Physician Assistant Program  
Mission Statement

To prepare physician assistants who are competent in the art and science of medicine so that they may improve lives in the communities they serve.

Goals

1. To graduate PAs possessing a thorough understanding of disease mechanisms.

The program provides a comprehensive curriculum of basic and clinical sciences delivered in a systems-based format. During the initial didactic phase, the transition from acquiring medical knowledge to putting it into practice is facilitated by frequent use of simulated patients and an early introduction to patients. Confirmation of knowledge is assessed through objective testing, performance on procedural skills, evaluations from early patient interactions and a summative examination process.

2. To graduate PAs proficient in the application of critical thought to medical decision making.

More than simply memorizing facts, the art of medicine requires the practitioner to apply logic and reasoning to achieve healing. These principles are taught and practiced in the didactic curriculum in small group discussions, through interactions with simulated patients and through a commitment to the teachings of humanism in medicine. Confirmation that critical thought is developing appropriately is assessed by evaluations on objective written examinations, objective structured clinical examinations and by observations of preceptors in the clinical year.

3. To graduate PAs with an exemplary sense of community service through a team-based model of health care delivery.

Graduate PAs are in a unique position to have a tremendous impact on the communities in which they live and work. Paramount is their ability to provide compassionate care to marginalized citizens with the breadth of care multiplied through a team-based approach. During their tenure with the PA program, students will participate in such collaborative environments in charitable clinics throughout Oklahoma City. Providing students the opportunity to develop a passion for community service will be
accomplished through frequent experiences serving the health care needs of the uninsured and working poor alongside physician and PA role models.

4. To graduate PAs who are servant leaders in patient-centered practices.

Servant leadership is an ancient philosophy based on putting the needs of others first and helping people develop and perform to the best of their abilities. This philosophy is consistent with patient-centered care, which strives to improve outcomes by strengthening the provider-patient relationship, by providing care in consultation with patients and by replacing the provider-centered system with one from the patient’s viewpoint. Students will become familiar with this type of practice in the didactic phase and will gain hands-on experience working directly with PA program faculty who function as servant leaders in charitable clinics in the metro area. Indeed, servant leadership is a strategic initiative of the University and one embodied by the PA Program.

5. To graduate PAs committed to life-long learning.

Our understanding of medical science increases each day. To keep up, practitioners must commit themselves to constant study throughout their careers. The discipline to maintain this effort begins with matriculation into the program. Students will learn the value of, and how to practice evidenced-based medicine. Being at ease with how to access and interpret the literature will provide the foundation for this way of life for the benefit of the graduate’s future patients.