Master of Physician Assistant Studies
What Is a Physician Assistant?
Physician Assistants (PAs) are members of one of the fastest-growing and most rewarding health care fields today. PAs are highly qualified health professionals who are trained to provide care to patients in a variety of medical settings. PAs are certified and licensed to practice medicine as part of the health care team. They gather and evaluate medical data and participate in clinical decision-making, diagnosis, therapeutic management, and provide preventative care and education.
A PA exercises considerable autonomy in medical decision-making, but the supervising physician and state law determine the scope of a PA’s practice.
About the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program
The TTUHSC Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program is committed to educating PAs to meet the challenge of increasing access to and providing high-quality, patient-centered health care for communities in West Texas and beyond.
With a focus on primary care and family medicine, the program awards a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree following 27 months of intensive academic and clinical training. The 15-month academic phase of the program is conducted in a dedicated, state-of-the art facility in Midland, Texas, a thriving community located between Fort Worth and El Paso. The 12-month clinical experience takes place at a variety of sites throughout West Texas.
Becoming a Physician Assistant
As a student in the MPAS program, you will thrive in an environment that is both academically rigorous and focused on providing patient-centered clinical experiences. Among the program’s features:
- A didactic curriculum with real-world application. TTUHSC’s unique curriculum combines active learning with interactive lectures, practical lab sessions, simulated patient cases, and case-based discussions. The curriculum is designed to move you beyond memorization to develop critical thinking skills and prepare you to be a lifelong learner.
- A full spectrum of clinical rotations with an option for specialization. In the MPAS program, you’ll rotate through a variety of clinical areas: family medicine, internal medicine, prenatal and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, psychiatry and behavioral health, and surgery. Many rotations are available in rural areas of West Texas. You’ll also have the opportunity to complete an elective rotation in a specialty discipline of your choice.
- A program driven by faculty expertise. TTUHSC PA faculty have years of clinical experience and expertise as medical educators. Our faculty are engaged in scholarly, professional service, and clinical activities and serve in national leadership positions within our profession.
- A diverse student body and enhanced learning environment. Using a holistic admissions process, our program selects students with significant and varied life experiences. You’ll benefit from a learning environment enriched by a high level of diversity and variety of perspective.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-Pa website.
As a graduate of the program, you will be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), the gold standard of certification for physician assistants. All states require physician assistants to be licensed.
Goals and Outcomes
Physician Assistant Careers
The PA profession has been named by top media outlets, including Forbes and USA Today, as the most promising job in America. The demand for PAs increased more than 300% from 2011 to 2014, according to the health care search firm Merritt Hawkins.
- In line with an increase in the demand for health care services, especially for rural and other underserved populations, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Occupational Outlook Handbook projects that physician assistant employment will increase by 37% through 2026, faster than average for all professions.
- For more information about the PA profession, visit the American Academy of PAs (AAPA) website.
The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum
Our comprehensive curriculum provides didactic and clinical practice experiences emphasizing primary care in underserved areas of West Texas. The curriculum is designed to equip you with the full range of skills and clinical experiences you need to provide the highest-quality care as a professional PA.
Classes in the academic portion of the program include:
- Clinical Decision Making.
The final 12-month clerkship year allows you to care for a wide range of patients in varied settings and specialties.
Successful completion of the program culminates in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree.
The Texas Tech PA Program is a wonderful addition to the West Texas medical landscape.
The program is the engine room to bring great well rounded providers to the rural
areas of West Texas. I’m grateful to be an alumni and preceptor for the program. Having
been a graduate for 5 years in General Surgery, I know that I’ve been a vital addition
to my surgeon's team and our patients overall exceptional medical care! The PA program
at Texas Tech is vital to the health of West Texas.
MPAS, PA-C Class of 2015