School of Health Sciences Physician Assistant Studies

About Us

PA Students  

 Each year, we admit one class of students in our intense, high-quality, 24-month program. Our graduates go on to successful and rewarding medical careers throughout the region.
    

 
 
Mission

The Physician Assistant Studies Program at the University of South Dakota provides a comprehensive primary care education that prepares graduates to deliver high quality healthcare to meet the needs of patients in South Dakota and the region.

To accomplish this mission, the USD PA Program:

  • Promotes and supports the ideal of a competent, caring, and compassionate physician assistant
  • Promotes and supports excellence and professionalism
  • Fosters an evidence based approach to patient care
  • Expects students to be accountable for individual learning
  • Expects faculty and students to be partners in the educational process within an environment of mutual respect
  • Empowers students to be lifelong learners
  • Selects individuals likely to practice in South Dakota and the surrounding region
  • Fosters interest in primary care to rural and underserved populations
  • Selects individuals who have the interpersonal aptitudes and maturity that are necessary for successful practice as a physician assistant

Physician Assistants and students should demonstrate the following core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors at all times:

  • Professional and personal ethical behavior
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Compassion
  • Service to those in need
  • Advocacy for a team approach to healthcare
  • Commitment to lifelong learning
  • Sensitivity to cultural and individual differences
  • Promotion of the physician assistant profession and its ideals
Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued to the University of South Dakota Physicians Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Dakota. 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 2020.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Graduates from the Program are eligible for the national certification examination administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

NCCPA Physician Assistant National Certification Examination First-Time Pass Rate

Class Of

Class Size

First Time Takers

First Time Takers Passed

Percentage Passed-First Time Takers

Pass Rate-Overall

2008

19

19

19

100%

100%

2009

20

20

17

85%

95%

2010

21

21

21

100%

100%

2011

20

20

17

85%

100%

2012

19

19

18

95%

95%

201319191684%95%
201422222295%Available in 2015
 
NCCPA Pass Rate Summary Report 
 
Program Goals
 5 Year Trend of University of South Dakota PA Program Goals and Success in achieving its goals
 
Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the Physician Assistant program

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