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.

Program Outcomes

Upon completion of the Mercyhurst Department of Physician Assistant Studies, the graduate will possess knowledge, skills and abilities in the following competencies:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of established and evolving biomedical, clinical and social-behavioral sciences and application to patient care.
  2. Elicit a medical history that is relevant and accurate of patient information across the lifespan and adjusts to the health care setting.
  3. Perform a physical examination that adjusts accordingly to the reason for the visit, patient demographics and condition.
  4. Analyze patient data to develop a differential diagnosis that applies the principals of epidemiology and evidence-based medicine.  
  5. Develop a diagnostic management plan for common medical and behavioral conditions across the life span, taking into consideration cost, sensitivity/specificity, invasiveness and appropriate sequencing. 
  6. Develop a therapeutic management plan for emergent, acute and chronic conditions that applies principals of pharmacotherapeutics and non-pharmacotherapeutics while taking into consideration the patient’s condition, psychosocial context and socioeconomic factors.  Make certain the plan is practical for implementation and ensures follow up care.
  7. Provide accurate patient education inclusive of health promotion and disease prevention in oral and written forms taking into consideration literacy, diversity, inclusiveness of family/caregivers and utilization of other healthcare professionals and community resources/services.
  8. Communicate clearly and effectively in oral and written forms with patients, family/caregivers and members of the healthcare team to provide competent comprehensive patient-centered care across the lifespan.
  9. Perform medical and surgical procedures common to primary care to include: venipuncture, intervenous access, injections, EKG analysis, urinalysis, strep screen, wet mount/KOH, stool occult blood, wound management, casting, splinting, urinary catheterization, nasogastric tube placement and CPR.
  10. Demonstrate professionalism with high ethical standards sensitive to the patient, family/caregiver and members of the health care team.  Continually promote the Mercy values of compassion, justice, dignity, excellence, hospitality and stewardship in practice and service to the community.
  11. Maintain practice-based and lifelong learning skills with continued critical analysis of medical literature to evaluate, manage and improve patient-centered care.
  12. Demonstrate responsiveness to systems-based practice by practicing cost effective care and resource allocation that does not compromise the quality of care.

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.


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

An Afternoon of Dance

Dates: Apr 27

Location: Ridge Library Great Room, North East

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