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).