Physician assistants (PAs) are vital members of the healthcare community. They are clinical professionals who are licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. They make an immediate impact on patient care.
Their comprehensive responsibilities include:
- conducting physical exams
- ordering and interpreting tests
- diagnosing illnesses
- counseling patients on preventive healthcare issues
- assisting in surgery
- prescribing treatments
PAs are found in all areas of medicine. They practice in the areas of primary care medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, medical subspecialties, pediatrics and obstetrics and gynecology, as well as in surgery and the surgical subspecialties.
Within the physician-PA relationship, PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision-making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services. A PA's practice may also include education, research and administrative services.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that employment of PAs is expected to increase 30 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations. As more physicians enter specialty areas of medicine, there will be a greater need for primary healthcare providers, such as PAs. Since New Jersey began licensing PAs in 1992, the demand for PAs has outpaced the number of graduates.
At Seton Hall, the extensive clinical experience our students receive distinguishes them from their peers:
"I have been told by a number of my colleagues that, as a new grad I practice with the decision-making skills and confidence of a PA who has been in the field for years. I believe this directly reflects the stellar training I received at Seton Hall. The program prepared me beyond my expectation for clinical practice, and I have recommended our program without any hesitation to a number of potential PA students." - Seton Hall MSPA graduate
Many Seton Hall MSPA students receive employment offers before they even graduate. Our alumni are working across the country in all specialties. Examples of their work settings include:
- Primary healthcare facilities serving children and adults
- Research programs
- Surgery centers
Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE)
Upon graduation, our students are fully prepared to sit for the PANCE, which is the required certifying examination administered by the National Commission on Certifying of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
NCCPA is the only certifying organization for physician assistants in the United States. All U.S. states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories rely on NCCPA certification as one of the criteria for licensure or regulation of physician assistants. After passing the PANCE, physician assistants are issued NCCPA certification and can use the PA-C designation until the certification expiration date (approximately two years).
More information on NCCPA and PANCE: www.nccpa.net
- American Academy of Physician Assistants
- New Jersey State Society of Physician Assistants
- Physician Assistant Education Association
Graduates of the Seton Hall MSPA program remain in contact well into their professional careers. They share job opportunities and professional advice via a private Facebook group exclusively for our students and alumni, and meet up at state and national conventions and at the School of Health and Medical Sciences' annual alumni event.
The Career Center at Seton Hall University
This on-campus resource gives our graduates the tools to get their careers off to a strong start. Students and graduates have access to many benefits through The Career Center, including:
- One-on-one career counseling
- Individualized career development and management plans
- Online career assessments
- Career events, including resume writing workshops and interview clinics
- Pirate Mentor Program with access to an extensive network of thousands of Seton Hall alumni