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WHAT IS A PA?

The Physician Assistant (PA) profession was created to improve and expand healthcare with some of the earliest programs underway in the early-to-mid 1960s. PAs are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with and the supervision of a physician.  Within the physician/PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services.   Today, there are more than 131,000 Physician Assistants practicing in a wide variety of medical and surgical specialty care settings across the United States. The concept is expanding rapidly and providers with similar roles can be found in many international settings.

In the United States, PAs are educated and trained in intensive education programs accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). They are trained in the medical model and work closely with physicians, augmenting and complementing the physician role. Education consists of classroom and laboratory instruction in the basic medical and behavioral sciences (such as anatomy, pharmacology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine, and physical diagnosis), followed by clinical rotations in internal medicine, family medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, and behavioral health.

Upon graduation, PAs take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) in conjunction with the National Board of Medical Examiners. Graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and passage of the national certifying exam are required for state licensure.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

The University reserves the right to change tuition and fees at any time without advanced notice. Learn more about the tuition payment schedule, individual health insurance status, and the tuition refund process.

The Physician Assistant Program processes hundreds of applications for admissions each year. Learn more about requirements for admissions including GRE scores, minimum prerequisite course work, and GPA requirements.

The MPAS curriculum is sequenced and designed to address and integrate the entrustable professional activities in which are contained the competencies the student must achieve to successfully enter the profession upon graduation.

RVU PA STUDENT SPOTLIGHT

Dana Filias, PAS II
Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

Campus Location
Colorado Campus

Hometown:
Manchester by-the-Sea, MA

Undergraduate studies:
Wake Forest University - B.S. Mathematical Economics .

What clubs and activities are you currently involved with?
OB/GYN Club; AMWA, AAPA, and CAPA.

What initially brought you to RVU? Why did you decide to pursue this degree?
When I came across RVU I wasn't entirely sure what to expect from a brand new program, but it was a leap of faith that was worth taking. I got such a good feeling from the faculty and other students during my interview, and I have felt that same sense of community throughout my time here as well. RVU fosters a small, student-focused environment that allows you to build close relationships with classmates and professors alike.
Pursuing a career as a PA was always an easy choice for me. I have always been drawn to medicine, but I knew that the role of physician wasn't a perfect fit for me. I craved a role that would allow me the scope of practice to be able to manage patient's autonomously, but that would also provide more of a team-centric, collaborative approach to patient care. Being a PA will also afford me the ability to move around in my career and to maintain a healthy work-life balance.

What do you enjoy doing when not at RVU (family life, interests, and hobbies)?
Much of my free time is spent exploring all of the hiking, scenic views, and craft beer that Colorado has to offer. I love catching a few rays of sunshine wherever possible, but when the weather keeps me indoors, you can find me in a spin class, cooking some variation of tacos, listening to podcasts, and diving into a good DIY project.

What is an interesting or little known fact about you:
I have never broken a bone!

What is the best piece of advice you have been given by a professor or student while at RVU?
"Don't try to control the things that you cannot control." There are so many things in PA school and in life in general that will be beyond your control. It is a waste of time and energy to stress about these uncontrollable factors, and it won't make you feel any better. Instead, focus your energy on the things that you can control. If you did poorly on a test, don't argue it. Instead, rethink your study habits.

What are your medical interests?
I like little bits of everything that I have sampled while out on clinical rotations, but I would have to say that I am most drawn towards acute care and hospital medicine.

What is a favorite memory you have from being in RVU?
Some of my classmates and I made it a tradition to get brunch after every exam during didactic year. We would post-up at Snooze with stacks of pancakes and coffee and sit there chatting for hours on end. It was so much fun to have a few moments to decompress and recharge after a week or two of intense studying, and I will cherish all of those Friday hang-outs.  

What advice do you have for prospective students?
Think about where you are at right now. Think about how badly you want to go to PA school. Now, file that away in your brain for when times get tough. PA school is not easy, and the journey is not smooth. You might fall behind in sleep. You might have to miss out on a friends wedding, or a Holiday spent with your family. You might find the rigorous schedule to be frustrating and inconvenient. Whatever happens, however, you just have to continue to remind yourself why you are doing this and how grateful you are to be here, actively pursuing your dream.

Click here to read previous student spotlights

CONTACT THE PA PROGRAM

COLORADO CAMPUS
8401 South Chambers Rd.

Parker, CO 80134
303-373-2008

For faster response, please direct inquiries to the PA Program:
admissions@rvu.edu