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Physician Assistant Studies to offer two-year master's degree

Posted on Wednesday, February 08, 2012 · Volume: XLV · Issue: 3


Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, an associate professor, is director of the Physician Assistant Studies program. Students will now be able to earn their degree in two years instead of three.
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Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, an associate professor, is director of the Physician Assistant Studies program. Students will now be able to earn their degree in two years instead of three. clear graphic

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Contact: Rosanne Fohn, 210-567-3079

SAN ANTONIO (Feb. 8, 2012) — The Physician Assistant Studies program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio will soon offer students the opportunity to complete the program in two years instead of three, bringing physician assistants more quickly into the workforce.

Officials in the School of Health Professions learned in January that the revised master’s degree program — ranked in 2011 as 18th in the nation by U.S. News & World Report — had been approved. The new course of study will begin in July 2012.

Expanded class size
In addition, the physician assistant (PA) program will begin accepting 40 students instead of 30.

“Our program has always been very well regarded because of its focus on the community and the underserved,” said Glenn Forister, M.S., M.P.A.S., PA-C, associate professor and program director of physician assistant studies.

“We found that we could shorten the program from 33 to 25.5 months by combining courses into longer semesters and still offer top-notch educational and clinical experiences. The shorter program also is more in line with the PA programs offered by our UT System sister institutions,” he said.

Part of clinical health care team
PAs work under the supervision of a physician or doctor of osteopathy as part of the health care team to prevent, diagnose and treat many diseases and medical conditions. Many PAs work in general medicine, while others practice in specialties such as pediatrics, emergency medicine and surgery.

The federal government has designated most counties in South Texas as health professional shortage areas. “Our revised PA program gives us the potential to graduate 10 more students each year beginning in 2014 to help meet this need,” Forister said.

Application information
The application deadline for the PA program is Aug. 31. To be considered, students must meet the admission criteria, which include completing all prerequisites and a bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 grade point average.

For more information, please visit http://shpwelcome.uthscsa.edu or contact the School of Health Professions Welcome Center by e-mail, shpwelcome@uthscsa.edu or by phone at either 210-567-8744 or (toll free) 866-802-6288.

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The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 3 percent of all institutions worldwide receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled $231 million in fiscal year 2011. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced approximately 26,000 graduates. The $744 million operating budget supports eight campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visit www.uthscsa.edu.

 
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