Our 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

  • 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).