Physician Assistant (MSM)

Trevecca’s Physician Assistant (PA) program equips graduates to serve their communities through professional clinical practice. Our program is the first and longest-tenured program in Tennessee, offering all new on-campus facilities and clinical experiences in diverse settings.

Program Mission

The mission of Trevecca's PA program is to prepare professionally competent physician assistants who will use their skills to serve their communities in compassionate ministry.

Program Benefits

  • Graduate from Tennessee’s first and longest-tenured PA program.
  • Complete your degree with a supportive cohort of students who are working toward similar goals.
  • Learn from faculty who possess the highest degrees in their fields and have relevant and valuable real-world experience.
  • Enjoy collaborative and cooperative learning environments.
  • Earn your degree in the nation’s health care industry capital. 

New Facilities

This year as we celebrate 45 years of training excellence, we’re also moving into a brand new facility: Trevecca’s recently completed Health Sciences Building, featured above. This four-story addition to the Greathouse Science Building features an eight-cadaver lab and adds 33,000 square feet of classroom, lab, and other spaces, providing a great new environment for instruction and interaction. This new space gives Trevecca’s PA program space to grow and room to nurture collaboration and innovation. Our new home is a place where future PA students can thrive as they welcome a new era, building on a legacy that revolves around our supportive, student-centric community.

What to Expect

As a student in Trevecca’s Master of Science in Medicine (MSM) for Physician Assistants, you’ll be part of a highly respected PA program that’s been growing and succeeding for more than four decades. Continuously accredited since 1976, the superior quality of Trevecca’s PA program exists to help you succeed. Our graduates consistently pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) at rates above the national average. In the past five years, graduates from our program have an average first-time pass rate of 99 percent. 

Before your program even begins, we offer optional, self-directed learning that covers important topics in science to prepare you to start strong. Once you are in the program, our curriculum prepares you to provide patient-centered health care in diverse populations and settings. You’ll be taught the ethical, legal and regulatory standards you need to be part of an interprofessional, collaborative team. You’ll also have the opportunity for in-lab learning with eight cadavers exclusively used by PA students. 

The program is divided into two phases: didactic and clinical. During the didactic phase, you’ll spend 15 months in courses on medical science and clinical medicine. You’ll then move on to a 12-month period in which you’ll participate in 8 six-week rotations in the following areas: family medicine I and II, pediatrics, behavioral and mental health, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery and an area of your choosing.

Why Choose Trevecca?

Founded in 1901 and a leader in online education for more than two decades, Trevecca has been recognized nationally and locally for providing our students with the highest level of academic quality and rigor. We offer a holistic education focused on the intellectual, social, emotional, physical, and spiritual health of all the students in our diverse student body. 

As a Christian university, we offer programs that explore the ways faith and health care intersect. Our PA program prioritizes compassion, integrity and a biblical worldview. Throughout the program, you’ll participate in learning experiences at local organizations that reach Nashville’s medically underserved and homeless population. Our program also offers opportunities for clinical experiences at faith-based clinics in both urban and rural settings. If you are interested in medical missions, you’ll have opportunities to participate in foreign mission trips and clinical rotations in settings around the world. Students have served in a number of countries including Ghana, Zambia, Swaziland and Haiti.

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.

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Financial Aid

Financial Aid

Nearly every student at Trevecca receives some form of assistance in paying for college. Learn all about the affordability of a TNU education and options for receiving aid.

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Class of 2025 Tuition & Package

 

$700/Credit hour with fees 142 total credit hours $99,400
Semester 1 14 credit hours $14,200
Semester 2 26 credit hours $14,200
Semester 3 27 credit hours $14,200
Semester 4 26 credit hours $14,200
Semester 5 18 credit hours $14,200
Semester 6 18 credit hours $14,200
Semester 7 13 credit hours $14,200

 

Medical instruments, program scrubs and lab coats are additional costs to the above tuition package per student selection.

*Disclaimer: Tuition & costs are subject to change.

Admissions Requirements

The physician assistant program aims to develop graduates who can function as fully competent physician assistants and who are capable of fulfilling the Hippocratic duty “to benefit and do no harm.” As a result, it is important that individuals admitted to the program possess the intelligence, integrity, compassion, humanitarian concern and physical and emotional capacity necessary to practice medicine. The admissions process includes requirements in academics, patient care, PA shadowing, submission of references and completion of the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) application.

Due to continued restrictions related to COVID-19, the Admissions Committee at Trevecca's PA program has updated its admissions policy addendum as of February 2022. These updated policies supersede all previous COVID-19 policy addendums.

1. Academics

  • GPA requirement, cumulative undergraduate: 3.25 or greater
  • GPA requirement, cumulative science: 3.25 or greater on all coursework 
  • GRE minimum score: 300 from a combined best score in the verbal and quantitative sections of the test (writing component not included).
    - An official test score must be submitted directly to CASPA (use code #0532) prior to October 1. Without an officially posted score, the application will not be reviewed. These scores are believed to indicate sufficient academic ability for successful completion of the program. We do not include the written portion of the test in the required 300 or greater score.
  • While any undergraduate major is acceptable, it is recommended that applicants supplement any degree outside of biology or chemistry with additional upper-level science courses to present themselves most competitive. Accepted applicants average 3-4 additional upper-level science courses.

Due to a large number of applicants, not all students meeting the minimum requirements will receive an interview. Candidates should endeavor to obtain the highest GPA and GRE scores possible. With any grade lower than a B, the applicant should retake the course in order to reflect mastery of the material and a capability to succeed within a rigorous program. Entering students of the last three years have significantly exceeded the minimum requirements. For example, the statistics for the cohort of 2021 include the following scores:

  • General GPA 3.7
  • Science GPA 3.76
  • BCP GPA (Bio/Chem/Physics) 3.6 
  • GRE combined score of 307
Prerequisite courses

Applicants must successfully complete all of the following program prerequisites, regardless of the undergraduate degree or major. 

  • Human Anatomy and Physiology with lab – 8 hours
  • General Chemistry I and II with lab – 8 hours
  • Microbiology with lab - 3 or 4 hours
  • General Psychology – 3 hours
  • Developmental Psychology (Growth and Development or Lifespan) – 3 hours
  • Medical Terminology – minimum 1 hour/certificate

No online or hybrid science prerequisites will be accepted. Science courses labeled as "survey" or "introductory" will not be accepted (for clarification, please contact us for approval). You may only use online course options to complete psychology requirements and/or medical terminology. (See COVID Policy Addendum for exceptions.)

Abnormal psychology cannot be substituted for the developmental psychology prerequisite. Child development or lifespan psychology is considered a substitute for developmental psychology. It is important that normal psychological development across the lifespan be covered in the course. We do not accept immunology, genetics, or cellular & molecular biology for the microbiology prerequisite, although these classes are recommended as additional courses. Mammalian anatomy can satisfy the human anatomy requirement.

Due to the competitiveness of the selection process, all applicants are encouraged to take as many additional upper-level science courses as possible. Not only do the courses provide information on academic performance, but they also assist in preparation for the rigorous program. The successful completion of these additional courses will assist in your competitiveness.

  • Organic Chemistry
  • Immunology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Genetics
  • Molecular or Cellular Biology
  • Biochemistry

Expiration of science courses: Any science prerequisite class taken seven years prior to the month of May of your matriculate year will require a refresher course. A refresher course is qualified by repeating the full course or, in the case of a two-semester course, repeating at least one-half of the course. An applicant may only be exempt from taking a refresher course if they have consistently worked in an academic or commercial setting (as a chemist or biologist--see below), where the material covered in the course was utilized on a routine basis. A description of specific course exemptions is included below. When in question, repeating the course is recommended. Please contact the program for clarification on specific courses if needed.

Science prerequisites with their exemption criteria:

  • Chemistry: Academic or Commercial Chemist 
  • Anatomy/Physiology: Academic or Commercial Human Biologist
  • Microbiology: Academic or Commercial Biologist/Microbiologist

Pending courses: For an applicant to present themselves most competitively, it is mandatory that two or fewer required science courses be pending for the spring semester prior to matriculation. This allows the admissions committee the ability to accurately assess the applicant’s academic performance at the time of an interview.

2. Patient care

All applicants must log at least 250 hours of direct patient care. All direct patient care hours must be logged at the time of submitting your application. This allows the admissions committee to process your application at first review and schedule earlier interviews. In the opinion of the PA program faculty, past medical experience provides a framework upon which students can build and facilitate the expansion of medical knowledge. We do not accept updates sent directly to the program. 

Positions that qualify for direct patient care hours include: medical assistant, patient care technician, surgical technician, first assistant, scribe, CNA, LPN, RN, EMT/paramedic, OT/PT or OT asst./PT asst., AT-C, phlebotomist, RT, ER technician, lab technician (if phlebotomy or direct patient care is the majority of job description), clinical pharmacy technician (with high percentage of patient exposure) and clinical dietician. 

Positions that do not qualify are personal care assistant, pharmacy technician without clinical exposure, unit clerk, camp counselor, counselor and social worker. Clinical hours obtained while working towards a prior degree are not to be submitted in the application as direct patient care. Direct patient care hours should be obtained while an employee in one of the above accepted clinical positions. In addition, we will accept hours accrued under “volunteer” status in any of the above, accepted position titles. 

3. Shadowing

Shadowing of physician assistants is required for admission. Applicants should log a minimum of 10 hours at the time of application. This provides sufficient insight as to the role and duties of practicing physician assistants and is believed to be an accurate indicator of an individual’s desire and commitment to the profession. Shadowing may be logged from multiple physician assistants. All hours logged should be obtained via direct clinical observation and not on the basis of a personal relationship. Mission field shadowing may be utilized as long as you were working alongside a PA in a medical setting. Please do not duplicate shadowing hours as direct patient care hours. The program will not accept hour updates via email.

4. References

A total of three recommendations is required. One recommendation must be from a physician assistant. This PA should be one whom the applicant has worked alongside in a clinical setting through observation, shadowing or prior work experience.

5. Background statement

Through the CASPA portal, an applicant must self-report any misdemeanor, felony, and/or dismissals. If at a later time an incident is discovered that was not reported, the applicant is subject to possible revoking of an offer or acceptance into Trevecca’s PA program. A certified background check will also be performed prior to matriculation and any positive report is also cause for the revoking of an offer or acceptance.

How to apply

The PA program utilizes the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Students who wish to apply to the physician assistant program must submit the application and documentation to CASPA.

  • Early applicants should apply as early as possible upon opening of the application cycle in April. Remember that all shadowing and direct patient care hours must be logged at the time of submitting your application.
  • Applications must have a completed status in CASPA by October 1 and must include the following documentation. If you have questions as to status determination per CASPA, please notify its help desk for clarification.
    1. Official transcripts from all schools attended. DO NOT send transcripts to the program during the application process.
    2. Applicants must submit three letters of recommendation. One recommendation must be completed by a physician assistant.
    3. An official score from the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) must be logged on the CASPA application prior to October 1. The Designated Institution Code for Trevecca Nazarene University is #0532.
    4. Applicants must submit all transcripts and scores directly to CASPA. If you are offered a seat in the program an official transcript will be requested in the spring prior to matriculation.
  • No advanced placement is given to any student regardless of academic background.
  • No transfers of PA students are considered.
  • Questions? Contact the PA Admissions office at (615) 248-1303 or tvines@trevecca.edu to reach Teresa Vines, PA admissions coordinator.
  • For questions concerning the CASPA application process, please contact CASPA directly at 240-497-1985 or e-mail apply@caspaonline.org.
  • Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an examination of their English language ability. The test required is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). See International students section below for score requirements.

International students

Trevecca welcomes international students to apply to our program. Applicants whose native language is not English are required to take an examination of their English language ability. The test required is the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), and a minimum score of 550 is required on the paper-based test and 213 on the computer-based test. On the computer-based TOEFL, we require a total score of 80 with 20 on each section (listening, speaking, reading and writing).

You are also required to submit your foreign coursework to a US-based evaluation service for a course-by-course US equivalency report. This report should then be sent directly to CASPA from the evaluation service. We recommend you contact a foreign transcript evaluation service as early as possible. Services can take several weeks to process your transcript(s) once received. The following are foreign evaluation vendors our applicants have used in the past. This list is not all-inclusive and we do not recommend or endorse any particular vendor or service. 

All regular admission requirements must be completed. Fifteen (15) semester hours must be completed in a United States accredited institution. Nine of the 15 hours must be prerequisite science courses. Trevecca’s Certification of Financial Support must be on file at the time an I-20 form is issued. International students will have the same financial policy applied to them as any other student does. Only international students with a valid immigration student status of F-1 will be permitted to register.

 

Technical Standards (Admission and Retention Requirements)

Physician Assistant education is a comprehensive process requiring the acquisition of general knowledge in all fields of medicine and basic skills requisite for the practice of medicine. The education of a PA (Physician Assistant) also requires the development of judgment through patient care experiences that prepare individuals for appropriate decision-making in clinical practice.

It is the intent and practice of the Trevecca Nazarene University Physician Assistant Program to select applicants who have the capacity to become highly competent PAs (Physician Assistant). As an accredited program, Trevecca adheres to the “Standards” promulgated by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA). Within these guidelines, Trevecca’s PA Program has the freedom and ultimate responsibility for the selection of students; the design, implementation, and evaluation of curriculum; the evaluation of students; and the determination of who should be awarded a degree. Admission and retention decisions are based not only on meeting required academic achievements but also on non-academic factors such as, but not limited to, character, integrity, altruism, grit, and perseverance, which indicate alignment with the mission of the Trevecca PA Program.

The PA Program has the responsibility to the public to assure that its graduates are fully competent PAs capable of fulfilling the Hippocratic duty “to benefit and do no harm.” Thus, it is important that persons admitted to the PA Program possess the intelligence, integrity, compassion, humanitarian concern, and physical and emotional capacity necessary to practice medicine. 

As a private Christian university affiliated with the Church of the Nazarene, Trevecca is open to any qualified student without regard of race, color, sex, age, creed, national or ethnic origin, or physical disability. Trevecca Nazarene University complies with all statutory and regulatory nondiscrimination requirements applicable to this institution in the administration of its educational policies and programs, scholarships and loan programs, equal opportunity employment practices, and athletic and other school-administered programs.  

Applicants to the Trevecca Nazarene University Physician Assistant Program must meet the academic and technical standards outlined by the program and the university. We recognize that degrees of ability vary between students. Prospective students who are otherwise qualified but require reasonable accommodation should contact Trevecca Nazarene University Disability Services. All Technical standards must be met with or without accommodation. 

Technical standards and educational objectives are established to align with the program curriculum. Accepted students must possess cognitive, physical, and behavioral skills that ensure they can acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to provide effective care as a physician assistant. The Trevecca Nazarene University Physician Assistant Program welcomes all who meet minimal admissions requirements to apply. The program follows all admissions requirements and technical standards when making their admissions decisions. 

Observation 

Observation includes the use of the sense of vision, both near and far, as well as other senses and modalities (smell, hearing, etc.) to facilitate knowledge. The candidate must be able to observe content including, but not limited to, demonstrations, illustrations, microscopic studies, and patient physical condition. These skills are necessary to accurately diagnose and develop treatment plans.

Communication  

Communication involves the ability to speak clearly, interpret, and observe patients. Effective communication includes speaking fluently and effectively with sensitivity and compassion toward patients. Additional required communication skills include comprehension and composition of written documentation, allowing candidates to work effectively and efficiently as part of a medical care team.  

Motor 

Motor functions are an integral part of the diagnostic process. Candidates should be able to perform maneuvers such as palpation, auscultation, and percussion. Additionally, candidates should be able to perform diagnostic procedures (e.g., lumbar puncture, skin biopsy) and emergency treatments (e.g., suturing, splinting, incision and drainage) which require gross and fine motor skills to ensure the highest level of patient care.

Cognitive/Conceptualization

The ability to synthesize, retain, and apply a wide breadth of complex information indicates that candidates must be alert and attentive. Candidates will experience their curriculum through a variety of modalities. It is important that they can integrate knowledge presented in diverse ways. This includes the ability to comprehend spatial relationships and three-dimensional models. 

Behavioral/Social 

The practice of medicine includes many legal and ethical aspects. Candidates must be able to relate to their patients and families in a way that shows dignity, respect, and compassion. The well-being of the patient should be primary. Candidates should be able to complete multiple tasks and functions under stress. They should be able to adapt to the needs of their patients and exhibit empathy and integrity throughout their education and their medical career. 

The above technical standards identify the Trevecca University PA Program requirements for admission and retention of applicants and students, respectively.

Master of Science in Medicine (MSM)

The program is divided between two phases:

Didactic phase: Consists of 15 months of basic medical science and clinical medicine courses.

Clinical phase: Consists of 8 six-week rotations to be completed in a 12-month period.

Required rotations are Family Medicine I and II, Pediatrics, Behavioral and Mental Health, Internal Medicine, Emergency Medicine and General Surgery. Each student will complete an eighth elective rotation in an area of their choosing. It is expected that students accepting admission to the PA Program will accept rotation assignments where and when they are available. Reliable transportation is required. All expenses related to travel, meals and lodging during rotations are the responsibility of the student. Financial planning in this area is important.

Students are discouraged from employment while in the PA program. Working often interferes with learning opportunities. Requesting time off or adjustments to the PA program schedule demonstrates a lack of motivation and interest and may jeopardize the quality of your educational experience.

At the completion of all curriculum requirements, the Master of Science in Medicine (MSM) degree will be awarded.

Accreditation

Trevecca’s physician assistant program has maintained continuous accreditation since its inception more than 40 years ago. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the physician assistant program of Trevecca Nazarene University, sponsored by Trevecca Nazarene University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.


The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website here:
http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-trevecca-nazarene-university/

Trevecca physician assistant students consistently score above the national average on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). View Trevecca's National Certifying Examination Five-Year First Time Taker Summary Report here.

Here is more information about our exam results: 

  • Congratulations to the class of 2021 for their 100% first-time taker pass rate. 
  • Classes of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2021 each achieved a first-time taker pass rate of 100%.

Pass rates of first-time test takers

5-year national average:
95%

5-year average for Trevecca graduates:
99%

 

 

Graduated Classes

Current Classes

Class of 2018

Class of 2019

Class of 2020

Class of 2021

Class of 2022

Class of 2023

Maximum entering class size (as approved by ARC-PA)

50

50

50

50

50

50

Entering class size

48

51

54

45

50

51

Graduates

43

46

53

44

 

 

*Attrition rate

0.104

0.098

0.018

0.022

0.060

0

**Graduation rate

0.895

0.902

0.981

0.977

TBD

TBD

 

Footnotes:
*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Comments:

  • Class of 2019 entering class sizes includes 46 new students and 2 reentering students from the class of 2017
  • Class of 2019 entering class size includes 48 new students and 3 reentering students from the class of 2018
  • Class of 2020 entering class size includes 50 new students and 4 reentering students from the class of 2019
  • Class of 2021 entering class size includes 45 new students
  • Class of 2022 entering class size includes 50 new students
  • Class of 2023 entering class size includes 50 new students and 1 reentering student from the class of 2022

Class of 2022 and class of 2023 attrition rates are as of 1/26/2022.

Program Goals

The goals of Trevecca’s PA program are as follows.

  • Prepare professionally competent Physician Assistants for entry into clinical practice.
  • Maintain a level of First-Time Taker PANCE Pass Rate above the national average.
  • Equip physician assistants who will use their skills in compassionate ministry and service.   
    • Trevecca’s didactic PA students participate in learning experiences with Nashville organizations serving the local medically underserved and homeless population.  
    • Trevecca’s PA students have opportunities to complete clinical rotations with Christian Community Health Fellowship (CCHF) during the clinical phase of the program.  
    • Trevecca’s PA students interested in medical missions have opportunities to participate in foreign mission trips and clinical rotations in settings around the world. Students have served in a number of countries, including Ghana, Zambia, Swaziland and Haiti.
    • Trevecca’s PA graduates have gone on to serve at multiple non-profit medical clinics and sites such as Faith Family Medical Clinic in Nashville, Siloam Family Health Center in Nashville, Christ Community in Memphis, and a facility in the Dominican Republic.
  • Prepare physician assistant students to provide patient-centered health care to patients from diverse populations with a commitment to the ethical, legal and regulatory standards as part of an interprofessional collaborative team.  
    • The program’s curriculum is designed to facilitate the development of these skill sets in our students with coursework in medical ethics, professional practice, and patient evaluation, and incorporating interprofessional educational (IPE) experiences, with assessments throughout the student’s tenure in the program.
  • Prepare physician assistant students to practice medicine with a commitment to ethical, legal and regulatory standards.

Competencies

  1. Knowledge for Practice
    Demonstrate knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care. PAs should be able to:
    • Demonstrate investigative and critical thinking in clinical situations.
    • Access and interpret current and credible sources of medical information.
    • Apply principles of epidemiology to identify health problems, risk factors, treatment strategies, resources, and disease prevention/health promotion efforts for individuals and populations.
    • Discern among acute, chronic, and emergent disease states.
    • Apply principles of clinical sciences to diagnose disease and utilize therapeutic decision-making, clinical problem-solving, and other evidence-based practice skills.
    • Adhere to standards of care, and to relevant laws, policies, and regulations that govern the delivery of care in the United States.
    • Consider cost-effectiveness when allocating resources for individual patient or population-based care.
    • Work effectively and efficiently in various health care delivery settings and systems relevant to the PA’s clinical specialty.
    • Identify and address social determinants that affect access to care and deliver high quality care in a value-based system.
    • Participate in surveillance of community resources to determine if they are adequate to sustain and improve health.
    • Utilize technological advancements that decrease costs, improve quality, and increase access to health care.
  2. Interpersonal and Communication Skills
    Demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and health professionals. PAs should be able to:
    • Establish meaningful therapeutic relationships with patients and families to ensure that patients’ values and preferences are addressed and that needs and goals are met to deliver person-centered care.
    • Provide effective, equitable, understandable, respectful, quality, and culturally competent care that is responsive to diverse cultural health beliefs and practices, preferred languages, health literacy, and other communication needs.
    • Communicate effectively to elicit and provide information.
    • Accurately and adequately document medical information for clinical, legal, quality, and financial purposes.
    • Demonstrate sensitivity, honesty, and compassion in all conversations, including challenging discussions about death, end of life, adverse events, bad news, disclosure of errors, and other sensitive topics.
    • Demonstrate emotional resilience, stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity.
    • Understand emotions, behaviors, and responses of others, which allows for effective interpersonal interactions.
    • Recognize communication barriers and provide solutions.
  3. Person-centered Care
    Provide person-centered care that includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management and health care that is evidence-based, supports patient safety, and advances health equity. PAs should be able to:
    • Gather accurate and essential information about patients through history- taking, physical examination, and diagnostic testing.
    • Elicit and acknowledge the story of the individual and apply the context of the individual’s life to their care, such as environmental and cultural influences.
    • Interpret data based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and clinical judgment to make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions.
    • Develop, implement, and monitor effectiveness of patient management plans.
    • Maintain proficiency to perform safely all medical, diagnostic, and surgical procedures considered essential for the practice specialty.
    • Counsel, educate, and empower patients and their families to participate in their care and enable shared decision-making.
    • Refer patients appropriately, ensure continuity of care throughout transitions between providers or settings, and follow up on patient progress and outcomes.
    • Provide health care services to patients, families, and communities to prevent health problems and to maintain health.
  4. Interprofessional Collaboration
    Demonstrate the ability to engage with a variety of other health care professionals in a manner that optimizes safe, effective, patient- and population-centered care. PAs should be able to:
    • Work effectively with other health professionals to provide collaborative, patient-centered care while maintaining a climate of mutual respect, dignity, diversity, ethical integrity, and trust.
    • Communicate effectively with colleagues and other professionals to establish and enhance interprofessional teams.
    • Engage the abilities of available health professionals and associated resources to complement the PA’s professional expertise and develop optimal strategies to enhance patient care.
    • Collaborate with other professionals to integrate clinical care and public health interventions.
    • Recognize when to refer patients to other disciplines to ensure that patients receive optimal care at the right time and appropriate level.
  5. Professionalism and Ethics
    Demonstrate a commitment to practicing medicine in ethically and legally appropriate ways and emphasizing professional maturity and accountability for delivering safe and quality care to patients and populations. PAs should be able to:
    • Adhere to standards of care in the role of the PA in the health care team.
    • Demonstrate compassion, integrity, and respect for others.
    • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest.
    • Show accountability to patients, society, and the PA profession.
    • Demonstrate cultural humility and responsiveness to a diverse patient populations, including diversity in sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, culture, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, and abilities.
    • Show commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of care, confidentiality, patient autonomy, informed consent, business practices, and compliance with relevant laws, policies, and regulations.
    • Demonstrate commitment to lifelong learning and education of students and other healthcare professionals.
    • Demonstrate commitment to personal wellness and self-care that supports the provision of quality patient care.
    • Exercise good judgment and fiscal responsibility when utilizing resources.
    • Demonstrate flexibility and professional civility when adapting to change.
    • Implement leadership practices and principles.
    • Demonstrate effective advocacy for the PA profession in the workplace and in policymaking processes.
  6. Practice-based Learning and Quality Improvement
    Demonstrate the ability to learn and implement quality improvement practices by engaging in critical analysis of one’s own practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self-evaluation, lifelong learning, and practice improvement. PAs should be able to:
    • Exhibit self-awareness to identify strengths, address deficiencies, and recognize limits in knowledge and expertise.
    • Identify, analyze, and adopt new knowledge, guidelines, standards, technologies, products, or services that have been demonstrated to improve outcomes.
    • Identify improvement goals and perform learning activities that address gaps in knowledge, skills, and attitudes.
    • Use practice performance data and metrics to identify areas for improvement.
    • Develop a professional and organizational capacity for ongoing quality improvement.
    • Analyze the use and allocation of resources to ensure the practice of cost-effective healthcare while maintaining quality of care.
    • Understand of how practice decisions impact the finances of their organizations, while keeping the patient’s needs foremost.
    • Advocate for administrative systems that capture the productivity and value of PA practice.
  7. Society and Population Health
    Recognize and understand the influences of the ecosystem of person, family, population, environment, and policy on the health of patients and integrate knowledge of these determinants of health into patient care decisions. PAs should be able to:
    1. Apply principles of social-behavioral sciences by assessing the impact of psychosocial and cultural influences on health, disease, care seeking, and compliance.
    2. Recognize the influence of genetic, socioeconomic, environmental, and other determinants on the health of the individual and community.
    3. Improve the health of patient populations
    4. Demonstrate accountability, responsibility, and leadership for removing barriers to health.
 

Preceptors

Trevecca partners with medical professionals who can offer hands-on training to PA students. Locally licensed physician assistants, nurse practitioners, doctors of medicine and doctors of osteopathic medicine are invited to apply to serve as clinical preceptors

Why be a preceptor?

  • Invest in the next generation of health care providers
  • Become eligible as a regular preceptor to receive a precepting stipend
  • Evaluate possible future employees
  • Add an educational component to your CV
  • Serve in a guest lecturing role in the classroom
  • Earn CME credits
  • Add energy and enthusiasm to your practice through student participants

What are the responsibilities?

  • “See one. Do one. Teach one.” Introduce students to new skills and procedures
  • Offer training to master’s-level PA students for a six-week clinical rotation
  • Provide feedback on student performance
  • Share opportunities and knowledge gained during practice
  • Be an example of professionalism
  • Grow a student’s communication skills
  • Connect students with professionals in other areas
  • Set the student’s schedule based on the provider’s schedule

What sets Trevecca’s PA program apart?

Trevecca is home to the first and longest-running Physician Assistant Master of Science in Medicine degree in Tennessee. Continuously accredited since 1976, the University has graduated more than 1,000 students who’ve gone on to serve successfully in a variety of health care careers. Our program emphasizes both academic excellence and a mindset of compassion and integrity.

Throughout the last five years, the average first-time PANCE pass rate for Trevecca students has been 99 percent. In recent years our graduates have scored above the national average on every organ system section of the exam.

Pre-PA Pathway

Trevecca offers a Pre-PA Pathway that allows students to tailor their undergraduate academic experience in order to prepare a competitive PA school application and maximize success in Trevecca’s PA program. Program coursework meets the prerequisites for the University’s PA program and provides additional coursework to promote success. This pathway consists of the courses required for a major in biology with a minor in chemistry, along with defined upper-level electives focused on building a solid foundation for PA education.

If you are interested in applying or have additional questions, please email Teresa Vines, PA program admissions coordinator, at tvines@trevecca.edu.

Trevecca campus tour

Career Opportunities

The demand for the occupation of physician assistant is projected to continue growing for many years. As a graduate of our PA program, you’ll be ready to advance your career and tap into higher earning potential. Your degree will position you to serve as a PA in any medical setting, including:

  • Outpatient, inpatient, surgical, and emergency/acute care
  • General practice or specialty care, serving patients across the lifespan
  • International and compassionate medical ministry
  • Leadership, advocacy, education, and research

I could not be more grateful for my experience at Trevecca. The program not only provided me with the medical skills and knowledge to become a competent PA, but it expanded my ability to face challenges, deepened my faith, gave me lifelong friendships and ultimately helped me become a better version of myself.”

Jocelyn Benton Trevecca PA graduate

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Course Descriptions

Get details on all the courses you’ll complete as you work toward this degree at Trevecca.


Research Methods and Designs in Medicine
PAS 5025

This course provides an introduction to the basic principles of clinical study design and the application of statistical methods in medical research. Students learn to critically analyze clinical data and evaluate medical literature based on the principles of evidence based medicine.

Applied Anatomy
PAS 5070

This advanced course in human anatomy is designed to relate anatomical structures to function and clinical application. Clinical case studies and 3-D virtual anatomy online resources correlate with each anatomical region studied.  Students gain practical skills and in-depth spatial knowledge in small group cadaver dissection labs.

Patient Health Assessment Skills 1
PAS 5101
This longitudinal course is designed to teach techniques of effective medical interviewing, proper performance of physical examinations, and documentation of clinical information. Patient assessment will be taught across the lifespan covering pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. Students will develop interpersonal communication skills to facilitate patient education, case presentation, and interprofessional collaboration. Classroom instruction, skills labs, standardized patient encounters, and simulation are incorporated into the learning experience. (Course is correlated with PAS 5102, 5103, and 5104.)
Physician Assistant Medical Practice I
PAS 5301
This course series teaches the history of the profession and introduces the physician assistant professional organizations. Foundational knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health, and interprofessional practice are discussed. The ethical, regulatory and political factors impacting the physician assistant profession are explored. Emphasis is placed on developing a commitment to ethical principles, professionalism, interprofessional collaboration and economic stewardship in daily clinical practice and clinical decision making. Focus is placed on fostering cultural humility by working with diverse and vulnerable populations in the local community. (Course is correlated with PAS 5302, 5303, and 5304.)
Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology I
PAS 5310

This course series in advanced human physiology and pathophysiology is designed to promote the understanding of the complex medical sciences necessary for application to clinical practice. Normal functioning and alterations in disease states will be discussed for each organ system on the genetic, molecular, cellular, organ, and system levels.

Clinical Medicine I
PAS 5080
This comprehensive course series uses an organ-based systems approach to teach students foundational knowledge of the etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, differential diagnoses, management, and prevention of medical diseases. Students will learn the appropriate use of clinical laboratory studies based on patient presentation, interpretation of laboratory studies, and the pathological basis of abnormal results. Patient care in the primary care setting is emphasized.
Introduction to Psychiatry
PAS 5090

This course introduces students to the etiology, clinical presentation and treatment of major psychiatric disorders with an emphasis on systematic approach to psychiatric evaluation.  Normal and abnormal psychosocial development across the lifespan are examined as they relate to psychiatric conditions.  Students develop psychiatric interview skills by performing mental status examinations.

Patient Health Assessment Skills II
PAS 5102
This longitudinal course is designed to teach techniques of effective medical interviewing, proper performance of physical examinations, and documentation of clinical information. Patient assessment will be taught across the lifespan covering pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. Students will develop interpersonal communication skills to facilitate patient education, case presentation, and interprofessional collaboration. Classroom instruction, skills labs, standardized patient encounters, and simulation are incorporated into the learning experience. (Course is correlated with PAS 5101, 5103, and 5104.)
Medical Diagnostics and Procedures I
PAS 5201
This course series develops skills in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, interpreting electrocardiography, and the fundamentals of clinical radiology. Emphasis is placed on technical proficiency, indications, contraindications, risks and side effects of procedures. A systematic-analytical approach to interpretation of diagnostic studies will prepare students to discriminate between normal, variations of normal, and abnormal electrocardiography or radiologic imaging. (Course is correlated with PAS 5202 and 5203.)
Physician Assistant Medical Practice II
PAS 5302
This course series teaches the history of the profession and introduces the physician assistant professional organizations. Foundational knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health, and interprofessional practice are discussed. The ethical, regulatory and political factors impacting the physician assistant profession are explored. Emphasis is placed on developing a commitment to ethical principles, professionalism, interprofessional collaboration and economic stewardship in daily clinical practice and clinical decision making. Focus is placed on fostering cultural humility by working with diverse and vulnerable populations in the local community. (Course is correlated with PAS 5301, 5303, and 5304.)
Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology II
PAS 5315

This course series in advanced human physiology and pathophysiology is designed to promote the understanding of the complex medical sciences necessary for application to clinical practice. Normal functioning and alterations in disease states will be discussed for each organ system on the genetic, molecular, cellular, organ, and system levels.

Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics I
PAS 5340

This course series teaches students the proper management of general medical and surgical conditions utilizing pharmacologic treatments. Students will learn to formulate individualized treatment plans based upon current evidence-based guidelines, pharmacology, and unique patient information and preferences.

Patient Health Assessment Skills III
PAS 5103
This longitudinal course is designed to teach techniques of effective medical interviewing, proper performance of physical examinations, and documentation of clinical information. Patient assessment will be taught across the lifespan covering pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. Students will develop interpersonal communication skills to facilitate patient education, case presentation, and interprofessional collaboration. Classroom instruction, skills labs, standardized patient encounters, and simulation are incorporated into the learning experience. (Course is correlated with PAS 5101, 5102, and 5104.)
Clinical Medicine II
PAS 5140

This comprehensive course series uses an organ-based systems approach to teach students foundational knowledge of the etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, differential diagnoses, management, and prevention of medical diseases. Students will learn the appropriate use of clinical laboratory studies based on patient presentation, interpretation of laboratory studies, and the pathological basis of abnormal results. Patient care in the primary care setting is emphasized.

Introduction to Surgery
PAS 5170

This course is designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills required to diagnose and manage surgical diseases.  Emphasis is placed on differentiating between surgical and non-surgical conditions.  The laboratory component of this course introduces students to performing biopsies, suture techniques, basic surgical instruments, surgical drain placement, and preparing a sterile field for minor procedures.

Medical Diagnostics and Procedures II
PAS 5202
This course series develops skills in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, interpreting electrocardiography, and the fundamentals of clinical radiology. Emphasis is placed on technical proficiency, indications, contraindications, risks and side effects of procedures. A systematic-analytical approach to interpretation of diagnostic studies will prepare students to discriminate between normal, variations of normal, and abnormal electrocardiography or radiologic imaging. (Course is correlated with PAS 5201 and 5203.)
Clinical Integration Skills I
PAS 5290

In this course series, students integrate and apply knowledge from didactic courses to patient cases via team-based learning.  Clinical reasoning skills and decision making, interpersonal communication, and effective collaboration are developed by student teams progressing through clinical cases with faculty facilitation.

Physician Assistant Medical Practice III
PAS 5303
This course series teaches the history of the profession and introduces the physician assistant professional organizations. Foundational knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health, and interprofessional practice are discussed. The ethical, regulatory and political factors impacting the physician assistant profession are explored. Emphasis is placed on developing a commitment to ethical principles, professionalism, interprofessional collaboration and economic stewardship in daily clinical practice and clinical decision making. Focus is placed on fostering cultural humility by working with diverse and vulnerable populations in the local community. (Course is correlated with PAS 5301, 5302, and 5304.)
Medical Physiology and Pathophysiology III
PAS 5320

This course series in advanced human physiology and pathophysiology is designed to promote the understanding of the complex medical sciences necessary for application to clinical practice. Normal functioning and alterations in disease states will be discussed for each organ system on the genetic, molecular, cellular, organ, and system levels.

Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics II
PAS 5345

This course series teaches students the proper management of general medical and surgical conditions utilizing pharmacologic treatments. Students will learn to formulate individualized treatment plans based upon current evidence-based guidelines, pharmacology, and unique patient information and preferences.

Medical Diagnostics and Procedures III
PAS 5203
This course series develops skills in performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, interpreting electrocardiography, and the fundamentals of clinical radiology. Emphasis is placed on technical proficiency, indications, contraindications, risks and side effects of procedures. A systematic-analytical approach to interpretation of diagnostic studies will prepare students to discriminate between normal, variations of normal, and abnormal electrocardiography or radiologic imaging. (Course is correlated with PAS 5201 and 5202.)
Patient Health Assessment Skills IV
PAS 5104
This longitudinal course is designed to teach techniques of effective medical interviewing, proper performance of physical examinations, and documentation of clinical information. Patient assessment will be taught across the lifespan covering pediatric, adult and geriatric populations. Students will develop interpersonal communication skills to facilitate patient education, case presentation, and interprofessional collaboration. Classroom instruction, skills labs, standardized patient encounters, and simulation are incorporated into the learning experience. (Course is correlated with PAS 5101, 5102, and 5103.)
Introduction to Pediatrics
PAS 5200

Prepares the physician assistant student to recognize and manage common clinical problems associated with the pediatric patient.

Introduction to Obstetrics and Gynecology
PAS 5230

This course provides comprehensive instruction on all aspects of women’s health including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and postnatal care. Students are instructed on disorders unique to the female reproductive system across the lifespan and commonly encountered in primary care practice.

Clinical Medicine III
PAS 5240
This comprehensive course series uses an organ-based systems approach to teach students foundational knowledge of the etiology, epidemiology, clinical presentation, laboratory findings, differential diagnoses, management, and prevention of medical diseases. Students will learn the appropriate use of clinical laboratory studies based on patient presentation, interpretation of laboratory studies, and the pathological basis of abnormal results. Patient care in the primary care setting is emphasized.
Introduction to Emergency Medicine
PAS 5250

This course prepares students to diagnose and manage medical and surgical emergencies due to illness or trauma as encountered in the emergency department.

Clinical Integration Skills II
PAS 5291

In this course series, students integrate and apply knowledge from didactic courses to patient cases via team-based learning.  Clinical reasoning skills and decision making, interpersonal communication, and effective collaboration are developed by student teams progressing through clinical cases with faculty facilitation.

Physician Assistant Medical Practice IV
PAS 5304
This course series teaches the history of the profession and introduces the physician assistant professional organizations. Foundational knowledge of health care delivery systems, public health, and interprofessional practice are discussed. The ethical, regulatory and political factors impacting the physician assistant profession are explored. Emphasis is placed on developing a commitment to ethical principles, professionalism, interprofessional collaboration and economic stewardship in daily clinical practice and clinical decision making. Focus is placed on fostering cultural humility by working with diverse and vulnerable populations in the local community. (Course is correlated with PAS 5301, 5302, and 5303.)
Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics III
PAS 5350

This course series teaches students the proper management of general medical and surgical conditions utilizing pharmacologic treatments. Students will learn to formulate individualized treatment plans based upon current evidence-based guidelines, pharmacology, and unique patient information and preferences.

Seminar: Research Methods and Design
PAS 5280

This course is designed to help physician assistant students develop their ability to formulate relevant clinical questions and to use the medical literature to elucidate answers to those questions. Students will improve their skill in making decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on evaluation of scientific evidence. Students will reflect upon conclusions from clinical studies and appropriately discuss their application to patient care.

Program Exit Summative Evaluation Experience
PAS 6100
Preparing professionally competent physician assistants is a key component of the mission of the Trevecca University Physician Assistant Program. To ensure the accomplishment of this mission and to comply with current accreditation standards set forth by ARC-PA, our program must conduct and document a summative evaluation of each student within the final four months of the program to verify that each student has acquired the program competencies required to enter clinical practice.
Family Medicine I
PAS 6010

This clinical practicum is designed for physician assistant students to develop the ability to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine, improve data collection, refine interpretive and communication skills, and gain confidence in the performance of essential examination techniques within the clinical setting.

Family Medicine II
PAS 6020

This clinical practicum is designed for physician assistant students to develop the ability to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine, improve data collection, refine interpretive and communication skills, and gain confidence in the performance of essential examination techniques within the clinical setting.

Emergency Medicine
PAS 6030

This clinical practicum based in a hospital emergency room provides physician assistant students the opportunity to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine and develop the skills necessary to recognize and manage patients presenting with trauma and or other life threatening/emergent problems.

Internal Medicine
PAS 6050

This clinical practicum provides physician assistant students the opportunity to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine and develop the skills necessary to evaluate and manage patients with internal medicine problems.

Pediatrics
PAS 6070

This clinical practicum based in a pediatric office or clinic setting provides physician assistant students the opportunity to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine and develop the skills necessary to evaluate and manage clinical problems associated with pediatric patients.

Surgery
PAS 6090

This clinical practicum provides the physician assistant students the opportunity to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine and develop skills necessary to differentiate surgical from non-surgical problems and appropriately manage or refer patients presenting with surgical problems.

Behavioral and Mental Health
PAS 6110

This clinical practicum provides physician assistant students the opportunity to link basic medical science knowledge to clinical medicine and develop the skills necessary to recognize and manage common mental health disorders.

Elective
PAS 6xxx
Elective rotations are six weeks in duration and are available in a variety of medical and surgical disciplines: View Electives

Related Programs

  • Pre-Physician Assistant Pathway (B.S.)

    Trevecca's Pre-PA Pathway allows students to tailor their undergraduate academic experience to prepare a competitive PA school application and maximize success in Trevecca’s PA program. This pathway consists of the courses required for a major in biology with a minor in chemistry, along with defined upper-level electives focused on building a solid foundation for PA school.

  • Health Care Administration (M.S.)

    The Master of Science in health care administration focuses on leadership, service and innovation in the health care management field. This program equips students to become effective leaders as they learn to tackle health care challenges of cost, access and quality with innovative solutions, cutting-edge technology and industry best practices.