Program Director: Jennings
Medical Director: Reiff
Associate Medical Director: Baddley
Faculty: Caruthers, Drace, Harrelson, Heuchtker, Ridings, Swatzel, Whitaker
Physician Assistants (PAs) are valuable members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The profession was established in 1965 to help physicians provide healthcare services to underserved and rural populations. While the profession remains committed to its historical mission, PAs are now employed in almost all medical and surgical specialties.
PAs are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. The physician assistant, functioning under the direction of the physician, will be expected to perform appropriately delegated tasks autonomously with the full confidence of the physician. Physician assistants will always have the benefit of the physician's guidance and counsel. Individual state practice laws and hospital bylaws define the scope of practice and prescribing authority of physician assistants. Most states authorize PAs to prescribe non-controlled substances and perform any task delegated by a supervising physician.
To be eligible for licensure, PAs must graduate from an accredited physician assistant program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). To maintain licensure, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education credits every two years and pass the Physician Assistant National Recertification Examination (PANRE) every six years. PAs may obtain additional training through postgraduate residency programs in subspecialty areas, but these programs are not required for licensure or practice in subspecialty areas.
Mission: The mission of the UAB Surgical Physician Assistant Program is to provide qualified individuals with the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to assist physicians in the care of patients in surgical, acute-care, and out-patient settings.
Accreditation: The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA)
Credentials Conferred Degree: The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) degree is awarded by the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Professional Certification: Graduates are required to apply for the certification examination sponsored by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.
Length of Study: 27 months.
Term of Enrollment : Fall semester.
Application Deadline: Completed applications must be received by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) no later than September 1st a year prior to the expected term of enrollment.
Application Procedure: This program participates in the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Please consult www.caspaonline.org for more information regarding specific CASPA application requirements, procedures and fees. The CASPA application needs to be completed by September 1 the year prior to admission. Applicants should send all application materials (except official GRE scores) directly to CASPA. CASPA will verify the application information and send completed applications to the program. Applicants should make arrangements to send official GRE scores directly to the Graduate School office at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. (Do not send to the UAB School of Public Health). The GRE code is 1856.
After completing the CASPA application the applicant should complete the UAB SPA Supplemental Application. Following the program’s receipt of the CASPA application, official GRE scores, and UAB SPA Supplemental Application, the UAB Surgical PA Program will review the packet.
Completed applications are reviewed by members of the admissions committee. Approximately 100 of the best applicants are selected to interview. Interviews are held in December and in January. Admissions decisions are finalized in February. Students who are accepted to the Surgical Physician Assistant program will need to complete the UAB Graduate School application.
- July 30th, 2011: Last day to take the GRE
- May - September 1: Complete the CASPA application
- September 3: Postmark deadline for the UAB SPA Supplemental Application.
- September - December: Application review
- December – January: Interviews
- February: Admissions decisions finalized
- February – March: Complete the UAB Graduate School Application (admitted and waitlisted students only)
- August: Program starts
Requirements for Admission:
- Baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited college/university
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test scores from the Verbal, Quantitative and Analytic sections. Applicants with advanced degrees whose GRE scores are older than 5 years (the time limit that ETS will send scores) can send reports from previously attended graduate programs.
- A minimum cumulative undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0)
- A minimum GPA of 3.0 in natural science courses
- A minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 in the program prerequisite courses, with a minimum grade of C in each
- Technical ability to complete the program (see Essential Requirements and Technical Standards below)
- Interview with faculty
- Satisfactory screening on health data questionnaire by the UAB Medical Center Student Health Service.
- The following prerequisites:
3-4 semester hours of biology I (lab preferred)
3-4 semester hours of biology II (lab preferred)
3-4 semester hours of microbiology (lab preferred)
3-4 semester hours of human anatomy
3-4 semester hours human physiology (UAB BY 116 or BY 409)
8-9 semester hours of general chemistry (labs preferred)
3-4 semester hours of statistics (upper level, population, and/or health-related with lab preferred)
9 semester hours of psychology (general, developmental, abnormal)
Applicants are evaluated on the following criteria:
Academics - Overall GPA, Science GPA, Prerequisite Grades and GRE Scores.
Clinical Experience - Although not required for admission into the program, experience in health care settings, (providing direct patient care and/or surgical experience) is considered in the application score.
Personal statement - Applicants are evaluated on the quality of their personal statement.
Letters of support - Three (3) letters of support are reviewed and considered.
The PA Program is committed to recruiting and matriculating minority and disadvantaged students for careers as physician assistants.
Listed below are the midrange scores of students who were admitted into the program in 2009. These scores are provided so that applicants can assess their competitiveness for the program.
Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical requirements of the program and to satisfy licensure/certification requirements, if any, have been outlined and are available upon request from the academic program office. Students requesting disability accommodations must do so by filing a disability accommodation request in writing with the Disability Support Services Office.
(Semester credit hours are listed in a parentheses)
PA 601 Human Gross Anatomy (4)
PA 602 Human Physiology (5)
PA 605 Pathology (3)
PA 610 Clinical Laboratory Medicine (3)
PA 615 Introduction to the PA Profession (1)
PA 603 Pharmacology I (3)
PA 606 Clinical Medicine I (4)
PA 608 Surgical Disease I (3)
PA 611 History and Physical Examination I (3)
PA 613 Surgical Techniques (3)
PA 616 Electrocardiography (1)
PA 604 Pharmacology II (3)
PA 614 Operating Room Techniques (2)
PA 619 Fundamental of Clinical Research (3)
AHS 530 Health Admin. & Management (3)
Fall Semester, 2
PA 607 Clinical Medicine II (6)
PA 609 Surgical Disease II (3)
PA 612 History and Physical Examination II (3)
PA 617 Applied Behavioral Medicine (2)
PA 618 Risk Management (1)
PA 620 Literature Evaluation (2)
Clinical Rotations (48 semester credit hours)
(Clinical rotations are each 4 weeks long and 4 semester credit hours)
PA 621 Clinical Service I (4)
PA 622 Clinical Service II (4)
PA 623 Clinical Service III (4)
PA 624 Clinical Service IV (4)
PA 638 Senior Seminar I (3)
PA 625 Clinical Service V(4)
PA 626 Clinical ServiceVI (4)
PA 627 Clinical Service VII (4)
PA 628 Clinical Service VIII (4)
PA 639 Senior Seminar II (3)
PA 629 Clinical Service IX (4)
PA 630 Clinical Service X (4)
PA 631 Clinical Service XI (4)
PA 632 Clinical Service XII (4)
PA 640 Senior Seminar III (2)
PA 698 Master's Project (1)
Required Clinical Rotations (40 semester credit hours)
Emergency Medicine (4)
Inpatient Medicine (4)
Obstetrics and Gynecology (4)
Outpatient Medicine (4)
Cardiovascular Surgery (4-8)
General Surgery (4-8)
Clinical Elective Rotations (8 semester credit hours)
Outpatient Surgery (4)
Plastic Surgery (4)
Renal Transplantation (4)
Surgical Oncology (4)
Thoracic Surgery (4)
Trauma Surgery (4)
For further information, contact:
Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences
School of Health Professions Building Room 230
1705 University Boulevard
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1212
Telephone: (205) 934-3209
Web address: www.uab.edu/surgicalpa
Surgical Physician Assistant Program
School of Health Professions
1530 3rd Avenue South
Birmingham, Alabama 35294-1212
481 School of Health Professions Building
1705 University Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35294-1270