Welcome

UT Southwestern Medical Center’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program prepares exceptional students for one of health care’s fastest growing and deeply rewarding careers.

Ranked eighth in the nation by U.S. News & World Report in "America's Best Graduate Schools 2012,” our program’s unique advantages truly set it apart:

  • A noted faculty recognized for student interaction and teaching excellence
  • A 30-month curriculum that blends comprehensive academic training with 15 months of clinical rotations
  • The unmatched resources of UT Southwestern, including Parkland Memorial Hospital, ranked one of the nation’s best for more than a decade
  • Tuition and fee rates that are among the most reasonable in the country
  • A premier location near the heart of Dallas, a thriving center for health care, business, education, and the arts
  • A 100 percent first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination over the last five years

Selecting UT Southwestern for your physician assistant education can be the first step toward a career rich in personal and professional rewards.

About Physician Assistants

Physician assistants are health care professionals licensed or credentialed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs take medical histories, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, develop and implement treatment plans, assist in surgery, and prescribe medications.

Within the physician-PA relationship, physician assistants exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research, and administrative services.

PAs Today

The American Academy of Physician Assistants estimates that as of May 2010, there are approximately 75,000 PAs in clinical practice in the United States. More than 6 percent—approximately 4,800—practice in Texas. PAs in clinical practice have an average age of 41. Sixty-four percent are women, and 15 percent hold more than one clinical position.

According to the AAPA, the national average income for PAs in 2009 was $93,105 a year. The average annual income for new PA graduates was $78,405.

Outlook for Tomorrow

The field is strong and growing. Here are some facts that tell the story:

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics ranks physician assistant as the third fastest-growing occupation and predicts that demand for PA services will increase by 49 percent by 2014
  • Money Magazine ranks the PA profession among the top 10 best jobs in America
  • In 2010, Forbes.com rated the master of physician assistant studies as the number one Master’s degree in the U.S.
  • In 2009, Money Magazine and Salary.com ranked hundreds of jobs based on growth, pay, stress and other factors. The top five jobs were systems engineer, physician assistant, college professor, nurse practitioner, and IT project manager.
  • In October 2009, Yahoo! HotJobs listed physician assistant as one of “six thriving jobs that are here to stay”

Postgraduate Opportunities

After graduation, physician assistants have a host of areas to consider for additional study and specialization, including cardiothoracic surgery, dermatology, emergency medicine, hospitalist care, neonatology, neurology, neurosurgery, obstetrics/gynecology, oncology, orthopaedic surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, rheumatology, surgery, and urology.

Program's Success in Achieving Goals

Goals

  • Exceed the U.S. national average first time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE)
  • Provide student clinical education opportunities in diverse settings within medically underserved communities
  • Demonstrate faculty excellence in all areas of academic scholarship

Outcomes

  • UT Southwestern’s most recent five year PANCE pass rate is 100 percent, compared to the national average of 92.6 percent over the same time span. Read the official NCCPA report
  • UT Southwestern PA students average 15 weeks per student of clinical experience in medically underserved communities, to include Parkland Health & Hospital System and multiple Dallas-Fort Worth area inpatient and outpatient health care facilities
  • UT Southwestern faculty have been recognized with numerous state and national professional leadership positions, teaching and research awards, research grants, peer-reviewed publications, and many national and international presentations.

Additional Information

Here are more resources for information about physician assistants, PA education, and professional opportunities.