Mission, vision, values, & goals

Our mission

The mission of the Indiana University Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is to prepare compassionate and competent graduates for physician assistant practice and to prepare leaders in the field to transform human experience and quality of life, with a focus on meeting the health care needs of the community.

Our vision

The Indiana University Master of Physician Assistant Studies program aspires to be innovators and leaders in physician assistant education.

Diversity and Inclusion

We instill awareness of and respect for individual cultures by educating our students on the importance of understanding the unique needs of a diverse patient population and providing culturally sensitive health care.

Program goals

  • We recruit students who demonstrate leadership and service to the community. 54% of students from our two current cohorts held a minimum of 3 leadership roles prior to matriculating. Since matriculating, 54% of students serve in at least one new leadership role. 82% of students were involved in 100 or more hours of service in the five years preceding admission into the program, with 50% of these individuals accumulating at least 200 hours. Following matriculation into the program, 40% of students have engaged in service activities.
  • Over the past three years, our students have been recipients of IUPUI awards: IUPUI Elite 50 recognition seven times and the Plater Civic Engagement Medallion. The eligibility requirements include academic excellence, leadership, and service. Likewise, each year the program inducts students into the Indiana University chapter of Pi Alpha, the Physician Assistant national honor society, in recognition of their scholarship, service, and leadership.
  • Each student is assigned a faculty advisor to mentor the student through the rigors of the program.
  • 95.5% of the students who entered the class of 2021 graduated. Below is the program’s attrition information.
  • The class of 2021 achieved a 98% first-time pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).
  • The most recent five-year, first-time pass rate on the PANCE average is 98%, which is consistent with the national average.

  • During the 2019 admissions cycle, the program transitioned to a holistic review process to assist the program with increasing applicants. As a result, IU MPAS admitted students from diverse backgrounds, including underrepresented populations, non-traditional students, and active military or veterans.
  • The Class of 2022 is the most diverse class in program history:
    • 25% males
    • 33% non-Indiana residents
    • 27% identify as a student of color
    • 9% identify as Hispanic
    • 18% are from rural area
    • 25% are from urban areas
    • 4% are active Reserves or National Guard
    • Various nationalities and religions celebrated among our students, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hindu.
  • The School of Health & Human Sciences attends various recruitment events to engage high-quality applicants from diverse backgrounds, such as the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students. The School participates in the Breaking the Myths summer camp to develop a pipeline of qualified applicants from local high schools and to increase the awareness of the physician assistant profession among the participants.
  • Cultural humility and competence are embedded throughout the curriculum. The intentional curriculum during the didactic year begins in the first semester during the Intro to PA Profession, and Psychosocial Aspects of Health Care courses. An annual Unconscious Bias workshop was developed in 2019 for all students. These annual workshops build upon the workshop from the prior year to permit students more critical reflection of their implicit biases when working with all patients.
  • All class of 2020 students were placed in at least three clinical sites that were designated as medically underserved, with over 75% placed in at least four medically underserved locations.

  • IU MPAS students are educated throughout the didactic curriculum to consider a holistic approach to patient care and incorporate patient preference along with evidence-based medicine. To educate students to provide quality patient-centered care, the didactic curriculum consists of courses that cover clinical medicine across all body systems, the lifespan, and special populations.
  • Clinical rotations are offered in nine core areas to provide opportunities for diverse clinical experiences: Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Behavioral Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Community Medicine, and Outpatient Medicine.
  • The subspecialty and elective rotations permit students to explore their areas of interest, which have included Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.
  • All Class of 2020 students successfully completed the summative evaluation, which includes evaluation of medical knowledge, clinical reasoning, clinical and technical skills, and professionalism. The program utilizes this evaluation to demonstrate students are competent for entry-level practice as a physician assistant.
  • The end-of-program survey evaluate students’ perceived preparedness for entry level practice as a PA, including ability to select and interpret diagnostic test and labs, formulate a differential diagnosis, manage general medical and surgical conditions. In these areas, 97%, 100%, and 95% of the Class of 2020 rated their competency as good or as outstanding.
  • Graduates practice in various disciplines including emergency medicine, surgical subspecialties, family medicine, internal medicine subspecialties, women’s health, and pediatrics subspecialties.

  • All students are placed at the Grassy Creek Eskenazi Community Health Center for their community health rotation. The preceptors for the Community Medicine rotation, which is a patient-centered medical home in a medically underserved area, consistently rate our students above average with “conducting respectful interviews, with empathy and sensitivity.”
  • In 2019, the IU MPAS program became partners in the IU Student Outreach Clinic, a free, student-run clinical that provides primary care services to underserved populations in Indianapolis. The Class of 2020 totaled 200 hours of service to the IU SOC during their final year in the program.
  • Social determinants of health, psychosocial aspects of health care, and health behavior theory in the curriculum address the challenges individuals may face to access health care and/or successfully implement a management plan.
  • The robust population health curriculum provides students exposure to different racial and ethnic populations, individuals living with homelessness, indigenous Americans, refugee and immigrants local to Indiana, and the LGBTQ population. Students developed resource portfolios of health, wellness, and social services necessary to meet the needs of these populations in Indiana or the students’ anticipated location after graduation.
  • Students are challenged to reflect on their own implicit biases and how this may affect patient care.
  • Case-based learning and simulated patients address not only the medical and behavioral health concerns but also incorporate the socioeconomic and cultural factors involved in evidence-based patient-centered care

  • The IU MPAS program participates in the IU Interprofessional Practice and Education Center TEACH! curriculum, which provides interprofessional opportunities with learners in the health-related schools across campus and from other Indiana institutions, including the IU Schools of Medicine, Nursing, Social Work, Dentistry, Public Health, Health & Human Sciences, and Purdue and Butler pharmacy. Our students reported an increase in collaborative competency following participation in the TEACH! events in a statistically and clinically meaningful way.
  • Our students are embedded in clinical rotations with medical students, residents, other physician assistant students, and nurse practitioner students.
  • The community medicine rotation at Grassy Creek Eskenazi Community Health Center is a patient-centered medical home that provides students experiences to work closely with other health services such as Women, Infants & Children, social work, behavioral health, and pharmacy.

  • Evidence-based medicine is a cornerstone of clinical decision-making. Students are introduced to evidence-based medicine in their first semester. This allows students an early opportunity to understand how to be a consumer of health research and how to apply it to clinical decision-making during their clinical medicine courses and clinical rotations.
  • Integrated clinical reasoning sessions following completion of several clinical medicine modules begin to prepare students to critically think through case-based learning.
  • The Clinical Therapeutics course in the final didactic semester reemphasizes patient-centered evidence-based decision-making and enhances clinical reasoning skills.
  • Items in the summative evaluation assess students’ ability to utilize appropriate resources when developing therapeutic plans, which 100% of the Class of 2020 demonstrated successfully.