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Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession

Designed for individuals considering a career as a physician assistant (PA), this course takes the student through the history of the PA profession, its development and the role of the PA as a member of the healthcare team.

Male PA in medical office

Successful completion of this course by students will exempt them from the 500-hour requirement for previous patient care experience required for application to the FSU PA Program.

Course Learning Outcomes:

  1. Identify commonly used acronyms, abbreviations, and terminology in healthcare.
  2. Describe key milestones in the development of the PA profession.
  3. Describe the roles of the PA as a member of the healthcare team.
  4. Describe the role of the supervising physician and the concept of delegated practice.
  5. Discuss common admission criteria for PA programs.
  6. Discuss common curriculum in PA education.
  7. Discuss the continuing medical education (CME) requirements for PAs.
  8. Explain the role that PAs play in providing care to the medically underserved.
  9. Discuss laws and regulations governing PA practice, credentialing, licensure, and malpractice.
  10. Discuss the certification and recertification process for state licensure and NCCPA certification.
  11. Explore the areas of specialization in which PAs practice.
  12. Describe career and employment opportunities for the PA.
  13. Define and discuss professionalism.
  14. Analyze the significance of current issues in the healthcare and political arenas that impact the PA profession.
  15. Discuss the use of evidence-based medicine and information literacy in professional practice.

Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession

Dates: January 8, 2024 - May 4, 2024
Schedule: Wednesdays, 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Instructor: Kimberly Berggren
Required Materials: Students need to purchase the required textbook - Ballweg, R; et al, Physician Assistant: A Guide to Clinical Practice, 7th edition 

Pensacola Main Campus
Tuition: $480 (noncredit)
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Interested in the UWF Physician Assistant Pipeline Program?

Students living in the Florida Panhandle with a proven history of academic success are extended the opportunity to apply for admission to the PA Pipeline Program (PAPP). This mission-based program seeks to recruit and train qualified residents with a passion for serving elderly, rural, minority and underserved populations in Florida. Accepted students will be admitted to the FSU School of Physician Assistant Practice. Visit the PAPP webpage for more information on the UWF Physician Assistant Pipeline Program admission requirements.

Physician Assistants - Employment & Education

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 28 percent from 2021 to 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. Demand for healthcare services will increase because of the growing and aging population. Growth of the population means more need for healthcare services generally, and members of the large baby boom generation will require more medical care as they age.

Job Stats
  • Job Outlook: 28% (Much faster than average) 
  • Number of Jobs, 2021: 139,100
  • Median Pay: $112,530 per year

Source: June 2023