Physician assistant program receives provisional accreditation

physician assistant

Northern Arizona University’s physician assistant program recently received an Accreditation-Provisional status from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant. It is one of two new NAU health profession programs set to begin at the Phoenix Biomedical Campus this fall.

The physician assistant graduate program will welcome its inaugural class of 25 students at the new Health Sciences Education Building on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus in August. NAU has partnered with the University of Arizona to provide resources and faculty to students in several high-demand health programs.

“The partnership between UA and NAU is a truly interdisciplinary education,” said Richard Dehn, chair of NAU’s department of Physician Assistant Studies at the biomedical campus. “This type of venture allows us to take resources from both universities and combine them to result in high-quality health profession programs that serve the whole state.”

Dehn added that the program goals are to equip students with clinical and professional knowledge, skills and abilities to provide high quality, compassionate medical care for the people of Arizona. He said the accreditation-provisional status is essential to the program, as the physician assistant national board exams needed for state licensure requires candidates hold degrees from accreditation-provisional or continued accreditation-awarded programs.

“The ARC-PA has granted Accreditation-Provisional to the Northern Arizona University Physician Assistant Program,” the commission stated in its announcement. “Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status. The status indicates that the plans and resource allocation for the proposed program appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards, if fully implemented as planned. Accreditation- Provisional does not ensure any subsequent accreditation status and is limited to no more than three years for any program.”

The commission will evaluate the implemented program within two to three years of receiving an accreditation-provisional status, and may then confer continuing accreditation granted to established programs.