it s all about Choices S H R P School of Health Related Professions Physician Assistant Program

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1 D E P A R T M E N T O F P R I M A R Y C A R E it s all Choices about S H R P School of Health Related Professions Physician Assistant Program

2 P H Y S I C I A N A S S I S T A N T Choices Students who choose UMDNJ s School of Health Related Professions want a University that is exclusively dedicated to health care, with state-of-the-art equipment, rigorous coursework, and faculty who care. All our resources go toward supporting a health care educational environment that attracts and nurtures the very best faculty and students. P R O G R A M

3 PHYSICIAN ASSISTANTS: PArtners in Medicine Physician Assistants (PAs) are health care professionals licensed 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 in most states write prescriptions. The education of PAs is based on the medical model designed to complement physician training. Upon graduation, physician assistants take a national certifying examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of PAs in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. PAs work in a variety of clinical settings. More than half are employed in one of the primary care fields: family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, and obstetrics and gynecology. Other popular areas of practice include surgery and emergency medicine. THE UMDNJ PA PROGRAM The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, located at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, confers a Master of Science degree upon completion of three years of didactic and clinical education. We have been educating PAs since 1975, and are fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). There are two routes of entry into this program. Students may be admitted directly into the professional program after earning a baccalaureate degree and completing the required prerequisite courses. Alternatively, students may be admitted into the joint BA/MS program through one of the Program s affiliated Universities. We believe our three-year format affords the best opportunity for training as a physician assistant, and we are pleased that the very high ranking of our program on the national certifying exam supports this. Our program is one of the top programs in the country. Our graduates consistently achieve a 100% first-time pass rate on the national certifying examination, with scores that place the program in or above the 97th percentile nationwide. Page 1

4 JOINT BA/MS PROGRAMS The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, in collaboration with several New Jersey Universities,* offers undergraduates an opportunity to join the PA Program. These programs are designed as 3+3 programs with the first three years spent as an undergraduate and the last three years spent in the professional graduate program. Students may apply to the professional program in April of their second year by contacting the PA Program for an application. Personal interviews will be required of those applicants being considered for admission. The interview will serve to determine the applicant s emotional and intellectual maturity, the ability to communicate, and the potential to achieve career satisfaction within the PA role. All applications must be received by June 1st and final notices of acceptance will be made by August 1st. Acceptance will be guaranteed at the end of the third year if the applicant maintains a 3.0 GPA, is successful in the interview process, and meets all the requirements for the undergraduate degree before the beginning of the fourth year (first professional year). For more information about our 3+3 Programs, please contact the PA Program office. *For a list of affiliated universities, please visit our website: JOINT MS/MPH PROGRAM The UMDNJ Physician Assistant Program, in conjunction with the UMDNJ School of Public Health, offers a program leading to a Master of Science in physician assistant studies and a Master of Public Health. The program allows physician assistant students to complete both their graduate Physician Assistant studies and MPH degree in four years (including summers). Application to this program is limited to students who have already been accepted to the Physician Assistant Program and have taken the GRE. Students accepted into this dual degree track would attend the Physician Assistant Program part-time for two years while attending the MPH Program part-time. Students may begin this Program in the summer prior to beginning the Physician Assistant Program or in the first fall semester. During the third and fourth years of the Program, the student will be attending the Physician Page 2

5 Assistant Program full-time and completing their fieldwork for the MS and MPH. Students may choose to study in one of the following divisions in the School of Public Health: Health Education and Behavioral Science; Environmental and Occupational Health; or Health Systems and Policy. For more information about our MS/MPH Program, please contact the PA Program office. THE CURRICULUM The Program is an intensive three-year curriculum that is divided into one and one half years of didactic education and one and one half years of clinical rotations. Classes are primarily held on the UMDNJ campus in Piscataway. Clinical rotations are offered in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. A part-time daytime curriculum is also offered. Applicants who are interested in this option should contact the Program for more information. Page 3

6 First Year Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits Microbiology 7 Gross Anatomy 4 Cellular & Genetic Mechanisms 4 Biochemistry 2 Professionalism I 1 Medical Ethics 1 Introduction to Scientific Inquiry 1 Total Credits: 20 Medical Physiology 7 Pathology 5 Human Development/ Health Maintenance 3 Neuroanatomy 2 Electrocardiography 1 Clinical Laboratory 3 Systems Histology 1 Total Credits: 22 Summer Semester Credits Applied Clinical Research 3 Total Credits: 3 Second Year Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits Clinical Medicine I 11 Physical Diagnosis 3 Introduction to Radiology 3 Pharmacology 3 Medical Interviewing 3 Applied Clinical Correlates 1 Total Credits: 24 Clinical Medicine II 2 Clinical Nutrition 1 Psychiatry 3 Dynamics of Human Sexuality 1 Introduction to Clinical Clerkships 2 Physician Assistant Internship I 12 Total Credits: 21 Summer Semester Credits Physician Assistant Internship II 8 Third Year Total Credits: 8 Fall Semester Credits Spring Semester Credits Physician Assistant Internship III 12 Total Credits: 12 Physician Assistant Internship IV 12 Professionalism II 1 Total Credits: 13 Page 4

7 Admission Requirements The following requirements must be met in order to obtain admission: 1. The applicant must have a baccalaureate degree or be attending one of our affiliated Universities. 2. The applicant should have completed the following courses with a grade of C or better: General Psychology English (composition) Mathematics (precalculus) General Chemistry (with lab) Organic Chemistry Biological Sciences (with lab) 3 semester hours 3 semester hours 3-4 semester hours 8 semester hours 3-4 semester hours 8 semester hours Persons with incomplete prerequisites may apply; however, they must state how they will satisfy the prerequisites by the end of the spring semester prior to the start of the program. 3. The applicant must have an overall and science GPA of no less than 3.0 (on a scale where 4 equals A). In cases where individuals show high potential by improved performance, exceptions to this requirement may be considered. 4. The applicant must submit three completed Recommendation Forms. It is preferable that one recommendation be prepared by a college instructor, one by an employment supervisor and one by an individual who is thoroughly familiar with the applicant s general characteristics. He/she may be an instructor, counselor, community leader, etc. 5. Interviews will be required of those applicants being considered for admission. The determination is made following an initial screening by the Admissions Committee. The interview will serve to identify qualities such as communication skills, motivation, and general interpersonal skills. The applicant should demonstrate a clear understanding of the PA role and how this fits into the applicant s career goals. The applicant is reminded that competition is very keen for the available spaces. Page 5

8 6. Prior patient contact experience is considered desirable and applicants with such experience will be given priority consideration, but not to the exclusion of applicants without such experience. The Admissions Committee is empowered to make admission conditional upon completion of a designated period of experience in a health related field for a duration of not less than four (4) or more than twelve (12) weeks. 7. The Committee is pleased to consider applications from out-of-state candidates. 8. Applicants are advised to submit their applications by October 1 prior to the academic year for which the application is made. All applications with supporting documents must be received no later than February Applicants who received their degrees outside the USA are required to take the TOEFL exam. TOEFL currently administers the internetbased (IB) and paper-based (PB) testing. A minimum score of 100 (IB) or 600 (PB) must be achieved. The TOEFL Designated Institution Code is Along with taking the TOEFL exam, applicants are required to submit an evaluation of the foreign transcript. Evaluations can be obtained by contacting World Education Services, Inc. at or International Education Evaluations, Inc. at 10. Most of our applicants are placed on a hold list until February when the interview process is completed. At that time final decisions are made and applicants are notified of the Admissions Committee s final decisions by March. Some applicants may be offered a place on our waiting list, which we utilize when applicants decline our offer of acceptance. If you would like to discuss your application or have questions pertaining to the application process, contact the program. Phone conferences with faculty or our admissions coordinator are available by appointment. Page 6

9 FINANCIAL INFORMATION AND EXPENSES Please contact the PA Program office or visit our website for the current tuition information and fee schedule. Tuition Tuition for out-of-state residents and for students whose permanent residence is outside the US is 50% more than that of in-state residents. Students who are interested in applying for resident status can find the policy and application at the following website: Financial Aid Financial Aid is available through UMDNJ. Veterans Education Assistance benefits are available to persons who qualify. Scholarships, grants, loans, and on campus jobs are available for eligible applicants. Interested applicants should contact the Financial Aid Office at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at (732) for information. PA students are also eligible for several different federal loan repayment programs. Interested students should contact The National Health Service Corps, The Indian Health Service and/or The US Department of Justice-Federal Bureau of Prisons for more information. The booklet: Financial Aid Resources for PA Students can be obtained by calling the American Academy of Physician Assistants at (703) The cost is approximately $ Equipment Upon entrance into the PA Program, all students will be expected to purchase medical diagnostic equipment at an estimated cost of $ General Service Fee UMDNJ has implemented a Student Health Service on its various campuses. All full time students who pay tuition directly to UMDNJ and are based on a UMDNJ campus are required to pay the Health Service Fee. Page 7

10 Health Insurance Fee In addition to the General Service Fee, all students are required to purchase health insurance from the University. This fee may be waived, if the student can provide documentation of equivalent coverage by another insurer. Books Books are approximately $400 per semester for the three didactic semesters. Program Fees Fees for all SHRP programs are charged at a per-credit rate to a maximum of 16 credits. This includes part-time students. Technology Fee A per-semester fee is charged to all UMDNJ tuition paying students taking six (6) or more credits. Housing There is no on-campus housing available. Most students live in private homes and apartments near the University with other students in the program. Parking Fee There is a yearly parking fee in order to park on the UMDNJ campus. Graduation Fee Students are required to pay a one-time graduation fee. Background Check Fee Students are required to pay a one-time background check fee. In addition to the tuition and fees, students may be held responsible for the cost of housing if assigned to a clinical rotation at a distant site. Participation in off-campus activities and clinical sites will necessitate travel by individual automobile. Page 8

11 OTHER SERVICES AND POLICIES Support Services Due to the challenges of this rigorous curriculum, the program has established several services to help students to succeed. These include mental health counseling, cognitive skills counseling, and private tutoring services. All of these are provided to students at no extra cost. Advanced Placement Applicants interested in advanced placement should provide documentation of graduate level course work and submit a letter of request to the Program Director. Applicants should be aware that for some courses a placement exam is required. Transfer Credits Transfer credit is only awarded for students seeking advanced placement (see above). Transfer credit will only be considered for students who can document equivalent graduate level course work from an accredited college or university with a grade of at least B. Experiential Learning Students may apply for credit for experiential learning through the Office of Enrollment Services in Newark. Applications for credit for experiential learning will only be considered after a student is accepted into the PA Program. Graduation Requirements Once accepted into the PA Program, students must maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.5 (on a scale where 4.0 = A) in order to graduate from the Program. Page 9

12 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Is a PA permitted to prescribe medications? Most states, including New Jersey, permit PAs to prescribe certain classes of drugs with physician controls and supervision. In January, 2005, the New Jersey legislature passed a bill authorizing PAs to prescribe controlled substances. Is a PA a dependant practitioner? Yes. A PA is a professional member of the health care team, qualified by academic and clinical training, who functions with responsible supervision of a licensed physician. Supervision may be direct or indirect. This relationship augments the physician s data gathering and technical abilities, thus assisting the supervising physician in formulating and instituting care plans and treatment for the physician s patients. The supervising physician may delegate to the PA those medical procedures and other tasks that are performed within the normal scope of the physician s practice. The PA is subject to the limitations set forth by the supervising physician in addition to the laws, rules, and regulations that affect PA practice. What kind of salary do most PAs command? In 2006, the average salary for new graduates (those in practice for less than one year) is approximately $71,000. The average PA salary nationwide is $84,000. Are PAs certified? PAs are certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA), which was formed by 14 national organizations in 1974 to determine examination eligibility and establish examination criteria. How is PA certification obtained? The PA must pass a stringent examination developed and administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners under a contract with the NCCPA. What type of examination is given? The certifying exam is composed of multiple choice questions. It is designed to assess the competence of PAs in conducting a variety of health care functions normally encountered in practice. Page 10

13 Are there any limits on certification? NCCPA certification is for six years and the PA must also re-register every two years. What are the re-registration requirements? The NCCPA requires PAs to earn 100 hours of Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit every two years in order to re-register. In addition, a written recertifying exam must be taken every six years. Do PAs need a license to practice? Each state has developed its own criteria regulating PA practice. Some states offer registration while others offer licensing. In general, the requirements to obtain privileges to practice include: proof of graduation from an accredited PA Program, proof of NCCPA certification, letters of reference, and a photograph. The physician/pa team may be required to make a joint application. Page 11

14 The School of Health Related Professions was established as a formal institution of the University in This school has been successful in creating a consistent framework for allied health education statewide.

15 UMDNJ-SHRP PHYSICIAN ASSISTANT PROGRAM 675 Hoes Lane Piscataway, NJ Name (please print) Address City/State/Zip Code ( ) Telephone Number Address Do you have a baccalaureate degree? Yes No Are you presently a student in one of our affiliated undergraduate institutions? Yes No Are you applying to the BA/MS Program Yes No Check the prerequisites you have successfully completed with a grade of "C" or better. If you have NOT completed the prerequisite but will have done so by the end of the spring semester, write "SS" next to the course title below. General Biology I General Biology II General Chemistry I General Chemistry II General Psychology Precalculus level math or higher (does not include Statistics) English Composition Organic Chemistry I

16 For more information, Please visit our website at: Physician Assistant Program 675 Hoes Lane Piscataway, NJ

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