Bethel University's mission is to create opportunities for members of the learning community to
develop to their highest potential as whole persons - intellectually, spiritually, socially, and
physically, in a Christian environment. It is Bethel University's Physician Assistant Program's
specific mission to create opportunities for the members of the learning community interested in
health care to ultimately graduate as competent, caring healthcare professionals who practice
medicine within an ethical framework grounded in Christian principles.
Accreditation Status and Implications of Accreditation
The current Bethel University Physician Assistant Program obtained provisional accreditation from
ARC-PA effective March, 2008. Provisional Accreditation is granted for a limited defined period of
time to a new program that, at the time of the site visit, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate
a program in accordance with the Standards. Provisional Accreditation does not ensure any
subsequent accreditation status (ARC-PA, Standards, page 8).
Graduation from an accredited PA program is the only way to be eligible to sit for the National
Certifying Exam (PANCE).
For more information regarding the implications of accreditation please visit: www.arc-pa.org .
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies M.S.P.A.S. Degree
The Bethel University Physician Assistant Program will confer a Master of Science degree in
Physician Assistant Studies upon completion of the 27 month educational program. Our program
consists of 12 months of didactic education and 15 months of clinical experience.
You must complete a CASPA application along with a supplemental application to the PA program.
CASPA application forms may be requested from www.caspaonline.org (Central Application
Service for Physician Assistants) or by calling CASPA at (240) 497-1895. The supplemental
application form is available online at www.bethelu.edu/bethelpa. Selected applicants will be
interviewed by the admission committee. Following the interview candidates are evaluated by the
admission committee to assess their acceptability to the program. Admitted candidates ordinarily
have two weeks to respond to the offer of acceptance. A non-refundable fee of $500.00 will secure a
spot in the upcoming class.
We will begin the interview process as soon as eligible applications are received from CASPA.
Interviews will be offered to qualified applicants and student positions will be offered on a rolling
admissions basis. Early application is strongly encouraged. Selection for a place in our PA program
is very competitive.
Statistically, the ideal applicant has presented with a 3.0 overall GPA, 1000/3.0 GRE scores,
completed 300+ hours of healthcare experience, and 80 science hours before applying to the
program. These applicants have gone on to be very successful PA students. Therefore, we encourage
all applicants to have scores similar to the ones mentioned above. Applicants who have scores that
deviate significantly from the average will be considered on a case by case basis.
To apply you should have the following:
Completed CASPA application.
Completed supplemental application and fee received.
A bachelor’s degree from an accredited university.
Official transcripts from all universities attended. Original transcripts need to go to CASPA
and to our program for review.
Three letters of recommendation: Two (2) of your letters of recommendation must be from a
PA, MD, DO, or FNP. One (1) letter can be from a university professor or advisor. We do
not accept letters of recommendation from family members.
Non-native speakers of English: Achieved TOEFL IBT (internet based testing) scores of at
least 87 for non-native speakers of English with the minimum section requirements of:
Reading: 21, Speaking: 26, listening: 20, and Writing: 20.
Completion of our nine prerequisite courses.
Completion of GRE and results received by Program.
Pre-requisite course work consists of the following classes:
Two Semesters – General Biology (or equivalent)
Two Semesters – General Chemistry (or equivalent)
Two Semesters – Human A & P
One Semester – Microbiology or Bacteriology
One Semester – General Psychology
One Semester - Genetics
Students may apply before the completion of some pre-requisite courses but should inform the
university as to when and where the needed course(s) will be taken. Such candidates may gain
No prerequisites older than 5 years will be accepted unless you have been employed full time in the
health care field since completion of those prerequisites.
Advanced placement is not possible.
There is no credit for experiential learning.
No Physician Assistant credits from another institution may be transferred into the didactic or
clinical years. BUPAP students must complete the entire program at Bethel University.
An applicant who possesses a degree from an accredited institution outside of the US may also be
considered for admission. These students must have their transcript verified and translated by an
approved organization (such as World Education Service) and should meet all other requirements.
Averages of Incoming Class
The following is an overview of averages for the class entering spring, 2010. This information may
be used by applicants to help assess their application. Please note that these are AVERAGES. We
evaluate each application on its own merit. Admission is based on academic achievement, high
quality performance in science and/or health-care related courses, demonstrated motivation and
professional potential, and strong interpersonal skills. Admission committee decisions are final.
Cumulative GPA – 3.3
Healthcare Experience – 300+ hours
Shadowing Hours – approximately 200
Science Hours – 82
Average Age – 28
GRE Scores – 1060/4.0
Recommended Courses Consist of the Following Classes
Introductory Statistics or Critical Thinking
Additional Selection Factors
The following applicants have a slight advantage: Applicants having shadowed a physician assistant
and applicants with significant healthcare experience. Healthcare and/or shadowing experience
provides students with an awareness of the intricacies of the health care delivery system as it exists
today and provides information that enables them to realistically commit themselves to a profession
that helps the sick and injured. (The Additional selection factors assist in evaluating an applicant for
admission and do not guarantee admission to the PA Program.)
CASPA will begin accepting applications in April, 2010 and will continue to accept applications
until September 1, 2010. You must have all required forms and documentation to the
Bethel University Physician Assistant Program by October 1, 2010. If received after October 1, your
application may not be reviewed and you may not be considered for the entering class.
Tuition and fees are determined on a yearly basis by the University’s Board of Trustees.
The University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time without prior notice.
Tuition is based on full-time studies and covers our 27 month program. Tuition is currently set at
$61,250.00 for the entire 27 months or $8750.00 per semester. (Note: our program consists of 7
Fees and Expenses
$70.00 graduation fee
$4000.00 for lab coats, books, medical equipment, malpractice insurance, TAPA Annual Conference
fee, BLS and ACLS certifications, additional drug screen, and immunization updates before
beginning clinicals, and any other fees or costs deemed necessary by the Program.
General medical equipment will be provided to our students. This includes tuning forks and blood
pressure cuffs. This medical equipment will be available for classroom use only. Students are
required to purchase a stethoscope, EKG calipers, and an otoscope/opthalmoscope.
It is mandatory that all students have health insurance while enrolled in our program. This health
insurance must be maintained through the entirety of our program. This is an additional cost to the
Additional expenses that may occur during enrollment in the Program are the responsibility of the
student. This may include but is not limited to traveling to assigned clinical sites, lodging, meals, etc.
Please plan for these additional expenses ahead of time.
Students in the BUPA graduate program must maintain at least a B average (80%) in each course
during their didactic year in order to progress to the clinical year. Students must act professionally to
everyone at all times while maintaining patient and practice confidentiality. Breeches of professional
conduct may result in dismissal from the program.
Grades are assigned by the program on the following:
a. Individual exams, practicums, check offs, etc.
i. Specific information can be found in the course syllabi.
b. Grading System:
i. 4.0... . A- Excellent (90-100)
ii. 3.0. . . . B - Good (80-89)
iii. Any grade below 80% (3.0) received by a student of the Bethel University PA
Program is considered a failing grade.
• Students must maintain a class average of 80% or greater at all times, if the running
average falls below 80%, the student will meet with the promotion/retention/disciplinary
committee to determine their future in the program.
• If a student earns a grade of less than 78% on any test/exam, they will be offered tutoring,
will meet with their advisor and primary course instructor to discuss their study habits
and receive additional study material. They will retake a test over the same material.
They must earn an 80% on the retake. Failure to do so will result in a meeting with the
promotion/retention/disciplinary committee to determine their future in the program. The
remediation exam will take place at the end of that unit of study.
• Students will be allowed to remediate 2 times per course per semester or 5 times total
before meeting with the promotions/retention/disciplinary committee to discuss the
student’s future in the program.
• The original test grade will stand for averaging purposes.
• The intent of this policy is to assure that students have a basic understanding of every
component of medicine taught in the PA program.
A candidate for the Physician Assistant Program at Bethel University must have abilities and skills
in five categories: observation, communication, sensory/motor, intellectual, and behavioral/social.
Reasonable accommodation for persons with documented disabilities will be considered on an
individual basis, but a candidate must be able to perform in an independent manner. The use of a
trained intermediary is not acceptable in many clinical situations, in that it implies that a candidate’s
judgment must be mediated by someone else’s power of selection and observation. Furthermore, it
is expected that the student will meet the technical standards throughout the duration of the program
of study. It is incumbent on the student to notify the Program immediately if they are unable to meet
one of the standards. The following skills are required with or without accommodation.
Observation: Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the lecture hall, the
laboratory, the outpatient setting, and the patient’s bedside. Sensory skills adequate to perform
physical examination are required. Functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation must be
adequate to observe a patient’s condition and to elicit information through procedures regularly
required in a physical exam, such as inspection, auscultation and palpation. A candidate must be
able to: observe a patient accurately, at a distance, and close at hand, with or without standard
medical instrumentation; acquire information from written documents, and visualize information as
presented in images from computer screens, paper, film, slides, or video. This includes, but is not
limited to, information conveyed through physiologic and pharmacological demonstrations in
animals, microbiological cultures and microscopic images of microorganisms and tissues in normal
and pathologic states. In any case where a candidate’s ability to observe or acquire information
through these sensory modalities is compromised, the candidate must demonstrate alternate means
and/or abilities to acquire and demonstrate the essential information conveyed in this fashion. If the
alternatives are acceptable, it is expected that obtaining and using such alternate means and/or
abilities shall be the responsibility of the student.
Communication: Candidates must be able to communicate effectively in both academic and health
care settings. A candidate must be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients by sight in order to
elicit information; describe changes in mood, activity and posture; and perceive nonverbal
communication. Candidates must show evidence of effective written and verbal communication
Sensory & Motor: The ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and
procedures (e. g. palpation, auscultation) is required. Candidates must have sufficient motor
function to execute movements reasonably required to provide care to patients. Candidates must be
able to negotiate patient care environments and must be able to move between settings, such as
clinic, classroom buildings, and the hospital. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous
course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing, or moving are
required in the classroom, laboratory, and clinical areas.
Intellectual: Candidates must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and synthesize.
Problem solving, one of the critical skills demanded of physician assistants, requires all of these
intellectual abilities. In addition, candidates should be able to comprehend three-dimensional
relationships, and understand medical literature. In order to complete the PA degree, candidates
must be able to demonstrate mastery of these skills, and the ability to use them together in a timely
and often critical fashion in medical problem solving and patient care.
Behavioral and Social Attributes: Candidates must possess the emotional health required for full
utilization of their intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, and the prompt completion of
all academic and patient care responsibilities. The development of mature, sensitive and effective
relationship with patients and other members of the health care team are essential. The ability to
effectively function in the face of uncertainties that are inherent in clinical practice, along with
flexibility, compassion, integrity, motivation, interpersonal skills, and concern for all, is required.
Any student with accessibility needs should contact Sandy Louden before matriculation into the
BCPA program. She can be reached at 731-352-4095 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Classroom attendance is required except for emergencies.
a. Only in cases of family emergency, personal illness, or injury, will you be excused.
b. Absences due to illness of two consecutive days or longer will require medical
clearance to excuse the absence and return to the program.
c. Medical clearance must be completed by a licensed physician, PA or NP and
submitted to the academic coordinator. This can not be issued by a family/faculty
d. The final determination of “true emergency” will be at the discretion of the program
director and/or the medical director.
e. Being absent on the day of a test is an unexcused absence and you will receive a
grade of zero unless you can provide documentation that explains why the absence
should be excused. (Physician’s note)
2. The Student MUST notify the academic coordinator the night before or by 8:45 the day of
the absence by calling 731-352-4247 ext. 204 and leaving a message. The student must do
this for every day that they are absent. Sending a message through a classmate is NOT
3. The penalty for excessive absences will be determined by the program director and the
a. The responsibility for notifying the program director of anticipated absences, reasons
for emergency absences, and how all assignments will be completed, rests entirely on
b. PA Program faculty are not expected to give make-up exams for unauthorized
c. Unexcused absences will not be tolerated and may result in a disciplinary action and a
d. Business appointments, routine dental and medical appointments, weddings,
graduations, and other social events are NOT valid reasons for absenteeism.
A student who is pregnant at the time of matriculation or becomes pregnant at any
time before graduation is required to inform the program director. A statement from
the obstetrician regarding her ability to continue in the PA program is required. If an
issue arises, the program will review each case individually. Missed course
requirements due to pregnancy will be treated as any other absence.
• You are allowed one tardy per semester. Being tardy a second time will result in a 2 point
penalty on the next exam in that class. A third tardy will result in a meeting with the
o When you arrive tardy, you must first report to the program secretary and sign a tardy
slip and take it to class. You are expected to present the tardy slip to the primary
instructor during the first break to be placed in your academic file. This includes
morning and afternoon tardies. If the program secretary is unavailable, get another
staff member to help you.
Progression and Graduation Requirements
To qualify for progression and graduation with the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
(MSPAS) degree, students must:
1. Follow the approved course of study, satisfactorily completing all courses
2. Complete all courses with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.00 with no course or rotation grade
3. Demonstrate adequate history taking, physical examination, and other various clinical skills
(this pertains to first and second year students)
4. Settle all financial accounts with the university
5. Successfully complete the Senior Summative Evaluation upon completion of the clinical year
Physician assistant education is a full-time endeavor. Academic year schedule is Monday thru
Friday, 9:00am to 5:00pm. Clinical year schedule varies however a minimum of 30 hours per week
will be spent in rotation with additional assignments. Students enrolled in the PA Program are
required to participate in all of the scheduled courses.
Students enrolled in the MSPAS Program are not prohibited, but are strongly discouraged from
working during the didactic year due to the intense and rigorous nature of the program. Students are
not required to work for the program. If you choose to work and are unable to fulfill program
requirements due to a work conflict you will be dismissed from the program.
Students enrolled in the BUPAP are prohibited from working during the clinical year due to the
intense and vigorous nature of the program. Students are not required to work for the program.
Students are not to receive or accept compensation for any work performed within the preceptor’s
clinical site or practice. Students may only render services as part of the clinical phase of their
education. If you choose to disregard the work policy and are unable to attend scheduled clinical
rotations due to a work conflict you will be dismissed from the program.
Program of Study
Study is designed to deliver the essential academic and clinical education necessary to prepare
students for their professional roles and to satisfy the eligibility requirements to sit for the Physician
Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Study is divided into three didactic semesters
over a 12 month period and four clinical semesters over a 15 month period.
At the completion of the didactic year, students will have 80 credit hours.
SPRING COURSE CREDIT HOURS
CLINICAL MEDICINE I 8
PHARMACOLOGY I 3
ANATOMY,PHYSIOLOGY & PATHOPHYSIOLOGY I 3
PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS I 3
CLINICAL SKILLS I 3
DIAGNOSTICS I 2
MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY 1
THE PA PROFESSION 2
Total for Semester 27
SUMMER COURSE CREDIT HOURS
CLINICAL MEDICINE II 8
PHARMACOLOGY II 3
ANATOMY,PHYSIOLOGY & PATHOPHYSIOLOGY II 3
PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS II 3
CLINICAL SKILLS II 3
DIAGNOSTICS II 2
BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE 1
PEDIATRIC MEDICINE 2
Total for Semester 26
FALL COURSE CREDIT HOURS
CLINICAL MEDICINE III 8
PHARMACOLOGY III 3
ANATOMY,PHYSIOLOGY & PATHOPHYSIOLOGY III 3
PHYSICAL DIAGNOSIS III 3
CLINICAL SKILLS III 3
DIAGNOSTICS III 2
RADIOLOGY/EKG INTERPRETATION II 1
CRITICAL THINKING 2
GERIATRIC MEDICINE 2
Total for Semester 27
Mandatory Rotational Requirements:
1. Family Medicine I
2. Family Medicine II
3. Internal Medicine
4. Emergency Medicine
5. General Surgery
6. Family Medicine/Women’s Health
7. Family Medicine/Pediatric Medicine
8. Mental/Behavioral Health
9. Long Term Care
10. Senior Review/Summative
11. Elective Rotation I
12. Elective Rotation II
13. Elective Rotation III
14. Business of Medicine
Electives are available in most specialties as long as a clinical site/preceptor is available and meets
criteria as stated on the clinical preceptor qualification form and as outlined in the preceptor
handbook. Students in the clinical phase of the program are not required to and may not set up their
own rotations. Rotations will be assigned by the program based on the educational needs of each
student. Rotations may be, and usually are, within a 150 mile radius of the program. For more
information concerning our program, please visit: www.bethelu.edu/bethelpa.
PA Professional Competencies
The clinical role of PAs includes primary and specialty care in medical and surgical practice settings.
Professional competencies for physician assistants include the effective and appropriate application
of medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, patient care, professionalism,
practice-based learning and improvement, systems-based practice, as well as an unwavering
commitment to continual learning, professional growth, and the physician-PA team, for the benefit
of patients and the larger community being served. These competencies are demonstrated within the
scope of practice, whether medical or surgical, for each individual physician assistant as that scope is
defined by the supervising physician and appropriate to the practice setting.
The PA profession defines the specific knowledge, skills, and attitudes required and provides
educational experiences as needed in order for physician assistants to acquire and demonstrate these
competencies. The PA student will complete a competencies self-assessment at the end of the
didactic year and clinical year.
Medical knowledge includes an understanding of pathophysiology, patient presentation,
differential diagnosis, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease
prevention. Physician assistants must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving
biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of
practice. In addition, physician assistants are expected to demonstrate an investigatory and analytic
thinking approach to clinical situations. Physician assistants are expected to:
• understand etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for
• identify signs and symptoms of medical conditions
• select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies
• manage general medical and surgical conditions to include understanding the indications,
contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other
relevant treatment modalities
• identify the appropriate site of care for presenting conditions, including identifying
emergent cases and those requiring referral or admission
• identify appropriate interventions for prevention of conditions
• identify the appropriate methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual
• differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic, physiological, laboratory findings
and other diagnostic data
• appropriately use history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate a
• provide appropriate care to patients with chronic conditions
Interpersonal & Communication Skills
Interpersonal and communication skills encompass verbal, nonverbal and written exchange of
information. Physician assistants must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that
result in effective information exchange with patients, their patients’ families, physicians,
professional associates, and the health care system.
Physician assistants are expected to:
• create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
• use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit
and provide information
• appropriately adapt communication style and messages to the context of the individual
• work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or
leader of a health care team or other professional group
• apply an understanding of human behavior
• demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility and tolerance of
ambiguity and anxiety
• accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process
for medical, legal, quality and financial purposes
Patient care includes age-appropriate assessment, evaluation and management. Physician
assistants must demonstrate care that is effective, patient-centered, timely, efficient and equitable for
the treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness. Physician assistants are expected to:
• work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient centered
• demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their
• gather essential and accurate information about their patients
• make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient
information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment
• develop and carry out patient management plans
• counsel and educate patients and their families
• competently perform medical and surgical procedures considered essential in the area of
• provide health care services and education aimed at preventing health problems or
Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered. Foremost, it
involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own. Physician assistants must
know their professional and personal limitations. Professionalism also requires that PAs practice
without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency or mental illness. Physician
assistants must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse
patient population and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Physician assistants are
expected to demonstrate:
• understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the
• professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers
• respect, compassion, and integrity
• responsiveness to the needs of patients and society
• accountability to patients, society, and the profession
• commitment to excellence and on-going professional development
• commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care,
confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices
• sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and disabilities
• self-reflection, critical curiosity and initiative
Practice-based Learning and Improvement
Practice-based learning and improvement includes the processes through which clinicians engage in
critical analysis of their own practice experience, medical literature and other
information resources for the purpose of self-improvement. Physician assistants must be able to
assess, evaluate and improve their patient care practices. Physician assistants are expected to:
• analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using a
systematic methodology in concert with other members of the health care delivery team
• locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’
• obtain and apply information about their own population of patients and the larger
population from which their patients are drawn
• apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical
studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness
• apply information technology to manage information, access on-line medical
information, and support their own education
• facilitate the learning of students and/or other health care professionals
• recognize and appropriately address gender, cultural, cognitive, emotional and other
biases; gaps in medical knowledge; and physical limitations in themselves and others
Systems-based practice encompasses the societal, organizational and economic environments in
which health care is delivered. Physician assistants must demonstrate an awareness of and
responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that is of optimal value.
PAs should work to improve the larger health care system of which their practices are a part.
Physician assistants are expected to:
• use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education
• effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems
• understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient
• practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise
quality of care
• advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities
• partner with supervising physicians, health care managers and other health care providers to assess,
coordinate, and improve the delivery of health care and patient outcomes
• accept responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care and recognizing
and correcting systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care
• apply medical information and clinical data systems to provide more effective, efficient
• use the systems responsible for the appropriate payment of services
BUPAP Educational Philosophy:
The BUPAP faculty understands that the field of medicine is an ever evolving entity. It is not
possible for the Program to provide an absolute overview of the field of medicine. Therefore, our
educational philosophy is that we strive to produce students that are life-long learners adept at
thinking critically. The role of the teacher then, is to serve as a guide for learners, evaluate and
present important material systematically, encourage the use of objective criteria, model appropriate
behavior, and be effective and accountable.
Goals of the BUPAP:
• To maintain continuous accreditation with the Accreditation Review Commission on
Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc.
• To graduate students who can achieve a passing score on their certifying exam (PANCE) on
the first attempt.
• To attract and graduate students who exhibit a servant’s heart.
• To graduate medical providers who have achieved an acceptable level of proficiency in: (1)
effective and appropriate application of medical knowledge, (2) interpersonal and
communication skills, (3) patient care, (4) professionalism, (5) practice-based learning and
improvement, and (6) systems-based practice.
• To graduate medical providers who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to continual
learning, professional growth and the physician-PA team.
Functions and tasks that students are expected to perform at graduation:
The Bethel PA Graduate will/will be able to:
• have a fully developed identity as a healthcare professional.
• have developed the desire to provide excellent care in a compassionate manner.
• have mastered the concepts of anatomy and physiology and pathophysiology.
• have mastered the concepts of clinical medicine, pharmacology, pediatrics, genetics,
geriatrics, electrocardiograms, radiology, medical terminology, laboratory medicine, and
• understand the history of the PA profession and know the applicable laws, rules and
regulations concerning the practice of medicine as a Physician Assistant.
• be proficient in the performance of clinical procedures necessary for practice as a primary
care Physician Assistant.
• have medical knowledge sufficient to understand pathophysiology, differential diagnosis,
patient management, surgical principles, and health promotion and disease prevention in a
typical primary care practice.
• have developed and refined a systematic approach to both the complete and focused history
taking and physical exam skills
• utilize interpersonal and communication skills that encompass verbal, nonverbal and written
exchange of information.
• have developed an understanding of the PA role in the health delivery system to include
patient care that is effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable for the
treatment of health problems and the promotion of wellness.
• have developed professional relationships where the graduate demonstrates a high level of
responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population and adherence to
legal and regulatory requirements
• sharpen and refine critical analysis skills of their own practice experience, medical literature
and other information resources for the purpose of self-improvement
• demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to
provide the patient care that is of optimal value
• pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)
Tennessee Physician Assistant Foundation
Nell and Pat Kilpatrick Memorial Scholarship
The Tennessee Physician Assistant foundation will award a minimum of one scholarship yearly in
the amount of $500.00, with the discretion to award more based on the level of charitable
contributions from the previous 12 months. The Tennessee Physician Assistant Foundation awards
scholarships to 1st or 2nd year physician assistant students. Students interested in learning more about
this scholarship should contact the Program Director
The Society of Army Physician Assistants (SAPA)
Captain Sean P. Grimes Physician Assistant Educational Scholarship Award
This scholarships intent is to award financial assistance to an individual who is seeking initial
training as a physician assistant or to a PA seeking a baccalaureate, masters or doctoral degree. The
amount of award is $3,000.00 annually for the first ten years provided funds are available; then the
amount may be reevaluated at the discretion of SAPA BOD. Any army veteran, army active duty
solider, any army national guard solider, and any army reservist solider is eligible to apply for this
scholarship. Students interested in learning more about this scholarship should contact the Program
Physician Assistant Foundation
The PA Foundation (PAF) is a charitable organization that operates exclusively for educational,
scientific, literary, and research purposes. The PAF has developed several programs that can assist
students as they strive to reach their goals in school and in their professional practice. In total, the
Physician Assistant Foundation has awarded over $1.4 million to deserving PA students across the
country. Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need, academic achievement,
extracurricular activities, and future goals as a PA. The deadline to apply is January 15. Students
interested in learning more about this scholarship should contact the Program Director
Tennessee Rural Health Loan Forgiveness
The Tennessee Rural Health Loan Forgiveness Program is established as part of the system of
lottery-funded scholarships and is administered by the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation.
Recipients must agree to maintain satisfactory progress in the program of study, complete the
medical or dental program within the allocated five (5) years and practice medicine or dentistry in a
health resource shortage area after becoming a Tennessee licensed physician, osteopathic physician,
physician assistant, dentist, or after receiving a Tennessee certificate of fitness as a nurse
practitioner, for one (1) year for each year of funding provided by a Tennessee Rural Health Loan
Forgiveness award. Students must be a citizen of Tennessee and be a resident of Tennessee for one
(1) year immediately preceding the date of application. Students interested in learning more about
this scholarship should contact the Program Director
National Health Service Corp. (NHSC)
The NHSC is dedicated to improving the health of the Nation’s underserved. NHSC clinicians
practice in a broad range of community-based systems of care operating in rural and urban federally
designated health professional shortage areas. The Scholarship Program is highly competitive.
Applicants who are selected to participate receive payment of tuition and fees, books, supplies, and
equipment for up to 4 years of education and a monthly stipend. For each year of support you
receive, you will be required to serve 1 year in an approved practice site, located in a federally
designated health professional shortage area of greatest need. There is a minimum service
commitment of 2 years, which must begin upon completion of your health professions training. The
Loan Repayment Program is highly competitive. Applicants who are selected to participate agree
to provide full-time primary care services in an approved practice site, located in a federally
designated health professional shortage area. For the 2 year minimum service commitment, the
NHSC will pay up to $50,000.00 based on the participant’s qualifying educational loans.
Opportunities to continue participating in the program beyond 2 years may be available. Students
interested in learning more about the programs offered by the NHSC should contact either the
Program Director or the Clinical Director of Coordination.
Definition of a Physician Assistant
Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed, or in the case of those employed by the
federal government they are credentialed, to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of
their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order
and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions.
Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision
making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also
include education, research, and administrative services.
PAs are trained in intensive education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review
Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA).
Because of the close working relationship that PAs have with physicians, PAs are educated in the
medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants
take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of
PAs in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. To maintain their national
certification, PAs must log 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and sit for a
recertification every six years. Graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and
passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure.
History of the Physician Assistant Profession
In the mid-1960s, physicians and educators recognized there was a shortage and uneven distribution
of primary care physicians. To expand the delivery of quality medical care, Dr. Eugene Stead of the
Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina put together the first class of PAs in 1965. He
selected Navy corpsmen who received considerable medical training during their military service
and during the war in Vietnam but who had no comparable civilian employment. He based the
curriculum of the PA program in part on his knowledge of the fast-track training of doctors during
World War II.
Implementation Period (1966 to 1972) - Establishment and development of first formal PA
educational programs and PA professional organizations; enactment of model legislation;
establishment of accreditation and certification procedures; endorsement and support of professional,
private and Federal organizations; and performance of first acceptance, productivity and role
definitions studies on PAs.
Evaluation and Standardization Period (1973 to 1980) - First AAPA conference held in Texas; first
national certifying examination administered; continuing medical education (CME) and re-certifying
examination requirements established; rapid expansion of baccalaureate PA educational programs
stimulated by Federal training contracts; initial workforce studies conducted on PAs; establishment
of AAPA House of Delegates; and enactment of PA enabling legislation by most states.
Incorporation Period (1981 to 1990) - PA role expansion and increased specialization; positive
recognition of PA contributions to the workforce; approval of reimbursement of PA services in
certain settings under Medicare Part B; awarding PAs commissioned officer status in uniformed
services; passage and revision of legislation including prescriptive privileges in most states.
Maturation and Consolidation Period (1991 to 2000) - Health care reform provides new
opportunities and risk for PAs; states continue to revise legislation, rules and regulations to reduce
barriers to use PAs effectively in variety of health care settings; Veterans Administration Medical
Centers, Military and other Federal sponsored health care institutions rely heavily on PAs to bolster
medical staffs; HMOs recognize vital roles of PAs and NPs in reducing cost; steps are taken to foster
and maintain close working relationships with organized medicine; rapid expansion of physician
assistant programs and trend towards master's level education.
Expansion and Integration Period (2001 to Present) - The number of accredited PA educational
programs surpasses 130; the profession celebrates its 35th anniversary; international interest in the
PA model of health care delivery grows; record numbers of new PA graduates take the PANCE; and
reduced MD resident hours spurs employment and postgraduate learning opportunities for PAs in
hospital inpatient settings.
This information was copied from the Physician Assistant History Center at http://www.pahx.org/.
History of Bethel University
Bethel College was established in the flourishing frontier town of McLemoresville in 1842. An
outgrowth of McLemoresville Academy or the "Brick Academy," the school was founded as Bethel
Seminary and operated under the fostering care of West Tennessee Synod of the Cumberland
Presbyterian Church. Bethel College was granted a charter by the State of Tennessee in 1847.
Primarily, Bethel was devoted to the training of young men for the ministry but was open to other
young men who were interested in higher learning.
Reuben Burrow was Bethel's first president. He served as president for 20 years, during which time
he also served as fundraiser, member of the Board of Visitors, head of the Theology Department and
The Civil War brought hard times for Bethel College and for McLemoresville. The area around
McLemoresville was equally divided between the Union and the Confederates and at times the site
of Bethel was occupied by each of the armies. The buildings were used as barracks, and much
physical equipment was destroyed by the soldiers. Not only were the laboratory and classroom
equipment lost but the student body was also taken from the college. Most of the young men were
serving in one or another of the armies. When the war was over, Bethel had also lost its endowment.
Bethel reopened in 1865 following the war under the administration of the Rev. Mr. B.W.
McDonnold, and the doors of the institution were open to women for the first time. Bethel College
has been a co-educational institution since that time. In 1872, Bethel College was moved from
McLemoresville since the building of the railroad had missed it and ended up just north in
McKenzie, Tenn., which was the crossroad of the N.C. & St. L. and the L. & N. Railways. The Rev.
Mr. W.W. Hendrix was president at the time of the move to McKenzie. On August 1 2009, Bethel
College became Bethel University.
To learn more on the history of Bethel University go to www.bethelu.edu.