PA Program Overview
The FDU PA Program is committed to preparing future socially responsible professionals that possess the academic knowledge, clinical skills, and professional attitudes requisite for providing compassionate patient-centered care in a dynamic healthcare system. With that in mind, the program developed its mission and goals and designed a curriculum that would provide learning experiences that promote the acquisition of those same skills. The FDU PA Program developed a two and a half year curriculum leading to a Master of Science (MS) in PA Studies.
The curriculum of the FDU PA Program encompasses a 12 month Didactic Phase that includes classroom and laboratory instruction in the medical sciences, clinical medicine, clinical and procedural skills, professional topics, and medical research. Students are exposed to diverse learning modalities through lectures, case-based problem-solving sessions; simulated case scenarios; and hands on learning in the Virtual Cadaver, Physical Exam, Simulation, and Procedural Labs. In addition, students partake in service learning in local and global communities; and learn about and actively participate in medical research.
The Clinical and Advanced Clinical Phases, seventeen months in length, are dedicated to supervised practice experiences, research, and enhancement of clinical and procedural skills. Clinical experiences take place at affiliate hospitals, clinics, and other medical institutions in the urban northern New Jersey and Metropolitan New York area. Ten (10) five-week blocks are dedicated to required and elective supervised clinical experiences in emergency, inpatient, outpatient, surgical, urgent care, and long-term care settings that provide acute, chronic, emergent, and preventative care to patients of diverse backgrounds across the lifespan (infants, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly). Social responsibility and clinical learning are further enhanced through participation in medical service trips and elective international rotations.
In addition, students have dedicated time to work on their research projects (during a 5-week block). This work is reflective of their professional and clinical interests and culminates in a thesis presentation and defense and the dissemination of findings at public forums. Time is also dedicated to simulated learning (an additional 5-week block) focusing on the enhancement of clinical reasoning & problem solving, and the strengthening of clinical and technical procedure skills.
FDU has applied for Accreditation – Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). FDU anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2022, pending achieving Accreditation – Provisional status at the September 2021 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation – Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. In the event that Accreditation – Provisional status is not achieved, the program will not start in January 2022.