Since its inception in 2017, the University of Saint Joseph’s (USJ) 28-month master’s degree program in Physician Assistant (PA) Studies has been preparing students for successful careers in the health care field. During the program, students like Linh Donnell, M’20, learn through a unique modular curriculum that requires them to master subject material, one course at a time, ensuring they gain the knowledge and critical thinking skills that will benefit them during the subsequent clinical phase of their program.

“I think the USJ PA program did a great job preparing me for fieldwork,” remarked Linh. “The program is intensive, but it teaches you what you need to know before going out on rotations. Throughout the didactic year, we got a lot of practice doing history, physicals, skills, and presenting – all of which I have used on rotations.”

Linh, who recently completed her surgery clinical experience with Collin’s Surgical Associates, will begin her emergency medicine rotation next. She has completed rotations in women’s health, inpatient internal medicine, psychiatry, and family medicine.

By learning from knowledgeable preceptors on site and engaging with patients during each rotation, Linh feels she is gaining the practical experience she will need to make a difference in patients’ lives after graduation.

“I’ve learned that care and compassion go a long way in this field,” she said. “Patients want providers that are knowledgeable, but they also want someone who shows that they actually care and will take the time to listen to what they are saying. I’ve been lucky enough to be with great providers who take their time with patients, and I see how much of a difference it makes for patients.”

Are you interested in becoming a PA? Visit USJ’s website to discover the possibilities.