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University of Evansville announces new physician assistant program

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EVANSVILLE – The University of Evansville announces it will launch a new physician assistant program, the first in the Tri-State area, to build on its existing strength in health professions education and help meet the growing need for health care providers. The masters-level program is slated to begin classes in 2016.
The university began conducting a feasibility study for a physician assistant program more than a year ago. The study, led by Tripp Umbach, indicated that the prevalence of physician assistants in the Tri-State is lower than the national average. In addition, experts in the health-care field project significant shortages of primary care providers, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment for physician assistants will grow by 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than average.
The university is currently conducting a national search for a physician assistant program director and is pursuing provisional accreditation, a status granted to new PA programs, from the Accreditation Review Council for Physician Assistants.
UE’s physician assistant program will last approximately 24 to 27 months and will include both classroom and clinical education in topics such as medical, behavior and social sciences; clinical medicine; patient assessment and health policy and practice issues.
“We look forward to offering the region’s first physician assistant program,” said John A. Mosbo, UE senior vice president for academic affairs.