Jun 18, 2024  
Catalog 2022-2023 
Catalog 2022-2023 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Physician Assistant Studies, M.P.A.S. (CIP 51.0912)

Website: www.lsuhs.edu/pa

The LSU Health Sciences Center at Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) Physician Assistant (PA) program consists of a continuous 27-month academic and clinical experience, which begins during the summer semester. Upon successful completion of the program, the graduate is awarded a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree. The mission of the LSUHSC-S PA program is to train highly competent primary care physician assistants to serve the citizens of Louisiana. The PA program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Incorporated. The first 12 months of the curriculum includes intensive didactic education taught by the LSUHSC-S faculty of Basic and Clinical Sciences and Allied Health Professions. The clinical phase of the program includes 15 months of clinical rotations throughout the State of Louisiana. Upon graduation from the Physician Assistant program, graduates are eligible for licensure as a Physician Assistant by state licensing boards and are also eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).

Minimum Requirements for Admission

Admission to the Physician Assistant program is competitive and preference is given to Louisiana residents. The following are the minimum admission requirements for application to the program:

  1. Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university by the first day of class in the PA program.
  2. Minimum cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) by the application deadline.
  3. Minimum science GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) by the application deadline.
  4. Graduate Records Exam with the following minimum scores by the application deadline: Quantitative=145, Verbal =143, Analytic writing=3.0
  5. Grade of “C” or better in the required prerequisite courses completed at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university by the first day of class in the program.
  6. Minimum 80 hours of direct patient contact experience by the application deadline. Direct patient contact experience is gained by volunteer, observation, or work in a human patient care environment with direct patient contact. Examples include: shadowing PAs or physicians, observing in patient care settings, student worker positions directly dealing with patients, patient life volunteer, any credentialed positions (LPN, RN, EMT, etc.).
  7. Selected applicants will be contacted to arrange an interview.
  8. Accepted applicants must certify that they meet the technical standards established by the program with or without reasonable accommodations.

Prerequisite Courses

  • Anatomy (4 hours)* - Human or Comparative with a lab 
    • A&P I with lab + A&P II with lab (8 hours) will meet the anatomy and physiology requirements if all four components are completed. If courses are not completed at the same institution, it is up to the applicant to show that the combined courses covered all required material.
  • Physiology (3 hours)* - General or Human 
  • Microbiology (4 hours) - Sophomore level or higher (200/2000 level) with a lab
  • Chemistry (8 hours) - General, Inorganic, or Organic with labs
  • Statistics (3 hours) - BIO, PSYCH, MATH, or BUSN course number
  • Medical Terminology (3 hours preferred, 2 hours accepted)
  • Biology electives (8 hours)** - Junior level or higher (300/400 or 3000/4000 level)
    • Course must have a BIO course name and number or clearly be biology related. For example, biochemistry may have a CHEM course name/number, but is acceptable as a biology course; however, organic chemistry will not count towards this requirement. Other acceptable prefixes may include Neuroscience, Neurobiology, and Molecular Biology.

Additional Notes on Prerequisite Requirements:

  • Pass/fail grades are not accepted.
  • All science courses must be for science majors.
  • Each course can only count toward one prerequisite criterion. For example, an upper level physiology course can count towards the physiology requirement or the upper level biology requirement, but not both.
  • Due to the wide variety of experiential learning that can occur prior to admission, the LSUHSC-S Physician Assistant program does not waive prerequisite coursework. For the same reason, the LSUHSC-S Physician Assistant program does not award credit or advanced placement for previous coursework or experiential learning; all course work must be completed within the PA curriculum without exception.

Technical Standards for Physician Assistant Program

Technical standards are essential abilities and characteristics required for admission, progression, and graduation from the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center at Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) School of Allied Health Professions (SAHP). The following standards consist of certain minimum physical and cognitive abilities and sufficient mental and emotional stability to assure that students are able to complete the entire course of study and participate fully in all aspects of the academic and clinical curriculum, with or without reasonable accommodations:

  • Physical Health/Motor Skills: A PA student must possess the physical health and stamina needed to carry out the program of medical education. A PA student must have sufficient use of motor skills to carry out all necessary procedures, both those involved in learning the fundamental sciences and those required in the hospital and clinical environment. This includes the ability to stand/walk for long periods, move and communicate while in a sterile surgical field, and handle sharp instruments safely.
  • Communication/Sensory Abilities: A PA student must possess sufficient abilities of speech, language, hearing, vision, touch, and smell to observe effectively in the classroom and laboratory, perform physical examinations in a clinical setting, and communicate effectively with patients, teachers, and peers in both oral and written forms. A PA students must possess the ability to observe both close at hand and at a distance with both eyes including depth perception.
  • Intellectual Skills: A PA student must have sufficient powers of intellect to acquire written and auditory information, as well as the ability to assimilate, integrate, and apply information. A PA student must possess the ability to participate in relevant educational exercises and extract information from written sources. A PA student must have the intellectual ability to solve problems. A PA student must possess the ability to comprehend three-dimensional and spatial relationships.
  • Behavioral Qualities: A PA student must possess the emotional health sufficient to fulfill all academic and technical standards, must have good judgment, and must behave in a professional, reliable, mature, ethical, and responsible manner. A PA student must possess the mental resilience to work extended hours, including nights, weekends, and holidays. A PA student must be adaptable, possessing sufficient flexibility to function in new and stressful environments. A PA student must possess appropriate motivation, integrity, emotional stability, compassion, and a genuine interest in caring for others.

LSUHSC-S seeks to comply with the American with Disabilities Act by providing reasonable accommodations, including resources and services, for students with disabilities, chronic medical conditions, a temporary disability, or pregnancy complications resulting in difficulties with accessing learning opportunities.

It is the responsibility of a student with a disability (or a student who develops a disability) and who needs accommodations to contact the SAHP Admissions and Records Office to initiate the procedure for requesting accommodations and provide adequate documentation of the general nature and extent of the disability and the functional limitations to be accommodated. All requests are reviewed by school’s ADA Officer to determine what reasonable accommodations, if any, are appropriate for the student.

For further information, please view the LSUHSC-S Student Policy for Requesting Accommodations.

Method of Application

Procedures for applying to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program are as follows:

  1. The LSUHSC-S Physician Assistant program accepts applications for admission via the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The program also requires a supplemental application send directly to the School. The Physician Assistant website has further instructions.
  2. Selected applicants will participate in an admissions interview and the action taken by the Admissions Committee will be forwarded in writing to the applicant.
  3. Accepted applicants are expected to complete an acceptance form and submit a non-refundable deposit of $150.00 by the deadline indicated on their acceptance email. The acceptance deposit secures the student’s position in the program and credits their first semester’s tuition.
  4. Accepted applicants are assigned a provisional admission status until meeting conditions outlined in the acceptance letter and completing pre-matriculation requirements (e.g. drug screen, criminal background check) set forth by the Office of the Registrar. Failure to meet these requirements may result in revocation of acceptance offer.

Transfer of Credit

Graduate credit earned from another recognized institution will not be accepted to take the place of any of the required PA curriculum. The only exception occurs if the student has attended another program at LSUHSC-S within the last 24 months. In this instance, credit received for similar coursework may be granted at the discretion of the program director.

Academic Progression Requirements

The following requirements pertaining to academic progression apply to students enrolled in the Physician Assistant program.

  1. Satisfy the scholastic requirements listed in the SAHP general section of this catalog/bulletin.
  2. All didactic courses must be taken in the sequence found elsewhere in this description. All didactic course work must be successfully completed before the student may move into the clinical year.
  3. During the didactic year, the program considers the course work in each didactic semester to be absolute prerequisites to courses offered in successive semesters. Therefore, if an unacceptable grade is recorded in any didactic course, the student will be dismissed from the program.
  4. A student must successfully complete a summative evaluation that tests didactic knowledge and clinical skills knowledge before progressing to the clinical year. This exam can be written, oral, practical, or a combination of the three and is administered at the end of the didactic year. Failure of the summative evaluation will result in the student being dismissed from the program, regardless of overall GPA.
  5. A policy regarding the Clinical Year is made available to students before they embark on their clinical rotations. If an unacceptable grade is earned in a clinical rotation or the preceptorship course, the rotation must be repeated. This will delay graduation from the program.
  6. As a requirement for accreditation, every student must successfully complete a summative evaluation in the summer semester prior to graduation. The summative evaluation tests didactic and clinical knowledge. This exam can be written, oral, practical, or a combination of the three. Failure of the summative evaluation will result in a grade of F in the Preceptorship course.
  7. All clinical courses and the preceptorship course may be repeated one time only. Students who repeat a course but earn an unacceptable grade will be dismissed from the program.
  8. Students dismissed from the program may reapply to the program on a competitive basis. In the event readmission is granted, the student would be required to repeat all coursework. 

Grade appeals may be made in accordance with the procedures set forth in the section of this catalog/bulletin entitled “Student Grade Appeals ”.

Physician Assistant Studies Expenses

The Physician Assistant student may have additional expenses that are not required by other Allied Health programs. This includes, but is not limited to, the cost of required medical instruments, transportation, and housing cost for 4-8 week rotations throughout Louisiana and fees for membership to professional organizations such as the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Louisiana Academy of Physician Assistants.