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Our Mission

The Physician Assistant (PA) 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 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 program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. Our graduates are eligible for the national certification examination administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants.