There is high demand for the physician assistant (PA) profession, as physician assistants (PAs) help to fill the gap in a projected shortage of primary care physicians. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of PAs will increase 30% in 10 years. Interest in the profession is also very high, as becoming a PA has been named Best Master's Degree for Jobs by Forbes and 2nd Best Job in America by CNN Money.
In response to pending local and national primary care provider shortages and the changing healthcare industry, the Eastern Michigan University (EMU) Board of Regents approved the new Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies academic program.
The EMU PA Program is being developed by the School of Health Promotion and Human Performance, within the College of Health and Human Services. The PA Program will be a twenty-four month, full-time, year-round graduate professional program that emphasizes basic medicine and clinical methods. This developing program will prepare its graduates to be certified and licensed to practice medicine using autonomous decision making under the supervision of a physician.
The EMU PA Program has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The EMU PA Program anticipates matriculating its first class in May 2014, pending Accreditation - Provisional in September 2013. Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards. In the event that Accreditation - Provisional is not received, the EMU PA Program will not commence.