The USF PA Program prepares its graduates to deliver high-quality, evidence-based, patient-centered health care. We accomplish this through a robust, systems-based curriculum, delivered over 24 continuous months. The program is characterized by innovative educational strategies, interprofessional education, and research activity.
The program begins with a rigorous 12-month phase in which the student will receive instruction in basic and medical sciences. The curriculum also includes collaborative academic experiences with multiple disciplines at USF Health. Educational methodologies include traditional lecture, clinical simulation, team-based problem solving, and hands-on laboratory learning experiences.
We are a full time program with classes typically held Monday through Friday from 8:00am – 5:00pm. Attendance is mandatory.
During the clinical phase, students will engage in approximately 2300 hours of supervised clinical practice experiences. Students will participate in the following five-week, core clinical clerkships in Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Women’s Health, Behavioral and Mental Health. Students will also be able to select two 5-week elective clerkships. During the clinical year, students will follow the schedule of their clerkship preceptor. This schedule may require a 40-60 hour work week that may include evenings and weekends.
The program culminates in a required capstone research project. The goal of the capstone research project is to develop competency in the critical appraisal of research and the application of the best evidence to patient care, health policy, and advocacy; ultimately resulting in improved patient outcomes.
Upon successful completion of the two-year curriculum, the student is awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. The graduate is then eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).