Physician Assistants are important members of the health care team, working interdependently with physicians in virtually all medical specialties and settings. With the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, further mandated reductions in resident training hours, and a widening shortage of primary care physicians, PAs are becoming a practical and economical alternative to physicians. The US Department of Labor projects a 39% growth in jobs for PAs in the next 10 years.
With its strong emphasis on clinically-based training and the need to prepare students to begin patient care immediately upon graduation, medical schools are uniquely qualified to train physician assistants. At Tufts, students study cadavers in the gross anatomy lab, and practice physical diagnosis on standardized patients and train with mannequins and task trainers in the Clinical Skills and Simulation Center. In their second year, students receive real-world clinical training at Tufts’ affiliated institutions- some of the finest hospitals, private practices, and medical centers in New England. Opportunities abound for interprofessional education in the classroom, at the other schools on Tufts’ Health Sciences campus, and at clinical sites.
Tufts PA program has been granted the status "Accreditation-Provisional" by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The 25-month program begins in January each year. Graduates are awarded a Master of Medical Science degree.