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Physician Assistant (MSPAS)


The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) at Milligan is a 28-month, 108-credit hour program that prepares highly trained healthcare professionals with a foundation in primary care to work with physicians and other members of the healthcare team in a variety of medical specialties. Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree and have completed the prerequisite requirements for admission to the program.

Milligan’s MSPAS program has received the status of Provisional a from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and began its first class in January 2018.

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America needs PAsWhat does a PA do?

Physician Assistants are nationally certified and state licensed medical providers trained to diagnose and treat patients as well as prescribe medication. PAs are a key part of the patient-centered healthcare team. Learn more:

Curriculum

The 108-credit hour curriculum unfolds in two phases over the course of 28 months:

  • Didactic Phase consisting of 72-credit hours of course work delivered in face-to-face instruction over the course of 15 months
  • Clinical Phase consisting of 36-credit hours of clinical placements. Each student completes a series of eight, six-week clinical placements over the course of 13 months

Graduation will take place in May of each year, beginning in 2020.

course descriptions »

PANCE First-Time Pass Rates & PROGRAM Goals

PANCE first-time test taker pass rate data and data related to the success of the program in achieving its goals will be available here upon completion of the first cohort of students.

Mission & Goals

Mission: To prepare physician assistants as servant leaders who provide clinical expertise while making positive contributions to the profession, the communities they practice in, and society as a whole.

Goals: The Milligan College Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program goals are designed to educate physician assistants who:

  • provide competent and compassionate health care to diverse individuals and populations across
    the lifespan
  • effectively interact and communicate with all health professionals, patients and patients’ families
  • engage in life-long learning to maintain professional quality
  • demonstrate competence in social, legal, and ethical issues related to healthcare practice
  • apply evidence-based medicine into all areas of practice
  • demonstrate the ability to integrate practice with a Christian worldview

Accreditation

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation – Provisional status to the Milligan College Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Milligan College.  Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding Accreditation Provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.  Accreditation-Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status. It is limited to no more than five years from matriculation of the first class.

Institutional accreditation: Milligan College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award baccalaureate, master’s, and doctorate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Milligan College.

 Faculty

The faculty of the Milligan College Physician Assistant Program are committed to preparing PAs as servant leaders with clinical expertise. Combined, our faculty have over 40 years of clinical experience in multiple different specialties along with many years of teaching experience. Four of the faculty members are certified physician assistants who practice clinically, while two other faculty members hold a Ph.D. Our faculty members value Milligan’s longstanding tradition of forming great mentoring relationships with students, and they are dedicated to ensuring that students are successful both during the program and as practicing PAs.

Meet our PA faculty »

Facilities

A financial investment from Mountain States Health Alliance has established the MSHA Physician Assistant Center, housed in Milligan’s B. D. Phillips Building. This space has an open floor plan with 13 patient exam tables, eight of which are equipped with medical equipment including ophthalmoscopes, otoscopes, blood pressure cuffs, thermometers, wall desks, and privacy curtains that separate each area. The Center is used to train students in a wide array of clinical competencies, including communication, history taking, physical examination, counseling, and patient safety.  Clinical skills training, such as practice with urinary catheter trainers, IV injection manikin arms, casting, and suturing, also take place in the MSHA PA Center.

In addition to brand-new facilities, recent renovations to Milligan’s Science Building and expansions to its gross anatomy lab allow physician assistant students to participate in dissection of cadavers. The program’s close proximity to other healthcare programs, which allow for numerous interprofessional education opportunities, and the Johnson City Medical Center, a reputable tertiary teaching hospital, are other advantages that set the college’s physician assistant program apart from many existing programs.

Admission

All applicants to the Milligan College Physician Assistant Program must apply through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). The application cycle for the class that begins January 8, 2018, is now closed.  The application cycle for the class that begins in January 2019 will open April 26, 2018, and the application deadline will be September 1, 2018.  All applications must be verified on or before this date. Applications that are not verified by this deadline will not be reviewed.

Selected candidates will be considered for a face-to-face on-site interview. Each cohort/class will have a maximum of 26 students. No advanced placement status will be given to students in the program.

The Milligan PA program utilizes a rolling admission process, meaning we review applications as they are completed and make decisions throughout the admissions cycle until the class is filled. Applicants should apply as early as possible and check the CASPA site frequently until all requirements including references have been submitted and the application is complete. All applicants who are offered a seat of admission will be required to pay a $750 non-refundable deposit which will be applied to your account upon matriculation.

Academic Profile

For reference, the academic profile for our 2018 incoming class was as follows:

Year Average Cumulative Undergraduate GPA Average Prerequisite Science GPA Average GRE Score
2018 3.59 3.65 305

Admission Requirements

The minimum requirements to be considered for admission to the Physician Assistant program are as follows:

  • A baccalaureate degree with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0.
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA for prerequisite science courses
  • Health care experience with a minimum of 300 documented hours of direct patient care or observation experience. Click here for more info »
  • Strong verbal and quantitative reasoning skills as reported on the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). A minimum composite score of 289 will be accepted, and the exam must have been taken within the past five years. GRE scores are to be submitted directly through Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA), and the Milligan College PA GRE code is 7342.  Click here for Applicant FAQ for GRE Scores »
  • Three completed reference forms through CASPA from persons who have adequate knowledge of the applicant’s Christian commitment, character, and professional qualities of potential for success as a graduate student. At least one reference must be from someone with/for whom the applicant has worked/volunteered in a health care setting.
  • Meet technical standards (download PDF)
  • Clear level one background check if offered and accept a seat of admission
  • Obtain BLS certification through the American Heart Association prior to starting the program
  • A completed baccalaureate degree that includes the following prerequisite courses
    • Math and Science
      • General Biology- 4 semester hours*
      • Anatomy & Physiology- 8 semester hours*
      • Microbiology -4 semester hours*
      • General chemistry-8 semester hours*
      • Organic chemistry or Biochemistry -minimum 3 semester hours, lab not required
      • Statistics- 3 semester hours
      • *courses must include live hands on lab; courses with online laboratory will not be accepted. More competitive applications will show successful completion of science courses that are above the introductory or “essentials” level.
    • Social Science
      • Intro to Psychology, Intro to Sociology, OR Intro to Anthropology- 3 semester hours
      • Developmental Psychology OR Lifespan Psychology- 3 semester hours
    • Communication
      • Writing/English Composition-6 semester hours
      • Public Speaking-3 semester hours
    • Medical Terminology
      • 1 semester hour
  • International students: TOEFL score must be at least 550 on the paper-based examination or 213 on the computer-based examination or 79 on the internet-based examination. The IELTS score must be at least 6.5. (international students only)

Substitution or waiver of a requirement for any of the above prerequisite courses may be granted by the Physician Assistant program admissions committee on an individual basis.

Interview

Prospective students meeting the minimum admission criteria will be considered for a face-to-face on-site interview. However, meeting the minimum requirements guarantees neither an invitation for a face-to-face on-site interview nor admission to the program as most if not all successful applicants will generally exceed these minimum requirements. Selection for the physician assistant program is very competitive, and all parts of each application are reviewed including undergraduate cumulative and pre-requisite course GPAs, health care experience, letters of reference, personal statement, and GRE scores. Personal interviews with the principal physician assistant faculty will be required for final admission and will be offered only to the most qualified individuals. Final selection of students will be made by the admissions committee of the Physician Assistant program. See the Admission section above for interview and admission timeline.

International Students

If you are an international applicant, please have your Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score sent directly from the Educational Testing Service to Milligan’s PA Admissions Office. All international applicants must have taken the TOEFL within the last two years. You cannot be exempted from this requirement unless English is your native language, you are a U.S. citizen, or you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited U.S. college or university.

After a student is admitted, there is required documentation to submit BEFORE form I-20 can be issued.  Students may begin gathering and submitting this information even prior to admission, but no I-20 will be issued until a prospect has been fully admitted AND has submitted the required documentation. International students should click here for information on the immigration/visa process »

Tuition & Fees

The Milligan PA program is priced competitively, and we will work with you every step of the way to help investigate all the options available for financing your education.

The tuition rate for 2019 is $750 per credit hour, for a total approximate tuition cost (108 credit hours) of $81,000 plus applicable fees.

Tuition (per credit hour) $750 x 108 credit hours = $81,000
Technology Access Fee *$250/semester x 4 semesters = $1,000 total
Graduate Activity Fee (Wellness Center, Health Services, etc.) *$75/semester x 4 semesters = $300 total
Life-time academic records fee $75 one time fee
Additional course fees $865 (click here for details)
Criminal Background Screening $140 one time fee (additional fees may apply)
AAPA & TAPA Student Membership Fees $125 one time fee
Professional Instruments $1,000 (approximate)
Textbooks $1,440 (approximate)
Laptop Computer $1,500 (approximate)
ESTIMATED TOTAL FOR PROGRAM $87,445

Financial Aid

Financial aid is available for graduate students. Click here to learn more about the types of aid available and your payment options.

Expectations and Responsibilities

All students at Milligan are expected to uphold the expectations and responsibilities for student lifestyles of Milligan College. We at Milligan adopt specific rules on the basis of our belief that God’s Word, as the final rule of faith and practice, speaks on many matters pertaining to personal conduct. Specifically, the Milligan College adult student agrees to abide by a lifestyle commitment in which he or she refrains from illegal drugs, pornography, profanity, dishonesty, sexual immorality, unethical conduct, vandalism, and immodest dress. Students are expected to seek to serve Christ in an atmosphere of trust, encouragement, and respect for one another.

Employment

This is a rigorous, full-time, 28-month academic program.  Employment of any type while enrolled in this program is not possible.

Advisory Committee

The Milligan College Physician Assistant Program Advisory Committee serves the PA program by being an advocate for the program in the community and by assisting the program in maintaining and improving all aspects of the program, especially the clinical phase.  The Committee also serve the program by providing increased communication between the program and community leaders to help faculty members have a better understanding of the community outlook of the program, to create better learning opportunities for students, and to provide a connection for potential employment opportunities for graduates.

The PA Program Advisory Committee is composed of healthcare professionals, leaders of healthcare organizations, Milligan College faculty and staff, the PA program director, and other leaders of our community who support the mission and goals of the program.  Advisory Committee membership is by invitation from the program director and is based upon recommendation from program faculty, a member of the Milligan College faculty/staff, or a member of the professional community.

Specific responsibilities of the PA Program Advisory Committee include:

  1. Identification of healthcare providers in specific specialties who are willing to serve as clinical preceptors
  2. Serving as program advocates by supporting and promoting the program
  3. Reviewing program policies and procedures as needed
  4. Assisting the PA Program Admissions Committee with the admissions process as needed
  5. Assisting with evaluation of students as needed

The committee will meet on an annual basis with additional meetings to be scheduled if the need arises.  We are very grateful to each member for their willingness to serve on the Milligan College PA Program Advisory Committee.

PA Advisory Committee

Name Profession City
Jim Aderhold, PA-C Family Medicine Physician Assistant Blue Ridge Family Medicine
Emily Campbell, MD Family Medicine/Sports Medicine Holston Medical Group
Eric Deaton, MBA Executive Vice President and COO Wellmont Health System
Mark Fox, MBA Vice President for Student Development and Athletics Milligan College
Mark Harrell, MD Emergency Room Medicine Morristown Hamblen Healthcare System
Andrew Hull, PA-C Physician Assistant Program Director and Area Chair Milligan College
Christy Isbell, PhD Professor of Occupational Therapy Milligan College
Steve Kilgore, MBA CEO Blue Ridge Medical Management Corporation
Sheree King, PT Physical Therapist and Certified Lymphedema Therapist Wellmont Cancer Institute
Richard McDavid, MD Family Medicine Veterans Administration
Myra O’Dell, MBA Partner and Investment Advisor BCS Wealth Management
Jim Pearson, MD Pediatrician First Choice Pediatrics
Rebecca Sapp, PhD Director of the Counseling Center and Associate Professor of Counseling and Psychology Milligan College
Melissa Witzigman, PA-C Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Mountain States Health Alliance

Faculty

Andrew Hull

Andrew Hull

Area Chair and Director of the PA Program; Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies

Phone: 423.461.1558
Email: AWHull@milligan.edu
Office: B.D. Phillips Building

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Dr. Ron Blackmore

Ron Blackmore

Medical Director, PA Program

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Heather Justice

Heather Justice

Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, Assessment Coordinator

Phone: 423.461.1552
Email: hcjustice@milligan.edu
Office: B.D. Phillips Building

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Maureen Knechtel

Maureen Knechtel

Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, Academic Coordinator

Phone: 423.461.1539
Email: maknechtel@milligan.edu
Office: B.D. Phillips Building

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Dr. David Gibbons

David Gibbons

Assistant Professor of Physician Assistant Studies, Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 423.461.1515
Email: ddgibbons@milligan.edu
Office: B.D. Phillips Building

Read More ->