Springfield College Physician Assistant Program is to educate students in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in clinical, community, and academic service to humanity by building upon its foundations of Humanics and academic excellence.

Goal 1: Professionalism 

Provide educational experiences, which help to instill and promote the development of professional values, ethical behaviors, and leadership to humanity that are expected of physician assistants. 

Objectives

  • Students will exhibit an understanding of diverse populations, medical ethics, patient confidentiality, professional values and responsibilities. (PAST 540)
  • To pursue observational experience in a clinical setting under the supervision of a physician assistant. (PAST 522/532)
  • Continue to apply critical thinking skills and principles of medical ethics in all aspects of clinical and professional tasks and behaviors. (PAST 640/650/660/670-680)
  • Demonstrate professional behavior. (PAST 640/650/660/670-680)
  • Discuss, via professional presentation, a medical case that the student has seen during one of their clinical clerkships this semester. (PAST 640/650/660)

Outcomes:

Our students excel in the areas of professionalism, ethical behavior and service to humanity. The college sponsors various campus wide Humanics in action activities throughout the year that many of our students attend. The PA student organization (PASO) organizes local events to support different community charities. 

Every semester each student completes a professionalism self-assessment, which is reviewed with his or her advisor and documented in his or her student file. Any deficiencies identified by either the student or faculty member are discussed and a plan for remediation is developed. 

Clinical students of our program have consistently and successfully demonstrated excellence in the areas of professionalism and ethical behavior as reported by our clinical preceptors. Data collected from over 200 clinical preceptor evaluations show that the following percentages of our students perform at the benchmark level of a PA student or above (the level of a new PA, or the level of an experienced PA) in the following areas:

            Providing Culturally Competent Care 100%

            Ethical Behavior/Conduct 100%

            Communication and Professional Relationships 99.5%

Goal 2: Evidence Based Practice

Educate students as to the importance of continued evidence-based practice through understanding, evaluating and utilizing medical literature for life-long learning. 

Objectives

  • Discriminate between high- and low-quality articles in the health care literature (RSCH 610/612/PAST 626)
  • Interpret the literature for application in their field (RSCH 610/612/ PAST 626)
  • Understand the elements and components of research and research reports (RSCH 610/612/PAST 626)
  • Detect the various sources of bias in health care related articles and materials (RSCH 610/612/PAST 626)
  • Describe the phases of clinical research for drugs and investigational devices (RSCH 610)
  • Demonstrate the ability to discuss articles using research terminology (RSCH 610/612/PAST 626/640/650/660)

Outcomes:

Each of our students undergoes curriculum wide training in evidence-based practice. Their education starts with a foundation/methods research and statistics courses. The students conduct literature reviews, and use their training to demonstrate the ability to collect, analyze and draw conclusions from the medical literature. 

The capstone project is a best practices paper based upon their literature review, which may be presented at a professional conference. Throughout the entire curriculum, evidence-based assignments are used to reinforce the students' learning. 

Goal 3: Interprofessional/ Disciplinary Education

Provide educational experiences, which support the practice of patient centered care, by preparing our students to work effectively in interprofessional health care teams.

Objectives

  • Identify the roles and responsibilities of various health care professionals and how these professionals contribute to the team approach of patient centered healthcare as part of an interprofessional team. (PAST 540).
  • Develop ability to express opinions and professional judgments to team members (PAST 534/544/670-680)
  • Listen respectfully to other team members and participate both as a team leader and member. (PAST 534/544/670-680) 
  • Understand and respect the roles, responsibilities and expertise of all participants (PAST 534/544/670-680)
  • Engage with other health professionals in collaborative patient-centered problem solving (PAST 544/670-680)
  • Understand your own and others’ stereotypical views of different health professions and professionals. (PAST 534/544/670-680)

Outcomes      

All students attend and participate in an Interprofessional experience during the didactic year. The students then write a reflection paper based on their experience. 

Based on data from clinical year preceptor surveys 99.5% of our students “Work and communicate effectively and professionally as a leader or member of an interprofessional health care team to provide patient-centered care” at the benchmark level of a PA student or above (the level of a new PA, or the level of an experienced PA).

Goal 4: Medical Knowledge and Patient Care

Educating physician assistants who have the clinical skills necessary to provide high quality medical care in a variety of clinical settings. 

Objectives

  • Perform the appropriate history and physical exam throughout the lifespan. (PAST 512/522/532/670-680)
  • Counsel and educate patients on preventative care, chronic and acute disease processes. (PAST 512/522/524/534/544/532/670-680)
  • Discuss the anatomy and physiology of each disease process. (PAST 515/524/525/534/544/670-680)
  • Discuss the appropriate utilization of pharmacotherapeutics in acute and chronic conditions. (PAST 523/524/533/534/544/543/670-680)
  • Discuss mental health disorders, diagnosis, treatment and appropriate referral. (PAST513/670-680)
  • Perform various clinical skills used commonly in clinical practice. (PAST 521/531/670-680)
  • Discuss the epidemiology, etiology, pathophysiology, risk factors, signs/symptoms, differential diagnosis, physical findings, diagnostics, and treatment plans for various disease states. (PAST 524/534/544/670-680)
  • Identify and interpret the appropriate diagnostics and laboratory medicine for each disease. (PAST 524/534/544/670-680)
  • Integrate the knowledge base and skills learned during didactic year to enhance and further learning during clinical experiences to provide the best patient care to diverse populations. (PAST 640/650/660/670-680)

Outcomes

Springfield College PA students excel at medical knowledge and patient care goals as evidenced by our Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) Pass Rates posted on the webpage. Our students consistently score above average on the PANCE tasks areas when compared to the national mean.  

Average patient-care scores on the PANCE for the most recent graduating class compared to national averages.

Class 2021 Springfield College PANCE National PANCE
Applying Scientific Concepts 85% 78%
Clinical Intervention 81% 81%
Formulating Most Likely Diagnosis 87% 82%
Health Maintenance 79% 75%
History and Physical Exam 85% 81%
Professional Practice 79% 82%
Pharmaceutical Therapeutics 84% 80%
Lab and Diagnostics Studies 83% 80%