Physician Assistant Studies Program

Notice

Development of the Northeastern State University Physician Assistant Studies Program has been delayed and the current ARC-PA application for program accreditation has been voluntarily withdrawn by the institution. Financial constraints for Oklahoma higher education in the 2016-2017 fiscal year have contributed to the difficulty in of advancing the program to the high level of quality education and meeting the mission of the university and the program.

We will not be accepting students in the current application cycle and will not be matriculating a class in 2017. Plans for further development of the Physician Assistant Studies Program and the provisional-accreditation timeline will be released by the university and shared on the website in the near future as we strengthen the vital elements necessary to the ultimate success of the program and future NSU physician assistant students.

We appreciate the hours of planning that have been devoted to this process by our staff and our partners and are confident that we will develop a path forward to help deal with the shortage of Physician Assistants in our region.

What is a Physician Assistant?

The Role of the Physician Assistant

Physician assistants are healthcare practitioners that are licensed by state medical boards to practice medicine under the supervision of a licensed physician (M.D. or D.O.). The physician assistant is able to provide a broad range of medical services within primary and specialty care including diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative, and health maintenance services. Typically, the physician assistant's practice is clinical, focusing on patient care, but may also include education, research, and administrative duties. As part of the physician assistant's clinical responsibilities, the PA performs physical examinations, diagnoses and treats medical problems, orders and interprets tests, counsels patients and their family members on preventive health care, assists in surgeries, writes medical orders, and writes prescriptions.

Physician assistants are individuals that are intelligent with high ethical standards. They demonstrate compassion and empathy, and have sound judgment and excellent interpersonal skills. Physician assistants have the ability to handle high stress situations and are able to deal with medical emergencies in calm and professional manner.

Physician assistants, under the supervision of physicians, play a critical role is providing excellent health care in the United States and abroad. The PA has traditionally played an important role in providing excellent primary and preventative care to a wide range of patients with a patient-centered approach. The physician assistant practice is characterized by clinical knowledge and skills in the areas of family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry.

Job outlook

Employment of physician assistants is projected to grow 38 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for healthcare services from the growing and aging population and widespread chronic disease, combined with a shortage of physicians, will result in increased demand for healthcare providers, such as physician assistants.*

Quick Facts: Physician Assistants*

  • 2012 Median Pay $90,930 per year/$43.72 per hour
  • Entry-Level Education Master’s degree
  • Work Experience in a Related Occupation None 
  • On-the-job Training None
  • Number of Jobs, 2012 86,700
  • Job Outlook, 2012-22 38% (Much faster than average) 
  • Employment Change, 2012-22 33,300

*Bureau of Labor and Statistics