Important Program Dates

Application Cycle Begins: April 25, 2020
Final application deadline: October 1, 2020*
Semester begins: May 3, 2021
*(CASPA application needs to be verified by this date)

Education Model

Residential Program with clinical assignments throughout the country

The Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) Physician Assistant (PA) Program educates outstanding clinicians equipped to handle the challenges of practicing medicine in a multifaceted and complex healthcare system. Our program emphasizes a holistic patient-centered care approach, educating students not only in the foundational domains of medical knowledge and patient care, but also to:

  • approach complex health problems through sound clinical reasoning, with sensitivity for the unique situation and concerns of each individual patient;
  • leverage the powers of information technology and collaborative networking to make thoughtful, evidence-based decisions at the point-of-care;
  • master the art of connecting with patients of diverse characteristics and backgrounds; and
  • serve as ethical professionals who stand as examples and leaders in their communities and amongst their colleagues.

Program Highlights

Location

As our name implies, we are located in the Rocky Mountains! Utah has four different seasons full of world-class skiing, hiking, biking, rock climbing, star gazing, and more. We live where nature is in our backyard. Red rock country is just a short drive away. Many students take day or weekend trips together to the many national parks in Southern Utah (including Arches, Zions, Bryce, Canyonlands, and Capitol Reef). The campus is also located right next to historic downtown Provo and is within an hour drive of Salt Lake City.

Clinical Simulation Practice

During the didactic phase of the program, students are challenged weekly with simulated patient encounters. This allows students to learn how to treat and care for patients in the didactic phase and prepare for their clinical experiences. The average PA program only offers a few simulated patient encounters just prior to clinical rotations.

Practicing Faculty

At RMUoHP, we support our faculty to continue working in the clinic to stay up-to-date on skills and best practices. By continuing to work in the field, faculty bring real experiences into the classroom to better train the next generation of physician assistants.

Low Student-to-Faculty Ratio

The PA program at RMUoHP maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio. After being admitted, students are assigned a faculty mentor who will work with them individually throughout the program.

100% PANCE Pass Rate

Our top-notch students and our top-tier faculty and curriculum have brought about a 100% pass rate on the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). Faculty and administration work hard to help students prepare for the certifying exam at the end of the program.

Graduation Rate

We credit our 99% graduation rate to the hard work and dedication of both our excellent students and dedicated faculty.

Opportunity for International Service in Africa and Guatemala

Each year during the summer semester break, students have the opportunity to travel to Africa with faculty and university administration to provide humanitarian work and gain exposure to third-world clinical experiences. Students will spend time both in the clinics and hospitals as well as the local village.

PA Program FAQ

The program is 7 semesters (28 months) long. It is a year-round program with breaks (typically around 2 weeks in length) between each semester.

The program offers 40 weeks of clinical education separated into eight 5-week rotations. At the beginning of the program, each student sits down with our clinical education team and together they work out where they will be placed for each rotation. Seven of the eight rotations are required settings that each student must go to, but there is an elective clinical where the student can choose the setting he/she wishes to go to. There are no guarantees that students will get their first choice based on geographical location or setting type, but student input and desires are strongly considered.

Not usually. We have clinical opportunities throughout the nation, and it is highly encouraged to do some clinical rotations outside of the state.

The program accept 50 students in each cohort. Each cohort starts in May.

The CASPA application cycle opens up in April and closes on October 1. All materials need to be received and verified by this deadline to be considered for review.

No. Rolling admissions is where a program interviews/accepts applicants throughout the application period (prior to the final application deadline). Our PA program sends out all application decisions after the final application deadline.

No. The only application is the CASPA application. You will have to complete the CASPer test and have those scores sent to the university, but that is the only additional requirement.

The CASPer test is an online screening tool designed to evaluate key personal and professional characteristics that make for successful students and graduates. CASPer provides the program with a reliable measure of traits such as professionalism, ethics, communication, and empathy. You will be asked to complete the CASPer test at the time of submission of your application to this program. Visit takecasper.com for more information.

Yes. A 298 minimum aggregate score of both the Verbal Reasoning and Quantitative Reasoning sections combined is required The average GRE score for all accepted students is 308.

Yes. The GRE can be retaken and the highest scores will be reviewed.

The GPA and GRE minimum scores are hard cutoffs. Due to the accelerated nature of the program and the competitive applicant pool, the posted GPA and GRE are required minimums.

You can take the GRE anytime as long as the official GRE scores are received by the university prior to the deadline. Typically, the Educational Testing Service (ETS) takes up to 7 to 10 days to get the official scores sent, so plan accordingly. All materials, including official GRE scores, need to be received prior to the final deadline.

Yes. If you have sent out your Letter of Recommendation requests, you can submit your application. For the GRE, use our school code (3660) so your scores are submitted directly to the university. GRE scores and letters of recommendation will be attached to your application once they are received.

We have no restrictions or requirements related to geographical location of our students. We accept students from all over the nation.

Yes. Courses can be taken anywhere or online as long as they satisfy our prerequisite requirements. You can confirm all courses either by contacting us directly or submitting this form.

Yes. You are allowed up to 9 credits of prerequisite courses pending or in progress when you submit the application. These courses will need to be completed before the program start date in May. If an acceptance offer is extended, updated official transcripts will need to be re-submitted once all prior coursework is complete.

The only prerequisite course that can be satisfied by an AP course is the Algebra or higher requirement. However, the AP credit either needs to be explicitly stated on the transcript or a signed document from the school’s registrar needs to be submitted with the application.

Salt Lake City is roughly a 40-minute drive north of Provo.

Learn More About our PA Program

There is great enthusiasm about our PA program, and for good reason! There is a significant need for highly-competent, genuinely-caring physician assistants who provide excellent care for all. RMUoHP feels privileged to have the opportunity to deliver an innovative program designed to educate expert PAs who will prove to make a dramatic difference in the communities they serve.

Meet with an Advisor

RMUoHP PA Program Core Values

The core values of the program are the fundamental principles that help guide decision making. The acronym R.I.G.H.T. is used as a memory aid and a way to communicate these values.

RESPECT FOR ALL INDIVIDUALS:We respect all individuals and embrace our differences. We recognize, appreciate, and value diverse individual and cultural perspectives within the program, healthcare, and society. We regard each individual as an equal member of the human family and endeavour to serve each with compassion, concern, and diligence.

INNOVATION IN EDUCATIONWe strive to be forward-thinking and promote a culture of innovation. This guides our approach to PA education, which prepares students to succeed in the face of evolving professional and educational demands.

GROWTH MINDSETWe embrace a growth mindset, encompassing the learning and progress resulting from perseverance through challenges and failure. We strive for improvement through personal reflection, learning from mistakes, and embracing constructive criticism.

HIGH EXPECTATIONSWe maintain high expectations for academic learning and professional behavior. We encourage commitment to life-long learning and professional growth.

THINK AND TEACHWe emphasize the importance of always thinking about the patient. Our students continually study and train to provide evidence-based and compassionate patient care. We also encourage students to seek opportunities to teach future generations of healthcare providers.

RMUoHP PA Program Outcomes

Program Outcomes have been adopted from the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession jointly published by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Accreditation Review Commission for Physician Assistants (ARC-PA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the National Commission for the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

Medical knowledge includes the synthesis of pathophysiology, patient presentation, differential diagnosis, patient management, surgical principles, health promotion, and disease prevention. PAs must demonstrate core knowledge about established and evolving biomedical and clinical sciences and the application of this knowledge to patient care in their area of practice. In addition, PAs are expected to demonstrate an investigative and analytic thinking approach to clinical situations. PAs are expected to understand, evaluate, and apply the following to clinical scenarios:

  1. Evidence-based medicine
  2. Scientific principles related to patient care
  3. Etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions
  4. Signs and symptoms of medical and surgical conditions
  5. Appropriate diagnostic studies management of general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities
  6. Interventions for the prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
  7. Screening methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual
  8. History and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate differential diagnoses

Interpersonal and communication skills encompass the verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic exchange of information. PAs must demonstrate interpersonal and communication skills that result in effective information exchange with patients, patients’ families, physicians, professional associates, and other individuals within the health care system. Physician assistants are expected to:

  1. Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
  2. Use effective communication skills to elicit and provide information
  3. Adapt communication style and messages to the context of the interaction
  4. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional groups
  5. Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety
  6. Accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes
Patient care includes patient- and setting-specific assessment, evaluation, and management. PAs must demonstrate care that is effective, safe, high quality, and equitable. Physician assistants are expected to:

  1. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care
  2. Demonstrate compassionate and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families
  3. Obtain essential and accurate information about their patients
  4. Make decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and informed clinical judgment
  5. Develop and implement patient management plans
  6. Counsel and educate patients and their families
  7. Perform medical and surgical procedures essential to their area of practice
  8. Provide health care services and education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance
  9. Use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education

Professionalism is the expression of positive values and ideals as care is delivered. Foremost, it involves prioritizing the interests of those being served above one’s own. PAs must acknowledge their professional and personal limitations. Professionalism also requires that PAs practice without impairment from substance abuse, cognitive deficiency, or mental illness. PAs must demonstrate a high level of responsibility, ethical practice, sensitivity to a diverse patient population, and adherence to legal and regulatory requirements. Physician assistants are expected to demonstrate:

  1. Understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant
  2. Professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers
  3. Respect, compassion, and integrity
  4. Accountability to patients, society, and the profession
  5. Commitment to excellence and on-going professional development
  6. Commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, the confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices
  7. Sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and abilities
  8. Self-reflection, critical curiosity, and initiative
  9. Healthy behaviors and life balance
  10. Commitment to the education of students and other health care professionals

Practice-based learning and improvement include the processes through which PAs engage in critical analysis of their own practice experience, the medical literature, and other information resources for the purposes of self- and practice-improvement. Physician assistants must be able to assess, evaluate, and improve their patient care practices. Physician assistants are expected to:

  1. Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology in concert with other members of the health care delivery team
  2. Locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health
  3. Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical literature and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness
  4. Utilize information technology to manage information, access medical information, and support their own education
  5. Recognize and appropriately address personal biases, gaps in medical knowledge, and physical limitations in themselves and others

The systems-based practice encompasses the societal, organizational, and economic environments in which health care is delivered. PAs must demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger system of health care to provide patient care that balances quality and cost while maintaining the primacy of the individual patient. PAs should work to improve the health care system of which their practices are a part. Physician assistants are expected to:

  1. Effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems
  2. Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care and use the systems effectively
  3. Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise the quality of care
  4. Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities
  5. Partner with supervising physicians, health care managers, and other health care providers to assess, coordinate, and improve the delivery and effectiveness of health care and patient outcomes
  6. Accept responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care and recognizing and correcting systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care
  7. Apply medical information and clinical data systems to provide effective, efficient patient care
  8. Recognize and appropriately address system biases that contribute to health care disparities
  9. Apply the concepts of population health to patient care

Physician Assistant Mission & Vision

In harmony with the mission of Rocky Mountain University of Health Profession (RMUoHP), the Physician Assistant (PA) Program has established the following mission and vision.

The mission of the RMUoHP PA Program is to educate students to become competent physician assistants who value and provide comprehensive, evidence-based, patient-centered care and are committed to lifelong-learning, professional excellence, and collaborative practice.

The vision of the RMUoHP PA Program is to:

  • foster a culture of growth mindedness, unity of purpose, collegiality, and perpetual desire for self-directed learning,
  • deliver a richly balanced, application-based curriculum centered on critical principles of health, wellness, and disease,
  • graduate self-reflective professionals with adept clinical reasoning skills and keen sensitivity to unique patient needs,
  • and empower students to become digitally literate clinicians proficient in applying information technologies and collaborative networking skills to improve patient care.
Frequently Asked Questions
Admission Requirements
Application Analysis Process
Tuition Information
Physician Assistant Curriculum
Program Performance
Program Policies
Technical Standards
Accreditation
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Master of Physician Assistant Studies Faculty and Staff

Michael Nelson DHSc, MPAS, PA-C
Department Chair and Program Director
Master of Physician Assistant Studies

Tyler Sommer MPAS, PA-C
Associate Program Director
Academic Director

Amber Collins, M.Ed
Director of Clinical Education

Jennifer Johnson MPAS, PA-C
Director of Simulation Education

Eric Smart MD
Medical Director

Administrative Staff

Summer Shepherd, Clinical Education Coordinator
Rachel Dunlap, Program Operations Coordinator