Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect an adjusted timeline for Concordia University Ann Arbor's Physician Assistant Studies admissions timeline.

Concordia University Ann Arbor is proud to announce a new Physician Assistant Studies program, Michigan’s only Christian-based PA program, to build on its existing strength in the health professions and to help meet the growing need for health care providers. The master’s-level program is slated to begin classes in January 2021, pending the necessary accreditation approvals.

This 28-month graduate program will include both classroom and hands-on experience, along with 11 months of clinical training. The PAs will be housed in the North Building with other health science programs, including Nursing, Athletic Training, and Health and Human Performance. This facility allows opportunity for collaborative research and shared learning spaces.

Concordia’s Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies will be led by Christine Oldenburg-McGee, M.A.Ed., MS PA-C, who joins the CUAA faculty from the University of Michigan Hospitals Trauma Burn Emergency and Acute Care Surgery.

“Concordia is making bold strides in health care education, says Oldenburg-McGee. “I’m pleased to work alongside my talented colleagues to prepare our students to provide a better patient experience that will have significant impact in their lives and the overall health of our community.”

While the overarching theme of the program is preventative medicine and primary care, students will have to demonstrate understanding in topics such as pharmacology, physiology/pathophysiology, clinical skills, and issues in health care.

PAs work in collaboration with a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventive, and health maintenance service providers. They work in diverse medical and surgical settings, including family and internal medicine, emergency departments, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, general surgery and surgical sub-specialties, and mental and behavioral health care.

According to a U.S. News and World Report survey of the best jobs in 2018, PAs rank as the third best job overall, and the second best health care job in the United States. The rankings take into account the most important aspects of a job, including growth potential, work-life balance and salary.

According to Forbes magazine, salaries of PAs are up 12.7% over the last five years to an average of $107,000.

Interested students can learn more at www.cuaa.edu/PA.

ARC-PA Statement

Concordia University Ann Arbor’s Master of Science, Physician Assistant Studies program is in the process of applying for Accreditation-Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Concordia University Ann Arbor anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2021, pending achieving Accreditation-Provisional status at an upcoming ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation-Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appears to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

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