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Butler University Bulletin

Master of Physician Assistant Studies

The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree for those completing the requirements of the physician assistant (PA) program. PAs are well-recognized and highly sought-after members of the healthcare team. Working interdependently with physicians, PAs practice medicine and value team-based care in virtually all medical specialties and settings. In all 50 states, PAs have the authority to prescribe medications.

PAs practice in all specialty fields; 28 percent of all PAs provide primary care services, especially in family and general internal medicine. Their job descriptions are diverse, and they serve in both clinical and nonclinical roles. While these nonclinical positions do not involve patient care, they depend on a strong clinical knowledge base.

The MPAS curriculum is 24 consecutive months designed to provide an understanding of the knowledge, skills, and attitudes used as a physician assistant. The first 12 months of the MPAS program are devoted to didactic studies in the basic medical, clinical, and behavioral sciences, and the remaining 12 months are largely focused on the clinical experiences in primary care and medical and surgical specialties.

The didactic curriculum is integrated to introduce the student to medical sciences as they relate to specific organ systems and clinical problems. Learning strategies include the traditional lecture format and basic science laboratory, hybrid, small-group tutorials, and patient case discussions. Regular patient contact is an important part of the first-year curriculum. Students begin to see patients during the first semester of their didactic year. Standardized patient evaluations, through simulation and actors, are also a part of the didactic curriculum. As part of the clinical curriculum, students participate in rotations and didactic course work. Students are required to take core rotations in emergency medicine, family medicine, general surgery, internal medicine, mental health, pediatrics, and women’s health. Students also choose an elective rotation. In the clinical year, students also participate in Core Topics, Issues of Professional Practice, and the Summative Practicum.

Programmatic Goals

  • Select highly qualified applicants through the admission process who will successfully complete our PA Program
  • Provide a quality educational experience that provides students with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes for entry-level practice as PAs
  • Provide an educational experience that prepares our graduates to provide primary care in a wide variety of clinical settings
  • Help our students develop a sensitivity that will allow them to effectively work with patients who are different than they are
  • Maintain our status as the longest accredited PA Program in the state of Indiana
  • Promote professionalism, service, and leadership of students and faculty