PA Entry-Level: Mission And Goals

Class of 2020

Background and Rationale

The cornerstones of the development of the PA profession include the mandate to provide creative solutions to existing health care personnel needs, the shortage and maldistribution of physicians, societal demands for more accessible and cost-effective medical care, and the need to increase services available in primary care. The contribution that the physician assistant profession has made towards the resolution of these problems is well documented and has fueled its growth and development. The excellent potential for additional benefit in an era of health care reform and experimentation with new health care delivery and payment systems is also well recognized. These facts justify continued preparation of physician assistants who possess: a strong background in the basic, behavioral, and clinical sciences, especially as such education relates to the provision of accessible, quality, cost-effective care in all health care settings; an awareness of the expertise and contributions of other health professionals including the benefits of an interdisciplinary team approach to patient care; and a sense of humanism and concern for the welfare of the patient, including the realization that the patient must be viewed holistically, not as a singular medical problem or disease state.

Program Mission

Our mission is to provide high quality graduate-level medical education in an interprofessional environment that fosters critical thinking and life-long learning.  We seek to develop in our students the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to be outstanding, compassionate health care providers.  We promote professionalism, leadership, service and an appreciation of ethical values and diversity. Physician assistant education at Stony Brook emphasizes comprehensive patient-centered medical care across the lifespan and our curriculum focuses on the principles of evidence-based practice and the importance of scholarly activity. 

Program Goals and Measures of Success

These are the core goals of the Stony Brook Physician Assistant Program, and measures that reflect our success in achieving those goals:

Select well-qualified applicants and appropriately support them through the rigors of PA education

  • Our Admissions criteria reflect strength across multiple areas important to becoming an excellent PA
  • ~ 95% of recent graduates surveyed felt program faculty were helpful and supportive
  • The average attrition rate for the program's last three graduating classes (2018-2020) was 2%. The program must define, publish and make readily available to enrolled and prospective students general information regarding the most current annual student attrition information, on the table provided by the ARC-PA. This information is available here

 Offer a curriculum that equips students with the evidence-based knowledge and skills necessary for entry into clinical practice

  • 96% of first-time takers and 100% of all takers have passed the PANCE exam in the last 5 years
  • >95% of recent graduates surveyed rate their overall preparation to enter clinical practice as Very Good or Good

Encourage collaboration and develop communication skills necessary to work effectively in health care teams.

  • >95% of recent graduates surveyed say the Stony Brook PA program enhanced their ability to work in interdisciplinary teams
  • 100% of clinical preceptors recently surveyed rate our students’ ability to communicate effectively with health care team members as Outstanding or Good

Empower students to participate in the delivery of medical care to diverse and underserved populations.

  • >95% of recent graduates surveyed say the Stony Brook PA program enhanced their knowledge and understanding of diversity as it relates to patient care and the health care system
  • The majority of each of the last three entering classes participated in international medical missions to underserved areas on their own time
  • Almost all of the students in the last three entering classes had required clinical experiences in facilities designated as health professional shortage areas.  These facilities serve some of the most diverse patient populations in the U.S.

Create opportunities that encourage professional involvement by students and faculty

  • >95% of current students are members of the AAPA and NYSSPA
  • >90% of recent graduates surveyed say the Stony Brook PA program was effective at enhancing their commitment to professional involvement
  • Over the last five years more than 100 students and faculty have attended AAPA and NYSSPA conferences, and each year the program enters a team in the NYSSPA and AAPA Medical Challenge Bowl competitions.  In most of those years a faculty member has presented at one of the conferences
  • Over the last five years more than 20 students and faculty have attended AAPA and NYSSPA lobbying activities
  • Stony Brook PA students and faculty have participated in “PAs on the Plaza” 3 of the last 4 years
  • Five of the current faculty serve on state or national professional committees.  One member of the faculty serves on the Stony Brook University Hospital Ethics Committee

Provide opportunities for student involvement in community service, especially with underserved populations

  • 100% of students in the last three entering classes participated in community-based service learning activities, most in underserved communities