Our Mission

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

To accomplish this mission, the USD PA Program:

  • Promotes the ideal of a competent, caring and compassionate physician assistant

  • 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

  • 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 interpersonal aptitudes and maturity 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 ethical behavior

  • Honesty and integrity

  • Compassion

  • Service to those in need

  • Advocacy for an interprofessional approach to healthcare and collaborative practice

  • Commitment to lifelong learning

  • Sensitivity to cultural and individual differences

  • Promotion of the physician assistant profession and its ideals 

  • The Physician Assistant Studies Program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Graduates from the Program are eligible for the national certification examination administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).