Featured Associate: Mercyhurst University

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Mercyhurst University is at the forefront of education for PAs; it emphasizes professional excellence and leadership through a 24-month program. In addition, the PA program educates Mercyhurst students to become advocates of just practices, policies and standards in the profession, while teaching them to promote the right to good healthcare in society.

The Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree provides curriculum in sequence, with students progressing through preplanned semesters. The curriculum has been developed to meet standards set forth by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). ARC-PA defines the standards for PA education and is the responsible agency in evaluating PA educational programs.

The program graduated its first class in 2017. That inaugural class had a 100% PANCE pass rate! The class of 2018 also had 100% PANCE pass rate and in 2019 the program became fully accredited by ARC-PA.

During their time in the program students participate in MPASS, Mercyhurst Physician Assistant Student Society, which is a student organization that is led by faculty advisor Amanda Oliver, MPAS, PA-C. The purpose of MPASS is to meet on a regular basis to discuss issues of common interest that often deal with healthcare, the PA profession, or other social issues.  The group works to promote the PA profession and PA students within the profession.  MPASS is active both on campus and through service to our community.  The Mercyhurst Physician Assistant Students and faculty are proud to represent the University and the PA profession through our dynamic, enthusiastic and committed membership in MPASS.

This year the members of MPASS put forth an excellent effort to support Grady’s Decision, a nonprofit that helps countless families and premature babies navigate the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) life. Grady’s Decision was the host city charity at the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) conference held virtually this fall from Erie, Pa. Despite the obstacles created by COVID-19, the students raised over $1,000.00 in cash with a Krispy Kream “Digital Dozen” fundraiser as well as collected numerous restaurant gift cards and gas cards. Students also brought in donations for items needed by Grady’s Decision including more than 1,000 diapers, 87 packs of wipes, 52 pacifiers, 28 blankets, 59 bibs, 21 hats and more than 70 onsies!!!

Faculty and staff have worked extremely hard during the COVID 19 Pandemic to continue to offer high quality instruction both in person and virtually. They have mastered the art of virtual admissions and are proving to meet every challenge with determination and perseverance.

We are very proud of our program here at Mercyhurst University! For more information about the program please visit