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Master of Physician Assistant Studies

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Master of Physician Assistant Studies 2017-11-08T08:53:32+00:00

Important Program Dates

Final application deadline: October 1, 2017*
Semester begins: May 7, 2018
*(CASPA application needs to be verified by this date)

Education Model

Residential Program with clinical assignments throughout the country

The Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) Physician Assistant (PA) Program will educate outstanding clinicians, equipped to handle the challenges of practicing medicine in a multifaceted and complex health care system. Our program will emphasize a holistic patient-centered care approach, educating students not only in the foundational domains of medical knowledge and patient care, but also to:

  • approach complex health problems through sound clinical reasoning, with sensitivity for the unique situation and concerns of each individual patient,
  • leverage the powers of information technology and collaborative networking to make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions at the point-of-care,
  • master the art of connecting with patients of diverse characteristics and backgrounds, and
  • serve as ethical professionals who stand as examples and leaders in their communities and amongst their colleagues

The goals of the RMUoHP Physician Assistant Program include:

GOAL 1: Admitting students to the RMUoHP PA Program who have a history of community service within their circle of influence, evidenced through their CASPA application, in the hope that students will continue to serve in the communities in which they practice.

How: The PA program will perform an annual review to calculate each entering cohort’s average hours of service as reported on the CASPA application. The PA Program strives to have cohorts who are self-motivated to serve within their circle of influence. In order to achieve this goal, a benchmark of having a cohort average of 500 hours has been set.

Success of achieving goal: The current cohort entered with a class average of 565 hours of community service.

GOAL 2: Promoting the principles of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) to facilitate the spirit of clinical inquiry and life-long learning.

How: This goal is measured through an annual audit of the RMUoHP PA Program curriculum and assessment of specific EBP assignments throughout the curriculum. The PA program strives to have ≥80% of the courses in the curriculum contain EBP specific objectives. The PA Program has didactic assignments evaluating students ability to acquire, appraise, and apply EBP, and clinical assignments consisting of a Practice Protocol Challenge and a Clinical Inquiry Case Report. The PA Program strives to achieve a benchmark of ≥90% of students completing the assignments with a score of ≥80%.

Success of achieving goal: In the 2016-2017 academic year, 86% of courses in the PA curriculum contained EBP specific objectives. For the current didactic cohort, 95% of students successfully completed didactic EBP assignments with a score of ≥80%. The current clinical cohort is in their clinical phase at the time of this reporting. Upon completion of the clinical phase, data will be reported here.

GOAL 3: Having willing and able alumni who support the RMUoHP PA program in a variety of ways including precepting of students, participating in didactic and clinical instruction, and alumni leadership roles.

How: This goal is measured by responses to the Alumni Survey. The RMUoHP PA program intends to survey graduates annually. The survey contains questions specific to alumnus’ current efforts to support the PA program through active engagement of precepting of students, participating in didactic and clinical instruction, and alumni leadership roles. The survey also inquires about alumnus’ willingness to support the program in the aforementioned areas.

Success of achieving goal: RMUoHP PA Program’s first class is expected to graduate in August 2017. The alumni survey will be sent to these graduates six months after graduation, then on a recurrent annual basis thereafter. The PA program expects at least 25% of reporting alumni to be supporting the program in some capacity.

GOAL 4: Producing graduates who are willing and able to serve their communities, assume leadership roles, and remain active in the PA profession.

How: This goal is measured by responses to the Alumni Survey. The RMUoHP PA program intends to survey graduates annually. The survey contains questions specific to alumnus’ current status in assuming leadership roles and service in their profession and community. 

Success of achieving goal: RMUoHP PA Program’s first graduating class is expected to graduate in August 2017. The alumni survey will be sent to alumni six months after graduation, then on a recurrent annual basis thereafter. The PA program expects at least 25% of reporting alumni to be actively engaged or willing to assume these types of roles.

Learn More About our PA Program

There is great enthusiasm about our PA program, and for good reason! There is a significant need for highly competent, genuinely caring physician assistants who provide excellent care for all. RMUoHP feels privileged to have the opportunity to deliver an innovative program designed to educate expert PAs who will prove to make a dramatic difference in the communities they serve.

RMUoHP PA Program Core Values

In addition to RMUoHP’s core values, the RMUoHP PA Program espouses those values listed below. Our commitment is to provide the best education possible for our students. To achieve this, we strive to think, make decisions, and act in accordance with these core values. As a natural extension, we strongly emphasize their importance and encourage their adoption to every student we have the privilege of teaching and mentoring. As anchors, these values serve as the pillars upon which all else in the Program stands. The acronym R.I.G.H.T. helps us easily remember and communicate these values:

Relationships Come FirstNothing is more important than our relationships. People are more important than things. It is people who give care, and people who receive care. Furthermore, people come from all walks of life and carry with them unique backgrounds, personalities, philosophies, and perspectives. We regard each individual as an equal member of the human family, and therefore strive to serve each with compassion, concern, and diligence. We particularly value the relationship between students and their future patients. Additionally, self-care promotes sustainability and wellness, which ultimately influences one’s ability to care for others. Therefore, we advocate self-care to foster healthy and meaningful relationships.

Innovative CultureWe are living in the midst of dramatic change. Not only is the medical industry changing quickly, but the educational arena as well. We strongly value supporting and sustaining a culture of innovation because as a result, our students and faculty are empowered to act as forward-thinking creatives, bringing unique and dynamic perspectives in their contributions to addressing the most challenging of problems.

Growth MindsetA fixed mindset clings to notions of innate ability and capacity, or lack thereof. By contrast, a growth mindset engenders the learning and progress born when persevering through challenge and failure. We are not completed works of varying perfection or imperfection, but products of ongoing experiential and reflective states of being. As such, our best days are inherently ahead of us.

High ExpectationsYes, we are here to serve students. But more importantly, we are here to serve the patients whom our students will serve. Without high expectations, we risk compromising the education of our students, and thus ultimately the care of their patients. RMUoHP PA holds the standard high. The patient deserves nothing but our best.

Think About the PatientThe medical world is remarkably complex. So many dynamics, so many considerations. Unfortunately, in the midst of the chaos, thinking about and doing what’s best for the patient can slip to the back burner. At RMUoHP PA, we keep the patient front and center. The patient comes first, always.

Admission Requirements
Application Analysis Process
Physician Assistant Curriculum
Technical Standards
Program Policies
Tuition Information
Program Performance
Frequently Asked Questions
Apply Now!


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RMUoHP PA Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the RMUoHP Physician Assistant (PA) Program, graduates will:

Biomedical and Clinical Science Knowledge  K1

Demonstrate knowledge of biomedical and clinical sciences and the ability to integrate and apply this knowledge to the care of patients.

Differentiating Normal & Abnormal in Evaluation & Diagnostics  K2

Differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic and physiologic findings and diagnostic test data and imaging.

Holistic Approach to Caring for Unique Patients  K3

Explain the implications of psychological, socioeconomic, cultural, and spiritual dimensions of human health and illness and tailor their approach to evaluating and managing patients to optimize care when contextually appropriate.

Evidence-Based Prevention and Wellness  K4

Identify effective evidence-based interventions for prevention of disease conditions and promotion of healthy living behaviors.

Eliciting Comprehensive and Focused Health Histories  S1

Perform a comprehensive health history, accurately eliciting and documenting acquired information. Demonstrate the ability to focus the health history based on the contextual nature of the patient presentation as well as information elicited during the interview process.

Performing Comprehensive and Focused Physical Examinations  S2

Perform a comprehensive physical examination and accurately document findings. Demonstrate the ability to focus the physical examination based on the contextual nature of the patient presentation and developed differential diagnosis.

Developing Patient-Centered Assessments and Management Plans  S3

Demonstrate effective clinical problem solving, reasoning, and decision-making by developing comprehensive patient-centered assessments and management plans through integrating and applying health history and physical examination information, diagnostic and imaging data, and patient preferences.

Performing Diagnostic and Therapeutic Clinical Procedures  S4

Identify evidence-based indications and contraindications for, and accurately perform, diagnostic and therapeutic clinical procedures for common primary care and emergent conditions.

Applying EBM and Digital Literacy Skills at the Point of Care  S5

Apply principles of evidence-based medicine and high proficiency digital literacy skills to quickly access, critically evaluate, and apply high quality evidence-based information to unique patients at the point of care.

Collaborating with Healthcare Team to Provide Patient-Centered Care  S6

Effectively collaborate with members of the healthcare team to provide comprehensive patient-centered care across the lifespan.

Engaging, Communicating with, and Educating Patients  S7

Utilize evidence-based patient engagement and communication strategies to provide effective patient education for common primary care conditions and health promotion situations.

Learning & Practicing Reflectively and Recognizing Limitations  S8

Demonstrate the capacity to learn and engage in patient care reflectively, with a critical awareness of the scope and limits of one’s knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Ethical Practice and Sensitivity to Unique & Diverse Patients  VA1

Commit to high ethical standards and demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to the unique needs of individual patients to include consideration of culture, age, gender, and disabilities.

Respect, Compassion, Integrity, and Accountability  VA2

Demonstrate respect, compassion, integrity, and accountability to patients, society, and the profession.

Developing and Sustaining Sound Professional Relationships  VA3

Create and sustain sound professional relationships with patients and members of the healthcare team.

Resilience, Stability, Adaptability, Flexibility, and Self-Care  VA4

Demonstrate emotional resilience, emotional stability, adaptability, and flexibility. Demonstrate tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety with an awareness of the importance of maintaining one’s own well-being.

Physician Assistant Mission & Vision

In harmony with the mission of Rocky Mountain University of Health Profession (RMUoHP) the Physician Assistant (PA) Program has established the following mission, and vision.

The mission of the RMUoHP PA Program is to educate competent physician assistant graduates who value and provide comprehensive, evidence-based, patient-centered care and who are committed to lifelong-learning, professional excellence, and collaborative practice.

The vision of the RMUoHP PA Program is to:

  • foster a culture of growth mindedness, unity of purpose, collegiality, and perpetual desire for self-directed learning,
  • deliver a richly balanced, application-based curriculum centered on critical principles of health, wellness, and disease,
  • graduate self-reflective professionals with adept clinical reasoning skills and keen sensitivity to unique patient needs,
  • and empower students to become digitally literate clinicians proficient in applying information technologies and collaborative networking skills to improve patient care.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies Faculty

David Payne, PA-C
Graduate Program Director,
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Tyler Sommer PA-C
Travis Layne PA-C
Jennifer Johnson PA-C
Kelli Fife PA-C
Kimberly Warburton PA-C