Clarkson invites PAs for open house in celebration of National Physician Assistant Week
Sunday, October 3, 2010 - 8:04 am

POTSDAM -- Clarkson University invites North Country physician assistants to an open house on Wednesday, Oct. 6, in celebration of National PA (Physician Assistant) Week. The event takes place from 5:30-7:30 p.m. in Clarkson Hall on Clarkson's downtown campus.

Celebrated every year, PA Week serves to celebrate the significant impact PAs have made and continue to make in health care, to expand awareness of the profession and to salute the outstanding growth of the PA profession.

Clarkson University plans to begin offering a new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program in January 2012.

The New York State Education Department Board of Regents must first approve the PA program's curriculum, and then the University expects to receive provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in fall 2011.

Michael B. Whitehead DHSc, RPA-C, chair of physician assistant studies, says that successful applicants to Clarkson's program will possess a bachelor's degree with a strong background in the sciences, as well as clinical experience.

Specific prerequisites, along with other details about the program, are available at . Prospective students can also e-mail [email protected] or call 315-268-7942 for more information or make an appointment.

PAs are licensed health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural, urban and suburban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs prescribe medication, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care and assist in surgery.

There are more than 74,000 PAs in clinical practice in the U.S., and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of PAs to increase by 39 percent within the next decade -- much faster than the average occupation. There were nearly 250 million visits to PAs last year, and PAs have prescribing privileges in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.