FIU to launch graduate physician assistant program

FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine will launch a 27-month physician assistant (PA) master’s program this fall to help meet the growing demand for health care practitioners.

“The nation’s aging population, an increase in chronic diseases, and the on-going physician shortage has created a great need for primary care services,” said Pete A. Gutierrez, associate dean and founding chair of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies at the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine. “Our program seeks to help alleviate that need, particularly in our community, by educating culturally sensitive medical professionals.”

The program recently received provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), the accrediting body for all physician assistant programs in the United States. The FIU PA master’s program is one of five across the nation housed at a medical school. The program is designed to prepare students to care for patients by providing a comprehensive medical school experience. That includes the opportunity to participate in medical seminars, lectures, meetings and contribute to articles in peer-reviewed journals.

There are two segments to the program. During the first 15 months students will be in the classroom. In the last year, students will participate in supervised clinical rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, geriatrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery, and emergency medicine. More than 650 candidates applied for the 45 spots in the inaugural class.

Physician Assistants are in high demand nationwide. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 38.4 percent employment growth in the PA profession by 2022.

To learn more about FIU’s physician assistant program, please click here.