Physician Assistant (PA)
The LSU Health Shreveport Physician Assistant Program offers a Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree which consists of a continuous 27-month academic and clinical experience, which begins during the summer semester. The Program's objective is to prepare well-educated primary care PAs competent in a wide range of medical skills with qualifications to provide comprehensive health care under the supervision of a physician. Upon graduation, graduates are eligible to be licensed in the state of Louisiana as a PA by the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners and are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination.
- What is a PA?
- What does a PA do?
- Job Outlook
- PA Program Mission, Goals, & Outcomes
- PA Program Accreditation
The physician assistant is a health care professional who is academically and clinically prepared to provide health and medical services with and under the supervision of a doctor of medicine. The functions of the physician assistant include performing diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive and health maintenance services in any setting in which the physician renders care, in order to allow more effective and focused application of the physician's particular knowledge and skills.
Services performed by physician assistants include, but are not limited, to the following:
Evaluation: Initially approaching a patient of any age group in any setting to elicit a detailed and accurate history, perform an appropriate physical examination, delineate problems, and record and present the data.
Monitoring: Assisting the physician in conducting rounds in acute and long-term inpatient care settings, developing and implementing patient management plans, recording progress notes and assisting in the provision of continuity of care in office-based and other ambulatory care settings.
Diagnostics: Performing and/or interpreting, at least to the point of recognizing deviations from the norm, common laboratory, radiologic, cardiographic and other routine diagnostic procedures used to identify pathophysiologic processes.
Therapeutics: Performing routine procedures such as injections, immunizations, suturing and wound care, managing simple conditions produced by infection or trauma, participating in the management of more complex illness and injury, and taking initiative in performing evaluation and therapeutic procedures in response to life-threatening situations.
Counseling: Instructing and counseling patients regarding compliance with prescribed therapeutic regimens, normal growth development, family planning, situation adjustment reactions and health maintenance.
Referral: Facilitating the referral of patients to the community's health and social service agencies when appropriate.
According to the United States Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics:
|2018 Median Pay||
$108,610 per year
|Number of Jobs, 2016||106,200|
|Job Outlook, 2016-26||37% (Much faster than average)|
Persons interested in a career as a Physician Assistant may find the following web sites of interest:
AAPA: American Academy of Physician Assistants
LAPA: Louisiana Academy of Physician Assistants
NCCPA: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants
ARCPA: Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistant Programs
Physician Assistant Educators Association
Physician Assistant History Society
The mission of the PA Program is to provide a primary care curriculum to prepare competent Physician Assistants to provide health care for Louisiana citizens.
- Goal #1: Graduate competent PAs who exhibit lifelong learning skills.
- Goal #2: Facilitate faculty and student involvement in local, state, and national organizations.
This goal is measured by the following:
a. Having a PANCE (PA National Certification Exam) First Time Take pass rate of >94%. For the Class of 2018, the first time pass rate was 100%. The five year first time taker average pass rate for the program is 99%. Download the PANCE REPORT for the official NCCPA document.
b. Having graduates who remain certified PAs for at least 10 years after graduation at a rate of >95%. Recertification requires that a PA continue to learn new information regarding patient care thus demonstrating lifelong learning skills. Certification maintenance also requires that the PA comply with all applicable laws and standards related to their professional role while upholding appropriate standards of professionalism and ethics. The certification rate does not account for why a PA is no longer certified (such as change in profession, retirement or death). Overall, 95% of graduates remain certified; for graduates from the past 10 years (2008 – 2018), 99% remain certified.
This goal is measured by the following:
a. Having a membership rate of >75% for NWLAPA, LAPA, and AAPA among faculty members who are PAs. Currently, PA faculty membership in all 3 organizations is 100% with 2 faculty members and 1 student member serving on the LAPA Board of Directors.
b. Having a membership rate of >50% for LAPA and AAPA among LSU Health Shreveport PA students. Currently, 86% are members of LAPA and 54% are members of AAPA.
c. Having a faculty (who are PAs) and student attendance rate of >25% at the LAPA Annual Conference. Last year, 100% of faculty (who are PAs) and the entire class of 2020 attended the LAPA Annual Conference.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. 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 2026 September. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
Program at a Glance
Estimated Total Cost of Attendance*
LA Resident: $39,000
*includes tuition and fees