Touro College ro Offer New Joint B.S./M.S. Degree in Physician Assistant Studies – Beginning Fall 2008

Date: August 12, 2008
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530
Barbara.franklin@touro.edu

The School of Health Sciences – Growing, Improving, Innovating.

New York, N.Y. – Touro College's School of Health Sciences will offer a joint bachelor of science/master of science degree in Physician Assistant Studies beginning fall semester 2008. The new program, to be offered at the School's midtown Manhattan campus, will reflect the rigorous nature of the professional physician assistant curriculum, which follows a medical model, and will enhance the professional status of its graduates. The revised professional curriculum will emphasize research, scholarship, clinical and leadership skills.

The non-traditional, intensive 32-month program leads to a B.S. in health sciences and an M.S. in physician assistant studies. The first 16 months entails evening and weekend scheduling of coursework in the basic sciences, clinical medicine, behavioral sciences and research methodologies. The following 12 months constitutes the clinical phase, which entails rotations at sites such as hospitals, clinics, and private practices, in a traditional full-time format. The concluding four months include both instructive and clinical coursework.

"By elevating the level of education to a master's degree, we will be cultivating more sophisticated physician assistants with expanded skills. This will enable our graduates to better help doctors and patients by making their own contributions from a significant scientific perspective," said Dr. Joseph Weisberg, dean of the School of Health Sciences.

Dr. Nadja Graff, program director of Touro's Physician Assistant Program, added: "Physician assistants have become key players in our healthcare system, as they expand and extend the role of physicians at a lower cost. Working together, doctors and physician assistants can treat twice the number of patients, many in underserved communities."

In addition to serving the health care needs of the people of New York state, graduates will be able to participate in research and scholarly endeavors and to make contributions in the academic arena. The new curriculum will replace the current B.S. in the Physician Assistant Program, concluding with the Class of 2010, which was admitted in fall 2007.

Touro College has been a leader in physician assistant education since 1972. In 1999, to broaden access to health care career opportunities, the Manhattan campus Physician Assistant Program was established, utilizing an innovative, non-traditional format. Over the past eight years, its program has earned a reputation for excellence. Upgrading the professional program from an undergraduate to a graduate level curriculum reflects Touro College's continuing commitment to the field of physician assistant education.

The B.S./M.S. PA Program supports the Touro College institutional mission to provide educational and professional opportunities, to foster access to underserved populations, and to contribute to the building of a better society for all through these educational opportunities. The Program will develop skilled clinicians who can meet the demands of an ever-changing health care environment, as well as foster the development of compassionate practitioners with high ethical standards and the skills to build productive collaborative relationships. By accomplishing these objectives, graduates of the Program will provide vital services to the community as integral members of the health care team.

For further information about Touro's Physician Assistant Program, please contact Central Admissions at 866-TOURO4U, or go to www.touro.edu/shs/pany (Manhattan program) or www.touro.edu/shs (School of Health Sciences).