Individuals wishing to enter health care field in the state of North Dakota for better earning and for employment in the responsible job positions, can opt for the Physician Assistant Program in North Dakota. The most important reason for choosing the PA Program than other health care programs lies to the fact that, ND is a rural state, located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America and rural area is facing acute shortage of primary care professionals to serve underserved population residing there.
ND PA Program Brief History
Currently, there are 150 accredited Physician Assistant Programs in the United States and in the state of North Dakota; there is only one college, the University of North Dakota (UND), offering Physician Assistant Program to prepare primary care health professionals. UND PA program can also be termed as the only program that meets the requirements of clinically practicing professional that are certified or licensed and wish to shift over to PA by changing their profession.
The PA program was founded in 1970 at UND School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine. The basic factor responsible for starting the program was shortages of health care personnel and primary care assessing difficulties faced by the rural populations.
In the beginning, the program was prepared for offering civilian primary health cares, based on the existing clinical skills, possessed by the Vietnam conflict returned medical corpsmen engaged in the independent duty.
Till, 2004, all graduating students who had completed 12 months long program were awarded a Physician Assistant Certificate, and from 1972 to 1992, the qualified students were given a Physician Assistant and a Family Nurse Practitioner dual certificate.
It was during 2003, the program bonded with the Department of Family Medicine, leading to the change of the program from Certificate to graduate Master’s level in August, 2003, a beginning of the Master of Physician Assistant Studies. In 2005, the first graduates rolled out from the 24 months Master’s PA Program.
UND PA Program
The PA Program offered by the UND School of Medicine, Department of Community Medicine has a length of 24 months. The program combines on-line courses; campus based didactic course instructions, and clinical experiences in primary cares, completed in a supervised environment.
From 2006, three class pilot programs began and different fields clinical health care professionals including RNs were accepted in the program.
To date, over 1500 students have graduated from the program and out of these graduates over 65% are employed in the primary care practices.
The 24 months duration UND program begins in May of 1st year and completes in May of 3rd year. Before the beginning of the program, the students are required to attend campus orientation of week-long that prepare them for the on-line course work.
The UND PA Program has been granted accreditation by the Accreditation Review Committee on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in September 2009, till 2016, when the accreditation
University of North Dakota Physician Assistant Program
School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Department of Family Medicine
501 N. Columbia Road, Stop 9037
Grand Forks, ND
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