Physician Assistant Program
Developing caring physician assistants who practice competent, patient-centered primary care in diverse environments.
In harmony with the overall mission of Harding University, the Physician Assistant program seeks to provide a comprehensive educational program designed to impart to students the knowledge and skills needed to become competent professionals. The Program strives to motivate its future graduates to develop attitudes which stimulate continuing pursuit of professional excellence, Christ-centered service to others, and lifelong learning. The development of the program curriculum is based on:
- Standards described by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant,
- The Program’s mission statement, and
- The professional and personal needs of our future PA graduates
The Physician Assistant Program is an integral part of Harding University, and embraces the goals outlined in the University’s statement of mission and goals. The goals of the Physician Assistant Program are:
- Instruct physician assistants who will provide primary care reflective of their Christian faith and service to their community and to the world.
- Develop practice-oriented critical thinking which recognizes dependence on God, is committed to lifelong intellectual excellence, and is built upon a foundation of general cultural knowledge.
- Promote supportive personal and professional relationships.
- Nurture lifelong personal habits that lead to a healthier quality of life physically, spiritually, psychologically and socially.
- Emphasize a servant-leadership lifestyle which prepares graduates to have a respect for other cultures and an understanding of world missions.
Professional Responsibilities of the Physician Assistant:
Physician Assistants are skilled members of the health care team qualified by academic and clinical experience to provide a broad range of health care services in practice with a licensed physician. The health care services PAs provide include, but are not limited to:
- Performing medical interviews and physical examinations.
- Identifying health care problems in need of evaluation and management
- Screening results of laboratory diagnostic studies
- Selecting and implementing treatment plans
- Counseling patients regarding health, illness and at-risk behaviors
- Initiating and maintaining patient-centered therapeutic regimens
- Monitoring patient responses to programs of therapy
- Facilitating access to appropriate health care resources
These services may be provided to individuals of any age in those various settings considered part of the supervising physician's practice.
Core Values of the Program:
We believe physician assistants should:
- Practice competently, ethically and with a Christ-centered attitude.
- Serve where needed, particularly in rural areas, inner-cities and on mission fields where there are health professional shortages.
- Demonstrate sensitivity to cultural and individual differences in their patients and colleagues.
- Understand the principles of scientific inquiry and research design, and apply these principles lifelong to read critically and interpret the literature and enhance the delivery of health care.
- Integrate the basic principles of education and cultural awareness into programs that benefit the patient, the patient’s family and the community through the promotion of wellness and personal responsibility for maintaining health.
- Enrich the lives of their patients and communities through service and a Christ-centered approach to the practice of their profession.
- Advocate a team approach to high-quality, cost-effective health care delivery as a primary care physician assistant in a dynamic health care delivery system.
- Promote and uphold the physician assistant profession and its ideals.
- Contribute to the profession through leadership, teaching and active scholarship.