The mission of the Boston University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program is to provide innovative education to physician assistant students in order to deliver exceptional care for a diverse population of patients, including those from vulnerable communities. We value professionalism, service, and are committed to developing a successful model for inter-professional education and practice.
Students who successfully complete all academic requirements and come to embody the mission above will be conferred a Masters of Science degree at the conclusion of the program.
The goals of the PA Program are to:
- Provide the didactic and clinical experiences that cultivate the development of competent entry level physician assistants.
- Support an environment of professionalism with the Program and the broader medical community.
- Prepare students to care for all patients, including those from vulnerable and under-served communities.
- Prepare students to practice medicine as an ethical member of a patient-centered, inter-disciplinary health care team.
The Program periodically evaluates where we are in meeting our goals. Our current progress is available in the 2020 BU PA Goals Achievement Report
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Boston University School of Medicine Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Boston University School of Medicine. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.
Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2028. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-boston-university/.
- Understand the epidemiology, anatomy, pathophysiology, and prognosis of disease processes.
- Elicit a detailed and accurate patient history, taking into consideration the influence of culture, ethnicity, age, educational and socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Perform the appropriate physical examination on patients of all ages recognizing normal and abnormal findings.
- Order and interpret appropriate diagnostic tests including common laboratory, imaging, interventional, and therapeutic procedures as indicated by history and physical examination.
- Organize information from the interview, diagnostic testing and physical examination to formulate a differential diagnosis and assessment for patients.
Interpersonal and Communication Skills
- Document clinical information in an accurate and concise manner.
- Effectively communicate pertinent patient data in oral and written forms to supervising or referring physicians and other members of the health care team.
- Interact with patients and their families with respect, trust, and cultural sensitivity.
- Develop a professional relationship, showing respect for the supervising physician and other members of the health care team.
Patient Care - Clinical and Technical Skills
- Consider the indications and contraindications and safely perform common medical and surgical procedures with appropriate supervision.
- Develop and implement appropriate patient-centered management plans, considering patients’ needs and preferences, taking into account social determinants of health.
- Counsel and educate patients and their families regarding the importance of health maintenance and prevention, treatment regimen adherence, and other aspects of care.
- Refer to and/or consult with appropriate healthcare professionals and social agencies.
- Demonstrate behavior that is ethical, compassionate, patient centered, and acknowledges limitations and mistakes.
- Understand the legal and regulatory requirements as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant.
- Commit to excellence, ongoing professional development and advocacy for the PA profession.
- Demonstrate self-directed learning, intellectual curiosity, initiative, and self-reflection.
Practice-based Learning and Improvement
- Develop and participate in quality improvement projects.
- Identify personal biases and recognize gaps in medical knowledge.
- Demonstrate a clear understanding of sound research methodology, as well proficiency in scientific writing.
- Interpret the medical literature in order to guide evidence-based clinical practice.
- Commit to a safe, diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment.
- Work within a variety of health care delivery settings.
- Use information technology to support patient care decisions and education.
- Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care.
PANCE Board Exam Performance
All PA students in the 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 classes have taken and passed their NCCPA Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) on their first attempt.
Student Attrition Rate
|Class of 2018||Class of 2019||Class of 2020|
|Maximum entering class size
(as approved by ARC-PA)
|Entering class size||25||31||30|
|* Attrition rate||.08||.10||.07|
|** Graduation rate||.92||.90||.93|
* Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attrited from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.
In the class of 2018, both attrited students returned and graduated in the class of 2019. In the class of 2019, two attrited students returned and graduated in the class of 2020 and one student did not return. In the class of 2020, one attrited student returned to the class of 2021 and one student did not return.
Students who complete the Boston University Physician Assistant Program are eligible for licensure in all 50 states, District of Columbia, and most US territories. The complete list can be found here.