Mission & Outcomes


The mission of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies (DPAS) is to prepare students with the highest quality academic and clinical training. The program will prepare physician assistants to be leaders in the profession, proficient in meeting the challenges of healthcare, while providing compassionate, quality care to the diverse communities in which they serve.

The department’s mission, vision and core goals were developed to align with the university’s mission, vision and core values. Emphasis has been placed on the Mercy tradition and healthcare core values to stay true to the basic principles set forth by our founders.


Mercyhurst University’s Department of Physician Assistant Studies will be at the forefront of the education of physician assistants who will excel in professional excellence and leadership. They will be advocates for just practices, policies and standards in the profession, and advocate for the right to good healthcare in society.


Upon completion of the Mercyhurst Department of Physician Assistant Studies, the graduate will:

  • Demonstrate competent core medical knowledge to include knowledge and application to patient care in the acute and chronic setting.
  • Display interpersonal and communicative skills to include verbal, nonverbal and written competencies to result in effective exchange with the patient, patient advocates, other health care providers and systems.
  • Demonstrate patient care competencies to include the ability to gather appropriate historical data precisely, conduct accurate examination of the patient, order appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions, develop management plans, counsel and educate patients, provide preventative care and counseling, all while using scientific evidence-based practice.
  • Display knowledge of professional practice to include an understanding of the professional guidelines for ethical conduct, legal and regulatory requirements, and commitment to the profession, patient and community.
  • Demonstrate lifelong learning skills essential to the healthcare profession. This includes practice-based learning to facilitate assessment, evaluation and improvement of patient care experiences.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work effectively in a systems-based practice that provides the best patient care practices and strives to continue to improve the healthcare system.

Core Goals

  • Provide curriculum and clinical education that is academically excellent and contemporary.
  • Prepare graduates that are proficient team members in healthcare and leaders in the profession.
  • Develop caring, ethical and professional behaviors to inspire graduates to continue to be advocates for patient dignity and justice.
  • Inspire lifelong learning skills to encourage stewardship and scholarly contributions to healthcare.
  • Develop socially aware graduates, who are empowered as agents of change in the realm of service to the profession and community in which they serve.
  • Continually promote the Mercy values of compassion, justice, dignity, excellence, hospitality and stewardship as our guide when developing future healthcare leaders.
Guided by our vision and core goals the Department of Physician Assistant Studies will use the following as indicators of success in achieving the mission:
  • Student outcomes on the PANCE
  • Evaluations of students with course performance
  • Evaluations of preparedness of students for supervised clinical experiences
  • Course evaluations of students and faculty. 
  • Students will participate in self-assessment of professionalism and have exposure to service learning in the course of study to emphasize these important qualities in a healthcare provider.
  • Alumni will be surveyed for employment and scholarship by the university. The DPAS will survey graduate and employers to evaluate program outcome achievement.
  • The department will participate in continued evaluation of the curriculum for currency and innovation in teaching.


Lecture: Not Just a Pretty Face

Dates: Apr 22

Location: Walker Recital Hall

Theatre: The Laramie Project

Dates: Apr 24 - Apr 27, 2014

Location: Taylor Little Theatre

MET HD Live: Così Fan Tutte

Dates: Apr 26

Location: Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center

Mercyhurst University Apply Online