, a PA Certificate of Completion from the Wagner College PA Program and a certificate acknowledging the Research Thesis Project. National certification for clinical practice is granted by passing the PANCE (Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam). Registration and licensure are under the supervision of each state.
Goals of the PA Program
The goals of the Wagner College PA Program are to prepare the PA to become a health care provider of quality care:
I. Integrate the three tenets of academic knowledge, clinical skills and professionalism into a comprehensive curriculum.
II. Facilitate through a sequential, ‘building block' curriculum the acquisition of medical knowledge .
III. Provide learning experiences that promote the development of critical thinking and medical decision making skills.
IV. Enhance clinical competencies by providing experiences in a spectrum of settings with patients across the lifespan requiring varying aspects of patient care.
V. Guide the development of professionally relevant research projects leading to the dissemination of findings at public forums and at a thesis defense.
The program defines its success by demonstrating the achievement of the above goals.
For policies and procedures, click here for an excerpt from the Wagner College PA Program 2016-2017 Student Handbook.