Physician Assistant Studies
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at Christian Brothers University trains physician assistants (PAs) to better serve patients in the community, region, state, and nation. We’ve partnered with nationally-renowned medical facilities to offer exceptional clinical experiences during both phases of the program, with an orthopedic thread.
Our emphasis is on evidence-based primary care and preventive medicine, the provision of health care to the medically underserved, and the use of information technology in medicine. The program promotes interdisciplinary team care, patient advocacy, and the delivery of primary health care for all patients.
Your training will provide you with the knowledge and experience to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment as a general practitioner. After graduation, you must pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and apply for state medical licensure to work with a supervising physician or surgeon.Request More Information
Contact the CBU PA Program
Phone: (901) 321-3388
Mailing Address: Physician Assistant Studies, Christian Brothers University • 650 East Parkway South • Memphis, TN 38104
KAREN CHAFFIN, Program Administrative Coordinator: email@example.com • (901) 321-3388
DR. GARY TOOLEY, Director: firstname.lastname@example.org • (901) 321-4122
Why Become a Physician Assistant?
Physician assistants enjoy a great work-life balance and a high level of job satisfaction. PAs perform services the supervising physician might provide, and can work with a relatively high degree of autonomy. Also, PAs are the only medical care provider who can change their area of practice from one medical specialty to another without additional formal training or certification.
Career & Salary Outlook
The PA profession is seeing tremendous growth. U.S. News & World Report ranked physician assistant (PA) as the 3rd best job overall and the 2nd best healthcare job in 2020. Salaries have been rising with demand – the median PA salary has gone from $104,131 in 2016 to $115,000 in 2018, according to the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) 2018 Statistical Profile of Certified Physician Assistants Annual Report.
PA Program Structure
The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program is based on active-learning, student engagement, and an integrative approach.
- Coursework: 15 months
- Clinical rotations: 14 months
Applications will be accepted beginning May 1, 2022, to October 1, 2022 through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) for the cohort starting January 2023.
In keeping with the university’s institutional goals, the program embraces educating minds, touching hearts, and remembering the presence of God.
Our mission is to educate and prepare diverse and exemplary individuals to become caring, competent, ethical, and professional physician assistants who can practice clinically in a wide variety of settings and positively affect their patients, the community, and the health care system through evidence-based and preventive medicine, leadership, life-long learning, utilization of information technology, the provision of health care to the medically underserved, interdisciplinary team care, patient advocacy, and the delivery of primary health care for all patients.
PA Program Goals
1. Recruit and matriculate qualified applicants from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
For the most recent cohort:
- The program recruited and matriculated applicants from 21 to 55 years of age
- 1 Matriculant has dual citizenship
- 13 are from large cities; 6 from mid-size cities; 1 from urban settings; 10 from large towns; 7 from small towns; and 1 from rural, isolated areas
- Ethnicities include White, Black, Cuban, Asian, Asian Indian, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Vietnamese
- Languages spoken include Chinese, English, German, Gujarati, Spanish, and Vietnamese
- Experiences include Cabin Counselor, Technician (Forensic, Patient Care, Clinical Lab, Ophthalmologist, Pharmacy, Physical Therapy), Assistant Girls’ JV Soccer Coach, Host, Lab Chemist, Education Content Developer, Childcare Teaching Assistant, Nanny, Lab Assistant, Beauty Advisor, Hostess, Lifeguard, Package Handler, Research Assistant, International Intern, Laborer, Research Coordinator II, Medical Technologist, Medical Assistant, Emergency Room Registrar, Scribe, Practicum Student, Laboratory Worker, CNA, Front Desk Receptionist, In Home Health Aid, and Case Manager
For all cohorts:
- The program matriculated students from Canada, Hungary, India, Paraguay, Viet Nam, and the United States
- 39% of all matriculates are from Tennessee
- 60% of all matriculates are from other states: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Virginia
- 55% of all matriculates are from the Mid-South region
2. Prepare students to address community health issues and health disparities in the context of societal and economic systems.
- The program was awarded a 2019 HRSA grant for nearly $1.5 million over five years to prepare students to work in underserved areas and address the opioid epidemic.
- 88% of the Class of 2022 had at least one rural health rotation in family or internal medicine or pediatrics.
- Students complete health disparity assignments that relate to the socioeconomic issues of today.
- Students complete rotations in rural, urban, and city medical facilities that address the needs of the underserved, such as Christ Community Health Services (Memphis) and Leland Medical Clinic (Leland, MS) and many others.
- Students complete a poverty simulation with other community partners
- Students ride the bus to the Civil Rights Museum and have to figure out the bus schedule to reflect the challenges and barriers Mid-South residents experience in trying to access healthcare.
3. Attain and maintain an accredited program that ensures graduates will have the requisite knowledge and skills for entry into PA practice.
The program is currently in its fifth year. Preceptors evaluate our students on the course learning outcomes, which corresponds to their specialty. The scale is out of 5 possible points with 5 being the highest point value a preceptor can assign to a given evaluation item. A score of 3 or higher is considered passing for each item. The average scores by discipline for the 2021-2022 clinical phase year are as follows:
Practicum / Preceptor Scores Averaged
- BM: Behavioral Medicine Practicum / 4.75
- EM: Emergency Medicine Practicum / 4.69
- FM: Family Medicine Practicum / 4.63
- GS: General Surgery Practicum / 4.61
- IM: Internal Medicine Practicum / 4.67
- OR: Orthopedics Practicum / 4.71
- PE: Pediatrics Practicum / 4.49
- PG: Prenatal & Gynecologic Care / 4.38
- Overall Average / 4.62
4. Prepare PA students for team-based care through inter-professional education.
• Students are oriented in their first semester to IPEC (Interprofessional Educational Collaborative) competencies.
• Students are introduced to community learning groups where they go through the phases of forming, storming, and norming.
• The cohorts have Interprofessional experiences within the University with other healthcare professional programs like nursing. The students are able to observe each other with simulated patients in medical settings as they master history taking, physical examination, review of medication, patient care access, social needs, lab tests, and patient education tasks.
• Graduate and employer surveys are utilized to evaluate the application inter-professional skills post-graduation.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), 12000 Findley Road, Suite 150, Johns Creek, GA 30079 accredits Physician Assistant programs in the United States.
At its 2021 March meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) placed the Christian Brothers University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Christian Brothers University on Accreditation Probation status until its next review in 2023 March.
Probation accreditation is a temporary accreditation status initially of not less than two years. However, that period may be extended by the ARC-PA for up to an additional two years if the ARC-PA finds that the program is making substantial progress toward meeting all applicable standards but requires additional time to come into full compliance. Probation accreditation status is granted, at the sole discretion of the ARC-PA, when a program holding an accreditation status of Accreditation – Provisional or Accreditation – Continued does not, in the judgment of the ARC-PA, meet the Standards or when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.
Once placed on probation, a program that fails to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and is subject to having its accreditation withdrawn.
Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-christian-brothers-university.
PA Resources and Links
CBU is located on a 75-acre wooded campus in midtown Memphis, Tennessee — about four miles east of downtown and close to major medical centers. The Physician Assistant Program is a graduate program in the CBU School of Sciences.
The Physician Assistant Studies Program offices are located on the upper level of Barry Hall.