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

  • Recruit successful student applicants.
  • Provide curriculum to ensure the necessary knowledge and skills for entry into the physician assistant practice.
  • Prepare graduates to meet the workforce needs in various healthcare settings.
  • Encourage social awareness to empower faculty and students to be agents of changes in the realm of service to the community.
  • Inspire leadership in the profession and community.
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:
  • Analysis of applicant pool demographics, overall and prerequisite GPA.
  • ARC accreditation and PANCE pass rates.
  • Tracking of cohort's job placement in location and specialty.
  • Tracking of student faculty service location and hours. 
  • List of faculty, student and graduate leadership and professional contributions.


Civil War photo exhibit
Photographs of the American Civil War

Dates: Jun 12-Aug 1, 2014

Location: Cummings Gallery

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