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Ohio Dominican's Physician Assistant Studies program embraces a holistic approach to the pursuit of excellence in academics, research, clinical practice and community service.
  • Physician Assistant Studies Program

    Admissions Requirements

    View the admissions requirements, including pre-requisites and minimum technical standards.

    View Requirements
  • Physician Assistant students run patient simulations in our state of the art lab.

    Application & Cost

    Admission to ODU's PA Program is highly competitive. Learn what steps to take to apply today.

    Apply Today
  • Physician Assistant Studies program


    View the curriculum for the classroom and clinical phases of the program and the course descriptions.

    View Courses
98 percent first time pass rate on PANCE exam for class of 2015, 100% employment rate, and 33,000+ jobs expected by 2022.
  • Why Choose ODU?
    Ohio Dominican's PA Program is designed for individuals committed to helping others through a compassionate and holistic approach to health care.

    Pursue Your Passion. Become a PA.Program Features:
    • 27-month program with classroom and clinical phases.
    • State-of-the-art PA Program building includes cadaver and simulation labs.
    • Partnerships with clinics and health care centers throughout Ohio.
    • Housing available on campus.
    ODU's program prepares students in:
    • application of coursework concepts
    • clinical skills
    • critical thinking
    • effective communication
    • professionalism
    • working in the community
    Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies program at Ohio Dominican benefit from the university’s strong liberal arts foundation. To understand the health of the body and improving the health of others requires a true application of the liberal arts approach to draw on foundations in business, ethics and the natural sciences. As a result, Ohio Dominican is uniquely positioned to take a distinctive approach to Physician Assistant Studies. 

    Ohio Dominican was the first university in Central Ohio to offer a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies, which graduated its first class in Fall 2014. 

    ODU's Fall 2016 PA Program graduates achieved a 98% PANCE pass rate, above the national average of 96% for first-time takers.

    ODU draws on its strengths as a small university, its many community connections, and its foundation in a contemplative, reflective, ethical understanding of its place in the world. 
    Pursue your passion. Become a PA.
  • Graduate Outcomes

    Graduates of Ohio Dominican's MS in Physician Assistant Studies Program are able to:

    • Meet eligibility requirements for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
    • Effectively communicate with patients and their families and other health care professionals.
    • Show entry-level proficiencies necessary to provide high-quality primary care in a rapidly changing health care system.
    • Demonstrate attitudes and skills that show their commitment to professional behavior, along with respect for self and others.
    • Provide quality, compassionate and ethical health care services.
    • Become a leader through continued knowledge, growth, research, publication and professional activity.

    2014-2015 Alumni Areas of Employment -- For full details visit the PA Program Mission and Goals page
  • Program Details

    ODU's Physician Assistant Studies Program is a vigorous 27-month program that prepares highly educated and compassionate health care professionals for work in the community.

    Didactic Phase

    The didactic (classroom) phase of the program lasts 15 months. Students receive an in-depth study of:

    • anatomy, including cadaver dissection in our on-campus cadaver lab
    • genetics
    • pathophysiology
    • microbiology
    • clinical medicine including internal medicine, family practice, surgery, emergency medicine, women’s health and pediatrics

    Students are also provided Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules training and certification.

    Classroom instruction is reinforced through clinical experiences in various institutions and practices in the Columbus area, beginning the first semester.

    The last semester in the didactic phase will include clinical skill instruction in such areas as:

    • suturing
    • lumbar puncture
    • vascular access
    • splinting
    • operating room techniques
    • Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

    In order to complete the didactic phase and proceed to the clinical phase of the program, the student must successfully complete all didactic course assignments and program assessments, as well as maintain standards of professional behavior.

    Clinical Phase

    Upon completion of the didactic phase, students begin the clinical phase. Students participate in monthly rotations in eight core areas of study:
    • family medicine
    • internal medicine
    • emergency medicine
    • surgery
    • psychiatry/behavioral health
    • primary care
    • women’s health
    • pediatrics
    Additionally, Ohio Dominican PA students may participate in up to two one-month elective rotations. 

    Students will be eligible to graduate upon successful completion of all clinical rotations, assessments and practicals including two Objective Standardized Clinical Examinations (OSCE), as well as attendance at the Clinical Phase Board Review.
  • Accreditation Status

    At its September 2015 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed the Ohio Dominican University Physician Assistant program sponsored by Ohio Dominican University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next validation review in 2017.

    Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

    Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk of having their accreditation withdrawn. Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed for the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional officials(s).

    What does this mean for Ohio Dominican's Program?

    The program remains accredited and Ohio Dominican University is committed to maintaining a program of the highest quality and standards with our graduates. Our inaugural class of graduates achieved a 100 percent pass rate on the PANCE Exam, and 100 percent of those alumni are working in the profession. 

    The two-year probation is a temporary standing within accreditation. Although the program is on temporary probation, we have already begun our work to address the concerns cited in the ARC-PA report. Ohio Dominican's Physician Assistant Studies Program is still an accredited program that is producing outstanding results.

    Program Director Shonna Riedlinger is overseeing the development of a comprehensive action plan designed to bring the program into full compliance with accreditation standards. Furthermore, the ODU PA faculty and staff team continue to work diligently in maintaining a robust and successful program that addresses a changing health care environment.

ODU Physician Assistant Simulation Lab

Students in Ohio Dominican University's Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program share how important ODU's Simulation Lab is to their training to become a PA.