NEWS

Featured Associate: Shenandoah University PA Program


Shenandoah’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is a comprehensive graduate entry-level professional program that prepares students for primary care practice. The 30-month program emphasizes service to medically underserved populations and a team approach to the delivery of health care.

The program admitted its first students in 2001. It is housed in two locations: Winchester and Loudoun County, Va. In 2016, it was ranked as the 16th best PA program in the country by US News and World Report (a distinction it still holds to this day). In 2016, it was also the youngest program on the list.

Locally, the PA program operates a Tuesday evening faculty and student run interprofessional (PA, PT, OT and eventually pharmacy) clinic that is funded through a federal grant. Also, each year for about 12 years, Shenandoah’s PA students have planned and implemented a gala event to raise money for local charities. Last year, the students donated $8,000 to a local camp for kids with cancer and $2,000 to a women’s shelter.

In addition, students and faculty help with other local events such as providing free physicals to the Boy Scouts and working with Winchester Medical Center on its summer camps.

The PA program has also spearheaded and expanded interprofessional medical mission trips to Nicaragua.

In August 2018, Shenandoah University PA program faculty member, Rachel A. Carlson, EdD, PA-C, DFAAPA, was named Virginia PA of the Year by the Virginia Academy of Physician Assistants (VAPA). To read more about Ms. Carlson and her award, please click here.

To learn more about Shenandoah University’s Masters of Science in PA Studies program, please click here.

Photographs: Banner photograph is of the Health Professions Building located on the Winchester Medical Center campus. The first photo is of Shenandoah University PA students helping local middle school students at Daniel Morgan Middle School in Winchester, VA. The second photograph is of Shenandoah University PA students looking at and learning from an Anatomage, a state-of-the-art dissection and anatomy table. The final photograph is of faculty member Rachel Carlson accepting her Virginia PA of the Year Award.