California Baptist University is consistently growing and expanding the opportunities it provides for students as the Department of Public Health Sciences is currently in the process of adding a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree.
Dr. Allan Bedashi, director of the Physician Assistant Studies program, chair of the department and professor in the program, and Grace Utomo, department secretary for physician assistant studies, explained what this new addition will offer for students who may be interested.
“This is a graduate program that will prepare students to sit for board exams and practice as licensed physician assistants,” Utomo and Bedashi said in a joint email. “PAs are mid-level practitioners who treat patients under physician supervision. They examine patients, perform physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic studies, prescribe medications, administer treatments and assist in the operating room.”
They also explained the job opportunities for someone with a PA master’s degree, including being able to specialize in medical fields such as family medicine, pediatrics, orthopedics, emergency medicine, dermatology and women’s health.
For prospective students interested in joining the program, Utomo and Bedashi said the application cycle ends March 31.
“We have already started reviewing applications and interviewing students for our first cohort,” they said. “The first cohort of students will begin classes in September 2016.”
The program is also already anticipating receiving accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistants in March 2016.
“The program underwent its accreditation site visit in October 2015 and obtained a perfect score,” Utomo and Bedashi said.
The new program will have approximately 60 members including full-time faculty, adjunct faculty, specialist guest lecturers and clinical preceptors.
“The PA profession is in high demand at this time,” Utomo and Bedashi said. “This is due to the increased patient population because of Obama Care, retirement of clinical practitioners and an increase of baby-boomers reaching retirement age.”
The benefit of this program reaches beyond students and CBU, in general, to the Inland Empire.
“(It) is identified as a health care provider shortage area, (so) we are helping to close this gap,” they said in the email.
The addition will add to an increase in health science and natural sciences enrollment.
“The program also offers an opportunity for current students and alumni of CBU to continue their studies here at the graduate level,” Utomo and Bedashi said.