When Trevecca Nazarene University started its physician assistant program 35 years ago, the goal was to offer more than a degree in the medical field.
As one of about five schools in the country that tie a PA program to Christianity and service, Trevecca created a niche for itself.
“Through the years, of course, [the PA program] always had the emphasis for the mission of the school… to provide people, not only an education, but to also serve others in a Christian manner,” said Gerald Moredock, director of PA program.
The reputation of the program attracted students like Monica Klatt, a 25-year-old student from Tucson, Ariz., who moved across the country to Nashville, Tenn.
Trevecca tries to offer an international focus, providing PA students with access to medical missions, opportunities to study abroad as well as short-term mission trips.
Physician Assistants must complete 116 credit hours to complete the master’s degree in order to become a certified PA. They often work in hospitals and physician’s offices—under the supervision of a physician—and perform tasks such as conducting complete physicals, providing treatment and counseling patients.
As of May, 2010, the average PA salary in the U.S. is $86,410, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Trevecca’s 27-month program offers 12 months of clinical rotations. Students currently have the opportunity to complete some rotations overseas in Africa and Central America.
But Moredock says, “the U.S. is also filled with missions.”
The program recently accepted the largest class of 48 students last year and offers multiple information nights. The next one is Feb. 2 in Trevecca’s Greathouse Science Building, Room 101 at 6 p.m.