Carina Loscalzo, Chairperson and Director
Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine in collaboration with and under the supervision of physicians providing a team-based approach to quality, patient-centered care. Physician assistants work in a variety of medical settings, ranging from basic primary care to sub-specialty medicine. Physician assistants are qualified to care for patients in a variety of settings, including assisting in surgery, attend medical emergencies and caring for patients in out-patient internal medicine, pediatrics or family medicine offices and clinics.
Hofstra’s program is designed to provide students the opportunity to earn both BS and MS degrees in physician assistant studies. Undergraduate students first complete the pre-professional phase, consisting of three years of collegiate instruction including all prerequisite courses. The professional curriculum is divided into three semesters of didactic instruction, three semesters of clinical clerkships and one semester of research. The curriculum focuses on integrating basic science and the application of clinical medicine. To best reach different students learning styles, the professional phase of the program instructs students utilizing a multi-modal approach. These include: traditional lecture series, case-based learning, simulation, standardized patients (actors), practice sessions for procedural and physical examinations, use of cadavers for anatomy instruction and procedure skills.
During the clinical year of the program, students are assigned to clinical clerkships at affiliated hospitals, private physicians’ offices and community clinics. Located in a variety of medical settings, these clinical campuses offer training in many disciplines of medicine and provide the opportunity for exposure to a wide variety of patient populations. The research semester will culminate in a research project using community partnerships. Upon successful completion of the program, candidates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE). Undergraduate students having completed 126 semester hours of coursework and all Hofstra University undergraduate degree requirements will receive a Bachelor of Science degree in physician assistant studies (see note below). Students should file for graduation only at the end of the didactic (fourth) year. Students in years 1-4 of the program will be eligible for undergraduate financial aid and all relevant undergraduate awards; students enrolled in years 5-6 will be eligible for graduate financial aid and all relevant graduate-level awards. All students, including those earning the baccalaureate, will earn a Master of Science in physician assistant studies upon completion of the entire curriculum.