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The Physician Assistant (PA) Program at Idaho State University awards the Masters of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree and a PA certificate upon successful completion of its 24 month graduate curriculum. 

Idaho State University Department of Physician Assistant Studies is the preferred educational destination for individuals who desire to be trained in a student-centered, service oriented environment.  The program trains PAs using a modular and systems based curriculum that is delivered through telepresence technology across three campuses.

In 1995, the ISU PA program matriculated the first class of 19 students and graduated this class in 1997. Graduates received a Bachelor's of Science in Physician Assistant Studies degree. In 2004, the program graduated its first Master's level class, awarding the first ISU Master's of Physician Assistant Studies degree to 29 graduates. The program expanded to the Boise area in 2007. In 2009 the program moved to the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center.  Up to thirty seats are offered at the Meridian campus and up to 30 seats are offered at the Pocatello campus. The program has entered a partnership with the College of Idaho located in Caldwell, Idaho. This partnership adds up to an additional 12 seats for a total class size of 72.

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ISU offers students a unique distance learning model. The curriculum offered at all three campuses (Meridian, Pocatello and Caldwell) is exactly the same. Lectures given at each site are delivered to the distant sites through video conferencing. Students are present in the classroom at each campus as lectures are delivered.  All students receive a comprehensive and professional education. The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) featured ISU’s distance learning program in the June/July 2011 issue of PA Professional

Application to the program is through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA).

The program maintains continued accreditation by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., (ARC-PA).

Graduates of the program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) which is administered by the National Commission for Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Over the past five years 262 out of 281 students or 96% of ISU's PA Program graduates have passed the NCCPA examination on their first attempt. Four out of the past five years, ISU's first time pass rate has exceeded the national first time pass rate. The first-time pass rate was 97% for the Class of 2012, 98% for the Class of 2013, 93% for the class of 2014, is 93% for the Class of 2015 and 94% for the Class of 2016.

The program's website at www.isu.edu/pa gives information regarding prerequisites, applications, costs, course classes and schedules and other topics. Information regarding the program’s application review process may also be found on the program's website at http://www.isu.edu/pa/admission/admission-process/.

Want to learn more about Idaho State University’s PA Program and its faculty? Check out the following: Check out ISU’s “Why I Teach” interview of the PA Program Director, Paula Phelps at www.isu.edu/whyiteach/phelps.shtml.

Clinical Assistant Professor, Jared Papa, received ISU’s 2012 Distinguished Public Service Award. Check out the story at http://www.isu.edu/meridian/read12/story_continued_2012_Distinguished%20_Faculty_.shtml

ISU’s public television series, “Idaho State of Mind”, interviewed ISU’s Program Director regarding PAs and the increasing need for health care professionals. The video may be found below and starts at the 3:20 mark. Her interview is followed by our program’s Clinical Assistant Professor, Anntara Smith, responding to the question of how to avoid costly emergency room visits. This segment starts at the 7:33 mark.

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