The Mission of the PCOM Physician Assistant Program is to educate highly qualified
physician assistants, focusing on preparing them to become competent, compassionate,
and comprehensive health care providers for clinical practice in the broad range of
practice settings in both primary and specialty care fields that reflect the changing
health care environment.
The educational philosophy of the PCOM Physician Assistant Program is that our graduates
will be leaders in the health care community, striving for excellence in all academic
and professional endeavors while helping to provide health care for those in need.
1. To identify for admission those individuals with the pre-requisite academic background,
a strong interest in the PA career, excellent interpersonal skills, and the maturity
necessary for Physician Assistant education.
The PCOM PA program receives over 2,000 applications per year for a class of approximately
55 students. In 2013 – 2014, we had 43 applicants competing for every one seat in
the class. We feel extremely fortunate to be able to select the strongest candidates
from this applicant pool.
2. To provide a coordinated, comprehensive, didactic, and clinical curriculum that will
enable the graduate to deliver the highest quality of health care services with physician
The PA program has over 698 graduates. With national certifying board exam scores
consistently above the national average, we are proud of the rigorous curriculum that
enables our graduates to succeed.
3. To promote a clinical and didactic environment that embraces the concept of a health
care team that provides communication, cooperation, and compassion.
The program believes strongly in its core values because they are the foundation of
teamwork and cooperation. The faculty measures students' success in reflecting these
values during frequent advisor meetings, and preceptors are asked to evaluate these
standards in our students during rotations.
4. To encourage and facilitate the utilization of Physician Assistants, especially our
graduates, wherever needed.
PCOM PA graduates work in over 38 states and in 52 different specialties, ranging
alphabetically from Allergy to Vascular Surgery. Our graduates provide care to patients
at prestigious medical centers such as Yale University, University of Penn, Mayo Clinic,
and the Fox Chase Cancer Center, as well as in small practices across the country.
A number of our graduates have or are serving in the military.
5. To promote a comprehensive approach to health and disease by emphasizing primary
care, health maintenance, and prevention of disease.
The Clinical Medicine courses prepare our graduates to work in primary care settings
such as Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, or Pediatrics, where
they manage acute and chronic conditions while promoting wellness.
6. To promote in our graduates the importance of life-long learning and ongoing self-evaluation.
Our Research Methods course teaches students to utilize and assess the quality of
medical literature for use in daily clinical practice. The program embraces technology
that arms students with a means for staying up-to-date of the changes in medicine.
7. To promote an understanding of information literacy by designing, conducting, presenting
or interpreting research.
The Evidence-Based Medicine and Research Practicum courses prepare students to produce
papers eligible for submission to peer-reviewed journals. All finals papers are published
in PCOM's Digital Commons. Additionally, PCOM students and graduates have presented
at the AAPA national conference.
8. To provide our students with the medical knowledge, skills and attitudes to engage
in clinical practice as a Physician Assistant.
The program's five year first-time taker average pass rate is 97%, compared to the
national average of 93%. Overall, since 2004, 100% of PCOM PA graduates have ultimately
passed the boards and earned the PA-C credential.