Physician Assistants are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with their physician partners. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, they conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, provide counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, and write prescriptions. Physician assistants have a close working relationship with physicians. They are educated in the medical model designed to complement physician training.
Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research, and administrative services. This Program seeks to prepare exceptional physician assistants to practice as an integral part of the health care team. Miami Dade College has a distinguished history in contributing talented health care providers to the health care industry both locally and nationally.
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The Miami Dade College Physician Assistant, Associate in Science degree is a two year (24 months) educational program consisting of 56 semester credits. During the first year, students complete course work in the basic and applied sciences including, clinical medicine, pharmacology, history/physical examination techniques, and surgical technical skills. Several of these courses have both a lecture and a laboratory component.
During the second year, students are provided the opportunity to develop their clinical skills and expand their knowledge by participating in supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPE) under the supervision of medical professionals such as physician assistants and physicians. To provide students with a broad range of clinical experience, the program utilizes numerous hospitals, primary care centers, and free standing clinical settings within the State of Florida.
Upon graduation, PAs take a national certification examination developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). To maintain their national certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education credits every two years and sit for a recertification exam every ten years. Graduation from an accredited physician assistant program and successful completion of the national certifying exam are required to obtain state licensure and the privilege to practice medicine with the collaboration of a physician.
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This degree also offer students the option of continuing with their studies at MDC to obtain a Bachelor of Applied Science in Health Science with an Option in Physician Assistant Studies. Students interested in pursuing this academic path may do so after completing their Physican Assistant, Associate in Science, degree. The B.A.S. degree is a blended program with most of the courses offered online, allowing students to work professionally as a Physician Assistant while pursuing the degree.
The Associate of Science is designed to prepare students for immediate employment. Credits earned for courses in the ASN program are acceptable to upper division colleges should you decide to pursue a four-year degree.