North Central College will soon offer a Master of Physician’s Assistant Studies program.
The 24-month program will train prospective physician’s assistants in clinical work at local hospitals and doctor’s offices, and in the new building being constructed on Chicago Avenue.
“In the space that we’re creating for this PA program there is going to be an entire section of the floor that looks just like an ICU or a doctor’s offices or a hospital ward. And then there’s skills labs where students will practice the basic skills, putting in an IV and how to do an injection and how to do a physical exam. So it’s going to be very dynamic in that first year,” said Dean of the college’s School of Education and Health Studies Marci J. Swede, PhD.
Shortage of Practitioners
The creation of the new program has been in the works for some time and is not a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic, though Dr. Swede said the shortage of primary care practitioners, including PAs, is particularly evident right now.
A Scientific and Humanistic Approach
Swede said the college’s liberal arts roots will influence how students are educated in the PA program.
“We’re going to really try to achieve humanistic medicine and relationship-centered care where not only will our students learn how to deliver excellent healthcare from a scientific point of view, but also be able to develop those necessary relationships with their patients and with their colleagues to be able to elevate that care to something that’s really superlative,” said Dr. Swede.
The first students will start in August of 2021, though the application process is open now.
Naperville News 17’s Casey Krajewski reports.
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