The University of South Dakota provides a 24-month PA curriculum. The didactic phase (12 months) is delivered across three semesters. The first semester includes basic sciences, foundational coursework (gross anatomy, human physiology and introduction to clinical basic sciences), which are taught by the basic science faculty. Additionally, PA faculty teach the introductory Professional Practice course and Research Perspectives. The second and third semesters include coursework in a body-system fashion where the content (clinical medicine, physical exam, and pharmacology) are taught concurrently for each body system. The clinical phase (12 months) is delivered across South Dakota and requires that students complete eight clinical rotations and two elective ones.
Throughout the curriculum, we develop and refine educational activities that will prepare students to practice: simulation, OSCEs and case studies. We also ensure an optimal educational experience for students, as demonstrated by:
Five-year average (2014-2018): "Quality of training before they enter clinical rotations"
Above average (3.9 on a 5-point Likert scale)
Five-year average (2014-2018): "Ability to perform as an entry-level PA with minimal direction"
Above average (3.8 on a 5-point Likert scale)
First-time PANCE percentage pass rates at or above national average