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Physician Assistant Studies

The Department of Physician Assistant Studies was established to prepare broadly trained health professionals to carry out patient-care functions traditionally performed only by a physician. Successful graduates of this Program will be prepared to conduct a sophisticated medical interview and physical examination, analyze laboratory data, and organize and integrate these findings. From the results, the graduate will be able to make assessments, diagnoses, and therapeutic plans to determine appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic steps. Graduates of this Program participate on the health care team by performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, prescribing medications, assisting in surgery, and coordinating the services of community-health agencies in order to serve the needs of the patient.

It is emphasized that a physician assistant (PA) is a nationally certified and state-licensed medical professional who practices medicine on health care teams with physicians and other health care professionals. They practice and prescribe medication in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the majority of the U.S. territories, and the uniformed services. 

Graduates of this Program are eligible to take the national certification examination given by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. 


The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Physician Assistant Program sponsored by UT Southwestern. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the Program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the Program by the ARC-PA will be March 2023. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the standards and ARC-PA policy.