Physician Assistant Studies Department

MS in PA Mission Statement

Mission:  The Marist's Physician Assistant Studies program is committed to graduating entry-level, competent healthcare providers trained to practice ethically and culturally sensitive medicine in a team environment, and who will be lifelong learners with a commitment to community service and the overall success of the profession.

The program goals are to:

  • Graduate entry-level, competent healthcare providers
  • Students will effectively interact with patients of different backgrounds
  • Develop healthcare providers capable of functioning successfully within interprofessional teams
  • Students will engage in community service
  • Meet or exceed national pass rate for first-time Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) takers


Meeting the Marist PA Program Mission

Goal #1

Graduate entry-level, competent healthcare providers.

Outcome: The program measures entry-level competence in two ways:

  • The Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) result (see goal #5)
  • The Graduate Satisfaction Survey. For the 2018 cohort, 24 of 36 graduates responded to the 2019 survey (67%). They rated their level of competence in the following areas:

Graph displays the Graduate Satisfaction Survey for the 2018 cohort.

Level of competence for each category is rated between 1 and 5, with 5 representing highly prepared. The graph shows communication (written/oral) ranking at 4.4, ability to formulate a management plan ranking at 4.0, assessments/diagnoses ranking at 4.1, appropriate lab testing ranking at 4.0, physical exam ranking at 4.2, and medical interview/history taking ranking at 4.5.

Goal #2

Students will effectively interact with patients of different backgrounds


The Marist College PA Program teaches sensitivity toward all patients including racial, ethnic sexual and gender orientation and physical ability differences in the didactic year, especially in PA 610-Clinical Diagnostics.  These principles are reinforced in Objective Structured Clinical Experiences (OSCEs) throughout the clinical year.  

One measure of the success of how well these principles have been promoted is in the measure of graduates working in medically underserved communities. For the 2018 cohort, 6 of 24 respondents to our graduate survey (25%) work in the following underserved areas (some sites qualify for more than one category):

Graph displays the number of underserved communities in which members of the 2018 cohort are currently practicing.

Graph concludes that, of the members of the 2018 cohort that are practicing in underserved communities, 5 are practicing in a community health center, 2 are practicing in health care for the homeless, 1 is practicing in a migrant health center, 1 is practicing in public housing primary care, 1 is practicing in a federally qualified health center, and 1 is practicing in a state or local health department. 

Goal #3

Develop healthcare providers capable of functioning successfully within interprofessional teams.

Outcome: Successful functioning in interprofessional teams is measured in three ways: 

  • Teaching and examining students on the tenets of Interprofessional Education (IPE)
    • Learning exercise with other professions, such as learning to gown and scrub nursing and doctor of Physical Therapy students
    • A full day participatory HIPAA workshop attended jointly by PA and Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) students
  • Learning how to prepare for the operating room including how to scrub, gown and glove with Duchess Community College nursing students by the Nuvance Health System surgical nursing staff (see image below)
  • Surveying graduates on knowledge of, and functioning within, interprofessional teams (see graph below)

Photo of PA students scrubbing, gowning, and gloving with Nuvance Health System

Graph displays self-evaluated preparedness for building interprofessional relationships and for develoing and maintaining interpersonal and communication skills.

Level of preparedness is rated between 1 and 5, 1 representing poorly prepared, 3 representing adequately prepared, and 5 representing highly prepared. The graph shows preparedness for building interprofessional relationship ranking at 4.5 and preparedness to develop and maintain internpersonal and communication skills ranking 4.5.

Goal #4

Students will engage in community service.

Outcome: Community service is mandatory for all students during the last day of each didactic semester.

Examples of end-f-semester community service include: 

  • Anderson Center for Autism (care of physical plant; see top photo below)
  • Poughkeepsie Children’s Home (care of physical plant, interaction with children)
  • Fundraisers: Grace Smith House (domestic violence agency), Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, Hurricane and flooding relief
  • Annual support of Comic Relief’s “Red Nose Day” to end child poverty (see bottom photo below)

Photo of PA students with Anderson Center for Autism

Photo of PA students wearing red noses for "Red Nose Day"


Goal #5

Meet or exceed the national pass rate for first-time takers of the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). 


View the annual PANCE pass rates

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Accreditation Status

*The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional status to the Marist College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marist College. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation-Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

The final provisional visit will occur October 2019, with a decision regarding full accreditation to be made in March 2020.

Updated: 7/9/2019