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Physician Assistant Studies
Center for Health Education
414 E. Clark St.
Vermillion, SD 57069
Office Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.


College Dean

Welcome to the Department of Physician Assistant Studies

From diagnosing illnesses to researching treatments, physician assistants perform a variety of important roles on the health care team. These advanced health care practitioners collaborate with other medical professionals to deliver high quality patient care.

At USD, our faculty recognize the breadth of skills physician assistants need to best serve their patients. They bring an evidence-based, person-centered approach to the classroom, preparing our students to be competent, compassionate professionals. Our students learn and practice in robust facilities alongside future practitioners from a variety of health sciences fields; this hands-on, collaborative experience positions them to thrive in the dynamic health care setting. After their first year, our students enter their supervised clinical rotations, during which they gain experience in a wide range of clinical settings. With a particular emphasis on rural populations, our program equips future physician assistants with the training, adaptability and professionalism they need to serve their communities.

Join our community of practitioners, researchers and leaders in the USD Department of Physician Assistant Studies.


Meet the Department

Get to know the faculty and staff in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies. Our faculty are experts in their field, contributing research and scholarship in physician assistant leadership, social determinants of health, emotional intelligence, family violence, placing and retaining rural health care providers and more.
Bio Image for Faculty Member Wade Nilson

Wade Nilson

Chair, Physician Assistant Program/Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Becky Anglin

Becky Anglin

Education Assistant
Bio Image for Faculty Member Amber Evenson

Amber Evenson

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Betty Hulse

Betty Hulse

Associate Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Katie Kassin

Katie Kassin

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Lisa Miller

Lisa Miller

Clinical Education Specialist
Bio Image for Faculty Member Callie Port

Callie Port

Clinical Education Assistant
Bio Image for Faculty Member Douglas Standley

Douglas Standley

Program Assistant II
Bio Image for Faculty Member Nancy Trimble

Nancy Trimble

Assistant Professor
Bio Image for Faculty Member Bruce Vogt

Bruce Vogt

PA Medical Director

Known for Excellence

At USD, you'll find a high-quality educational experience strengthened by our faculty's research and creative scholarship. See what makes our department exceptional.

Department Opportunities & Resources

Explore the variety of opportunities and resources available to physician assistant students.

Facilities & Departments

Explore the departments, facilities and centers that contribute to your education in the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.
Physician Assistant Student Inserting a Tube in a Dummy

Physician Assistant Studies

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies offers the only physician assistant studies program in South Dakota. Graduates of the program have experienced a 100% job placement rate, with many going on to practice in the state's rural areas. Our faculty provide expert training, preparing our students to become compassionate, competent physician assistants who are leaders and collaborators on the health care team.

Practitioner Helping a Patient

Serving Our Communities

Our position in South Dakota offers us a unique opportunity to serve rural communities. 


We are committed to improving patient outcomes for South Dakotans, and we've made this a focus of our program. Through classroom instruction and clinical experience, our students gain the skills they need to thrive in a variety of clinical environments. They graduate ready to deliver the highest quality care to their patients, with many of them going on to serve rural communities.


A person working with a USD student physical therapist.

The Region's Leader in Health Care Education

USD is home to the only comprehensive health sciences school and medical school in the state. This advantage offers our students the unique opportunity to learn and train alongside peers in a variety of disciplines, equipping them with the collaborative experiences they need to be effective members of their future patients' care teams.


We are also proud to have strong relationships with the region's leading health care providers. These partnerships offer our students invaluable opportunities for developing professional connections, getting hands-on experiences and serving their communities early in their education.

Continue Exploring In Physician Assistant Studies