Making a difference makes all the difference.
The Physician Assistant (PA) profession is growing rapidly, and there are unprecedented opportunities for you to make a difference in the lives of patients and their families. Choosing to earn your master’s in Physician Assistant Studies at the Institute will ensure you will learn from and work alongside clinicians and researchers who are highly regarded in their disciplines and who practice at world-class institutions.
You will find our program designed to be student-centered and meet the unique needs of the adult learner. The curriculum was designed around the program’s mission and goals and with the following criteria in mind:
- Model appropriate life balance
- Promote lifelong learning and critical thinking skills
- Integrate the basic sciences, medicine, and clinical skills across the curriculum and
- Reinforce developing compassion in students and improving patient care by incorporating the humanities, ethics, mindfulness, and personal resilience.
Welcome to the MGH Institute’s Master of Physician Assistant Studies. As a long-time PA educator and practicing physician assistant, I want to share my enthusiasm for my profession and our program at the Institute. The Institute is committed to ensuring all our graduates are prepared to function effectively as members of health care teams to reflect the evolution of patient care methods that improve outcomes, shorten hospital stays, and focus on the whole patient.
Physician Assistant students learn alongside and with students and faculty from the rehabilitation, nursing, and medical disciplines, preparing you to advocate for your patients as they navigate an increasingly complex medical environment. This interprofessional practice will distinguish you as an employee of choice and ultimately improve your patients’ health and well-being.
I wish you the best of luck in your quest to become a physician assistant, and look forward to helping you achieve this goal.
Lisa K. Walker, MPAS, PA-C
Program Director, Physician Assistant Studies
Learn how to contribute and lead in an interprofessional work setting. Expand your skills and knowledge through an integrated curriculum grounded in team-based learning. Fulfill clerkships at Harvard Medical School-affiliated academic medical centers, primary care outpatient clinics, and community hospitals in Boston and beyond.
Our unique Team-Based Learning curriculum and clerkships at Harvard Medical School-affiliated teaching hospitals provide students with the foundation to enter one of the country’s fastest-growing professions.
Scholarship & Research
Department faculty regularly publish in leading academic and professional journals, present at conferences, and secure grants – all with the goal of improving techniques and care practices to help improve the lives of patients.
IMPACT Practice Center
The IMPACT Practice Center brings together students from various programs to learn and practice in teams and to deliver essential free care to the community.
The Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program (MPAS) at MGH Institute of Health Professions prepares PA graduates to provide highly competent medical care as members and leaders of interprofessional teams by cultivating and upholding compassion, equity, and justice.
The MPAS will strive to:
- Prepare graduates to demonstrate advocacy and leadership in their practice and the PA profession.
- Promote the value of the PA role on interprofessional teams and in healthcare settings.
- Be recognized as an innovative, creative hub for PAs seeking continuing professional development.
- Provide mentorship for Black, and Latinx PAs seeking opportunities in PA education.
- Create a pipeline to support and mentor applicants from communities of color, Veterans, and first-generation college graduates.
- Recruit highly qualified applicants from diverse backgrounds.
- Incorporate inclusive, team-based teaching and learning practices in the classroom and in clinical settings.
- Demonstrate greater than a 4 on a 5-point Likert scale on student satisfaction metrics.
- Maintain an attrition rate at or below 5%.
- Obtain a 100% first-time taker pass rate on the PANCE.
- Graduates will be employed within 6 months of passing the PANCE.
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About Our Profession
PAs diagnose and treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions in both inpatient and outpatient settings, working under the supervision of a licensed physician. Depending on the practice setting, a PAs job may include:
- Taking medical histories and performing physical exams
- Ordering diagnostic tests
- Prescribing medication
- Counseling patients and promoting wellness
- Performing minor, as well as complex, medical procedures
- Assisting in surgery
- Private and public practices and clinics
- The armed forces and other federal government agencies
Physician assistants work in all primary care and most specialty settings as an integral part of the health care team. With the increasing scope of practice and favorable patient ratings, PAs report a high degree of job satisfaction and autonomy in their day-to-day work.
A law recently passed in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts allows patients to designate a physician assistant as their primary care provider.
In order to practice, PAs must graduate from an accredited PA program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). After receiving national certification, PAs must complete the licensure process through the board of medicine in their state of practice.
To maintain national certification, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years and take a recertification exam every ten years.
For more information about the profession, visit the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA).
According to the 2021 Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, the median annual earnings for physician assistants were $121,530.
The BLS predicts 28% employment growth in this profession between 2021 and 2031, much faster than the average for all occupations. The growth in the PA profession is spurred by three factors:
- Heightened demand for health care services by the growing aging population
- Increased access to health care for millions of US citizens as a result of the Affordable Care Act
- A physician shortage that has become more serious in recent years
The U.S. News & World Report lists Physician Assistant as the best job in its list of the top 100 best jobs in America.
U.S. News & World Report lists PAs as a top career
The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 28% career growth
Annual salary estimate in Bureau of Labor Statistics report