UTPA Logo
 
Physician Assistant Studies Program
April 18, 2014

 

Bridge Program Admissions

The Bridge Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

A Distance-Based Curriculum


THE BRIDGE PROGRAM



The Bridge Program curriculum is a web-based program that enables a practicing physician assistant with a Bachelor’s degree to obtain a Master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies allowing the physician assistant to remain in their community while completing their course of study.  The degree awarded at the completion of the Bridge Program will be a professional Master’s degree in Physicians Assistant Studies (MPAS). 


While enrolled in the Bridge Program, each student will enroll in three clinical tracks (four weeks each) and the research experience course.  The emphasis of the clinical tracks is to encourage life-long learning in the area of the professional competencies as agreed on by our professional organizations.



Requirements for eligibility include: 





1.    Current license to practice as a PA



2.    Current NCCPA certification



3.    Be employed as a PA (for clinical hours participation)



4.    Must have medical malpractice insurance



5.    Letter of reference from their supervising physician agreeing to precept the PA


 



I.  Introduction





The College of Health Science and Human Services at the University of Texas- Pan American has initiated a new, fully online MPAS program that allows individuals to earn a Master’s Degree in Physician Assistant Studies while continuing their careers in the public health and health care fields.  Through online learning, e-mail and telephone conferencing with faculty, and the internet library resources, the program allows health care professionals to earn an accredited MPAS while maximizing flexibility in where and when they study.




II. Objective of the Program



The principle purpose of the program is to advance the goals of  the physician assistant competencies.  The curriculum covers all of the physician assistant competencies through the provision of courses in each of the following core public health disciplines:  biostatistics, social and behavioral competence , environmental health, epidemiology, and health policy and management. The curriculum includes an additional course in the areas crucial to current practice, evidence base medicine research. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate current literature from the medical journals in light of research design and data collection. The research course introduces students to the concepts of evidence-based medicine and medical research design, while stressing the examination of evidence from clinical research as a basis for clinical decision-making.




III. Intended Audience



The program is designed for the full-time, working physician assistant who wishes to continue working in the health care field while earning a Master’s degree. Current practicing physician assistants can gain a greater understanding of the following:



•    Best practice community approaches to health promotion



•    Applied life-long learning competencies



•    Research design and interpretation of findings from research studies



•    Methods for analysis of data




IV. Program Format



The program can accommodate individual interests and strengthen participant’s skills. The program is designed to provide an excellent grounding evidence base medicine that accommodates the demanding schedule of the working health care professional.



The program makes use of online internet-based technology, an online library, and email to deliver the course content to enrolled students.  Because online education differs in many respects from the traditional mode of classroom delivery of courses, classes may begin with orientation to distance learning through internet-based technology.  Some students will be proficient in use of the internet, while others will need an introduction to the technology.



All students learn ways to get the most out of their distance-learning-based education.  They receive instruction in methods for maximizing the effectiveness of distance learning, given their individual learning styles, and the policies different teachers employ for email and phone communications, assignments, and group projects, examinations, and grading.  There are no residency requirements.




V.  Graduation Requirements



Students enrolled in the Bridge Program must successfully complete 16 credit hours of coursework.  There are four courses.  All courses are four semester credit hours and must be taken concurrently.  This allows students to complete the Bridge Program in one semester.




VI. How to Apply to the Bridge to Masters Program



An individual with a physician assistant Bachelor’s degree or higher, a minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of 2.75 on a 4.00 grading scale from an accredited PA program , who is currently working full-time as a physician, is eligible to apply for admission.  The following materials are required for consideration:



•    A completed formal application to UTPA graduate school



•    An graduate application fee



•    Personal statement of desire to achieve a Master’s in Physician Assistant Studies ( to be      sent to the  PA program director)



•    Official transcripts as required by the graduate school.



•    One letter of recommendation from supervising physician.



The final decision regarding a student’s admission to the program is based on a review of all the supporting documentation.  No single factor determines admission.




VII. Course of Study for the Bridge Masters in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)





PHAS 7401     Bridge Clinical Track I                                                             



This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care physician assistant. Upon completing this course, students will be able to understand and clinically apply advanced principles of evaluation, diagnosis, and management consistent with the physician assistant scope of practice in these critical areas of primary care. Evaluation of advanced case studies and discussions highlight this area of concentration.



Prerequisites:  Acceptance to Bridge program.



PHAS 7402     Bridge Clinical Track II                                                             



This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care physician assistant. Upon completing this course, students will be able to understand and clinically apply advanced principles of evaluation, diagnosis, and management consistent with the Physician Assistant scope of practice in these critical areas of primary care. Evaluation of advanced case studies and discussions highlight this area of concentration.



Prerequisites:  Acceptance to Bridge program.





PHAS 7403     Bridge Clinical Track III                                                           



This is an advanced clinical course designed to augment and update the existing clinical skills and knowledge of the primary care physician assistant. Upon completing this course, students will be able to understand and clinically apply advanced principles of evaluation, diagnosis, and management consistent with the physician assistant scope of practice in these critical areas of primary care.  Evaluation of advanced case studies and discussions highlight this area of concentration.



Prerequisites:  Acceptance to Bridge program.



PHAS 7404     Bridge Research Experience                                                         



This course is a web-based course offered through Blackboard or its equivalent. This course acquaints the student with the philosophy and principles of the research process with emphasis on scientific methods of inquiry. Students will have the opportunity to evaluate current literature from the medical journals in light of research design and data collection. This course introduces students to the concepts of evidence-based medicine and medical research design, while stressing the examination of evidence from clinical research as a basis for clinical decision-making.  Physician assistant students learn how to construct ions based on patient problems and to perform medical literature searching strategies that yield optimal results.  As a summative exercise, students research and prepare a written paper on a topic of relevance to clinical medicine using the principles of evidence-based medicine.  Students utilize data gathered during their clinical Track I, II and III senior capstone (PHAS 7401, 7402 and 7403) to plan, formulate, write and report their findings.



Prerequisites:  Acceptance to Bridge program.









 

1201 W. University Drive Edinburg, TX 78539-2999
956/665-UTPA  1-866-441-UTPA
UTPA Bronc