Physician assistants hold No. 3 spot among best health care jobs; new PA master’s program coming to right place, at right time
Even in the rarefied air of careers that are immensely rewarding, high-paying and in peak demand, there are scant few that rank higher than physician assistant – a profession in the midst of celebrating National PA Week, an annual recognition of the field’s contributions to the nation’s health.
In fact, physician assistant ranks No. 3 in U.S. News & World Report’s Best Health Care Jobs of 2017 and sits at No. 5 in its overall 100 Best Jobs of 2017. The rankings consider salary, job market, future growth, stress and work-life balance.
It’s rather timely, then, that Creighton University is gearing up to offer a new Physician Assistant (PA) Program. When launched, it will stand as only the fifth such program offered at Jesuit institutions in the U.S.
And in that enduring Jesuit tradition, the program is being designed to transform learners into exemplary health care providers dedicated to the compassionate care of others.
Stephane VanderMeulen is the founding director of Creighton’s forthcoming PA Program, which earns graduates a Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) in just over two years.
With the job market booming and demand looking only to strengthen, she says the new program comes to the right place, at the right time.
“At Creighton, you learn much more than just the practice of medicine,” she says. “If you are driven by the call to serve others and to positively impact the lives of patients, our program will be a perfect fit.”
VanderMeulen and her team Erin Hoffman, chief academic director; Patty Scholting, director of curriculum; and Cody Sasek, chief clinical director constitute a program faculty that hails from diverse clinical backgrounds.
Combined, they bring to Creighton 63 years of practice experience, 29 years of education experience and 36 years of service as preceptors to PA and other health professions students, as well as leadership in PA professional organizations at the state and national levels.
The 28-month master’s degree program provides a broad-based, interprofessional medical education in an environment of reflective learning, VanderMeulen says.
Applications open in April 2018 for the inaugural PA Program class, planned for August 2019, pending successful accreditation.
For more information, visit the Creighton School of Medicine website.