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Clarkson University Celebrates Physician Assistant Week

Clarkson University invites North Country physician assistants to an open house on Wednesday, October 6, in celebration of National PA (Physician Assistant) Week. The event takes place from 5:30-7:30 in Clarkson Hall on Clarkson’s downtown campus.

Celebrated every year October 6-12, PA Week serves to celebrate the significant impact PAs have made and continue to make in health care, to expand awareness of the profession and to salute the outstanding growth of the PA profession.

Clarkson University plans to begin offering a new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program in January 2012.

The New York State Education Department Board of Regents must first approve the PA program’s curriculum, and then the University expects to receive provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) in fall 2011.

Michael B. Whitehead DHSc, RPA-C, chair of physician assistant studies, says that successful applicants to Clarkson’s program will possess a bachelor’s degree with a strong background in the sciences, as well as clinical experience.

Specific prerequisites, along with other details about the program, are available at . Prospective students can also e-mail or call 315-268-7942 for more information or make an appointment.

PAs are licensed health professionals who practice medicine as members of a team with supervising physicians. PAs deliver a broad range of medical and surgical services to diverse populations in rural, urban and suburban settings. As part of their comprehensive responsibilities, PAs prescribe medication, conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care and assist in surgery.

There are more than 74,000 PAs in clinical practice in the U.S., and the Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the number of PAs to increase by 39 percent within the next decade-much faster than average for all occupations. There were nearly 250 million visits to PAs last year, and PAs have prescribing privileges in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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