Physician Assistant Overview
First School of Physician Assistant Studies in Orange County to Start at Marshall B. Ketchum University
The first School of Physician Assistant (PA) Studies in Orange County will be started by Marshall B. Ketchum University (MBKU), via a two-year graduate degree. The program, approved by the University's Board of Trustees, will fill a critical need in the delivery of health care. The new PA program is targeted to begin fall of 2014*.
"The changing health-care landscape has created a high demand for PAs who provide frontline medical care and MBKU is pleased to take the lead in establishing a quality educational program in Orange County," said MBKU President Kevin L. Alexander, O.D., Ph.D. "The need to cut health-care expenses, to treat an aging population, and to fight costly chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes fuels the demand for PAs as does the shortage of general physicians.
"Offering a physician assistant program is a great fit for MBKU thanks to our 109 years of experience in health-care education. The MBKU Family is excited to take on this new challenge that will help to fill the increasing need for well-educated physician assistants," noted President Alexander.
Teresa Thetford, PA-C, RNP, MS, has been selected as the Founding Director of the PA program.
MBKU will offer a two-year Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree for the Physician Assistant program. PAs are health care professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care and assist in surgery.
* MBKU has applied for accreditation pending approval from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), and provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on the Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). MBKU anticipates matriculating its first class in August 2014, pending WASC approval and accreditation–provisional from ARC-PA. Accreditation–Provisional is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its initial accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.