Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program (MS) Highlights

Become a patient-centered provider at the forefront of health care through the hybrid format of the Physician Assistant Studies Program.

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82 Credits

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8 Clinical Rotations

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850 Clinical Placement Sites

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24 Months to Complete*

*The estimated time to complete your degree if required credit hours are completed each semester.

Program Overview

Overview

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies - Hybrid Program (PAS-Hybrid), delivered through the Department of Physician Assistant Studies at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, will equip aspiring physician assistants (PAs) with the clinical experience to act and the confidence to lead health care forward. Our program pairs interactive virtual lectures with hands-on immersion opportunities and over 850 exceptional clinical placements in health care settings across the country. Through our two-year program, you will cultivate the competencies and training you need to sit for the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) exam. As a physician assistant, you will practice medicine in collaboration with health care team members and advocate for patient health and well-being.

Individuals from areas with a health professions shortage, underrepresented minorities in medicine, and other minoritized communities are encouraged to apply.

Pitt's Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program sets its goals high. Read our goals and learn how we plan to assess our performance.

Learn more about Pitt's Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program Inclusion Initiative.

Accreditation

The University of Pittsburgh PA Studies Hybrid Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The University of Pittsburgh PA Studies Hybrid Program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2023, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the September 2022 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 the program does not achieve accreditation all students who have deposited a seat in the program will receive a full refund. The program will not accept the class until which time provisional accreditation has been granted.

Policies and Procedures

See the Policies and Procedures Manual for the defined, published, readily available and consistently applied policies of the PA Studies Hybrid Program.

Courses

Per program policy, prospective and enrolled students are never required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors. The program does allow students to suggest clinical sites or preceptors: The program evaluates such suggestions for educational suitability.

Year One Total Credits: 45

Term 1

Term 2

Term 3


At this time, the University of Pittsburgh School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences has made the determination that because of regulatory requirements it will not place students in clinical sites in Colorado. Students based in Colorado who enroll in the PAS-Hybrid Program will complete their clinical placements outside of the state. Please reach out to your enrollment advisor for additional details.


All clinical rotations require screening measures. Learn more on our Background Checks.

The order in which a student completes all of the below clinical courses may vary, so course numbers are not listed. Each student must complete the PAS 2429 Transition to PA Certification and Practice (5 credits) course within the final four months of the program.

Year Two Total Credits: 37

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences are required to be in the following disciplines:


Term 1

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 1
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 2
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 3

Term 2

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 4
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 5
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 6

Term 3

  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 7
  • Supervised Clinical Practice Experience 8
  • PAS 2429 – Transition to Professional Practice
    • A five-week course that combines instruction on practical issues as they relate to the practicing physician assistant, especially the new graduates, with evaluation instruments that measure if and verify that the learner has met the learning outcomes of the program and has the knowledge, interpersonal skills, clinical and technical skills, professional behaviors, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities required for physician assistant practice.


At this time, the University of Pittsburgh School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences has made the determination that because of regulatory requirements it will not place students in clinical sites in Colorado. Students based in Colorado who enroll in the PAS-Hybrid Program will complete their clinical placements outside of the state. Please reach out to your enrollment advisor for additional details.


All clinical rotations require screening measures. Learn more on our Background Checks.

Program Competencies/Program Learning Outcomes

At Pitt, we prepare the next generation of providers willing to push the envelope and adapt to industry changes. The Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program curriculum is consistent with the Core Competencies for New Physician Assistant Graduates established by the Physician Assistant Education Association. At the completion of the program, PAS-Hybrid graduates will be able to demonstrate and perform competencies in the following areas:

  • Patient-Centered Practice Knowledge

    Gather clinical information, formulate differential diagnoses, order and interpret laboratory and imaging, perform necessary core duty procedures, and diagnose, prevent, treat and manage illness among acute, chronic, and emerging disease states.

    Integrate into practice appropriate literature to make evidence-based decisions on patient care.

  • Society and Population Health

    Integrate into practice the cultural norms, needs, influences, and socioeconomic, environmental, physiological and other population-level determinants affecting the health of the individual and community being served.

    Integrate into practice the interventions that diminish health disparities involving race or ethnicity, sex, sexual identity, age, disability, socioeconomic status, and geographic location involving the individual patient and the community being served.

    Integrate into practice basic principles of public health including epidemiology, disease prevention, surveillance, reporting and intervention. Provide appropriate referrals involving the public health system to ensure patient advocacy and in the maintenance of population health.

  • Health Literacy and Communication

    Communicate effectively and respectfully with patients, families, and other health care professionals.

  • Interprofessional Collaborative Practice and Leadership

    Coordinate care to optimize the health of patients and populations.

  • Professional and Legal Aspects of Health Care

    Provide standard-of-care practice while demonstrating respect for the dignity and privacy of patients.

    Incorporate a personal wellness plan to prevent impairment and burnout.

    Demonstrate professional accountability.

  • Health Care Finance and Systems

    Differentiate the types of health care systems and health insurance coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

    Practice health care informed by an understanding of the financial implications to patients, organizations and society.

    Recognize personal limitations and incorporate a quality improvement process designed to maximize patient safety, prevention of medical errors and incorporation of risk management.

Meet our Program Director, Principal Faculty, and Medical Director

At the University of Pittsburgh, our top-tier faculty set our programs apart. As a PAS-Hybrid student, you will learn from award-winning instructors with decades of experience as certified physician assistants. Outside of the classroom, Department of Physician Assistant Studies faculty are innovators committed to moving health care forward and passionate providers with a focus on excellence in patient care.

David Beck, EdD, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

David Beck, EdD, MPAS, PA-C, DFAAPA

Associate Dean for Interprofessional Studies, SHRS; Chair, Department of Physician Assistant Studies; Director and Associate Professor, PA Studies Hybrid Program

dbeck@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6717
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Wei-Neng Chuang, MS, PT

Wei-Neng Chuang, MS, PT

Instructor

wec12@pitt.edu
(412) 320-3829
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Christina Davis, MPAS, PA-C, MBA

Christina Davis, MPAS, PA-C, MBA

Director of Curriculum and Assistant Professor, PA Studies Hybrid Program

cmd180@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Julia Dubis, MPA, PA-C

Julia Dubis, MPA, PA-C

Adjunct Assistant Professor

jmd239@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Ashley Firm, PharmD

Ashley Firm, PharmD

Director of Student and Alumni Engagement; Director of Student Affairs for the PA Studies Hybrid Program; and Assistant Professor, Department of Physician Assistant Studies

alf158@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Susan Graff, MS, PA-C

Susan Graff, MS, PA-C

Director of Medical Technology Education; Director of Assessment for the PA Studies Hybrid Program; and Assistant Professor, Department of Physician Assistant Studies

sgg16@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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L. Carlos Gutierrez, EdD, MMS, PA-C

L. Carlos Gutierrez, EdD, MMS, PA-C

Adjunct Assistant Professor

lcg32@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Karthik Hariharan, PT, MS

Karthik Hariharan, PT, MS

SHRS Director of Anatomy, Director of Mentoring for the PA Studies Hybrid Program, and Instructor

kvh4@pitt.edu
(412) 383-6645
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Laura Kustaborder

Laura Kustaborder

Adjunct Assistant Professor

llk32@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Alexa Llewellyn

Alexa Llewellyn, MS, PA-C

Adjunct Assistant Professor

aml331@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Tara McSwigan, MPAS, PA-C

Tara McSwigan, MPAS, PA-C

Director of Admissions for the PA Studies Hybrid Program and Assistant Professor

tmm142@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Hayden Mulligan

Hayden Mulligan

Assistant Professor

fhm4@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Paul Phrampus, MD, FACEP

Paul Phrampus, MD, FACEP

Medical Director for the PA Studies Hybrid Program and Professor

phrampuspe@upmc.edu
(412) 648-6073
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Kathryn Reed, MS, PA-C, EMT-P, RYT

Kathryn Reed, MS, PA-C, EMT-P, RYT

Vice Chair for Equity, Inclusion, and Community Engagement and Assistant Professor, Department of PA Studies

kjr34@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Christine Rodgers, MPAS, PA-C, MPH

Christine Rodgers, MPAS, PA-C, MPH

Associate Director and Director of Clinical Education for the Physician Assistant Studies Hybrid Program and Assistant Professor

cer51@pitt.edu
(412) 383-0895
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Lauren Taylor, MPAS, PA-C

Lauren Taylor, MPAS, PA-C

Assistant Professor

lmt65@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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Daniel Tolomeo, MS, PA-C

Daniel Tolomeo, MS, PA-C

Assistant Professor

dvt11@pitt.edu
(412) 624-6743
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A Career Path That Moves Health Care Forward

Certified physician assistants are in demand, and the need for qualified care team members is expected to grow. Job openings for physician assistants are projected to grow over 30% by 2029, much faster than the average industry (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Graduates of the Physician Assistant Studies Program who become certified physician assistants can work in any of the following settings and have the flexibility to move between areas:

Primary Care

Family Medicine

General Internal Medicine

General Pediatrics

Emergency Medicine

General Surgery

Pediatric Subspecialties

Public Health

Radiation Oncology

Radiology

Urgent Care

Others

Internal Medicine Specialties and Subspecialties

Cardiology

Critical Care

Endocrinology

Gastroenterology

Hematology and Oncology

Infectious Disease

Nephrology

Neurology

Pulmonology

Rheumatology

Surgical Specialties and Subspecialties

Bariatric Surgery

Cardiovascular/Cardiothoracic Surgery

Colon and Rectal Surgery

Neurosurgery

Oncology Surgery

Orthopaedic Surgery

Otolaryngology

Pediatric Surgery

Plastic Surgery

Thoracic Surgery

Transplant Surgery

Trauma Surgery

Urology

Vascular Surgery

Other Surgical Subspecialties

Expand your career opportunities with an advanced degree from SHRS.