Semester begins: May 3, 2021
*(CASPA application needs to be verified by this date)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
RMUoHP PA Program Core Values
In addition to RMUoHP’s core values, the RMUoHP PA Program espouses those values listed below. Our commitment is to provide the best education possible for our students. To achieve this, we strive to think, make decisions, and act in accordance with these core values. As a natural extension, we strongly emphasize their importance and encourage their adoption to every student we have the privilege of teaching and mentoring. As anchors, these values serve as the pillars upon which all else in the program stands. The acronym R.I.G.H.T. helps us easily remember and communicate these values:
Relationships Come First – Nothing is more important than our relationships. People are more important than things. It is people who give care, and people who receive care. Furthermore, people come from all walks of life and carry with them unique backgrounds, personalities, philosophies, and perspectives. We regard each individual as an equal member of the human family, and therefore strive to serve each with compassion, concern, and diligence. We particularly value the relationship between students and their future patients. Additionally, self-care promotes sustainability and wellness, which ultimately influences one’s ability to care for others. Therefore, we advocate self-care to foster healthy and meaningful relationships.
Innovative Culture – We are living in the midst of dramatic change. Not only is the medical industry changing quickly, but the educational arena as well. We strongly value supporting and sustaining a culture of innovation because as a result, our students and faculty are empowered to act as forward-thinking creatives, bringing unique and dynamic perspectives in their contributions to addressing the most challenging of problems.
Growth Mindset – A fixed mindset clings to notions of innate ability and capacity, or lack thereof. By contrast, a growth mindset engenders the learning and progress born when persevering through challenge and failure. We are not completed works of varying perfection or imperfection, but products of ongoing experiential and reflective states of being. As such, our best days are inherently ahead of us.
High Expectations – We are here to serve students. But more importantly, we are here to serve the patients whom our students will serve. Without high expectations, we risk compromising the education of our students, and thus ultimately the care of their patients. The RMUoHP PA program holds the standards high. The patient deserves nothing but our best.
Think About the Patient – The medical world is remarkably complex: so many dynamics, so many considerations. Unfortunately, in the midst of the chaos, thinking about and doing what’s best for the patient can slip to the back burner. In the RMUoHP PA program, we keep the patient front and center. The patient comes first, always.
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).
- Evidence-based medicine
- Scientific principles related to patient care
- Etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions
- Signs and symptoms of medical and surgical conditions
- Appropriate diagnostic studies management of general medical and surgical conditions to include pharmacologic and other treatment modalities
- Interventions for the prevention of disease and health promotion/maintenance
- Screening methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual
- 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:
- Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients
- Use effective communication skills to elicit and provide information
- Adapt communication style and messages to the context of the interaction
- Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional groups
- Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility, and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety
- Accurately and adequately document information regarding care for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes
- Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care
- Demonstrate compassionate and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families
- Obtain essential and accurate information about their patients
- Make decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, current scientific evidence, and informed clinical judgment
- Develop and implement patient management plans
- Counsel and educate patients and their families
- Perform medical and surgical procedures essential to their area of practice
- Provide health care services and education aimed at disease prevention and health maintenance
- 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:
- Understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant
- Professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers
- Respect, compassion, and integrity
- Accountability to patients, society, and the profession
- Commitment to excellence and on-going professional development
- Commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, the confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices
- Sensitivity and responsiveness to patients’ culture, age, gender, and abilities
- Self-reflection, critical curiosity, and initiative
- Healthy behaviors and life balance
- 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:
- Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology in concert with other members of the health care delivery team
- Locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health
- Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical literature and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness
- Utilize information technology to manage information, access medical information, and support their own education
- 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:
- Effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems
- Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care and use the systems effectively
- Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise the quality of care
- Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities
- 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
- Accept responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care and recognizing and correcting systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care
- Apply medical information and clinical data systems to provide effective, efficient patient care
- Recognize and appropriately address system biases that contribute to health care disparities
- Apply the concepts of population health to patient care
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for men and women. Typically doctors assess their patients for heart disease using the atherosclerotic [...]
Diabetes is one of the most common and yet, misunderstood diseases in the United States, according to Jon Baird, MPAS, PA-C, ATC, and faculty of [...]
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions embarked on their fifth service trip to Malawi, Africa. There were 38 faculty, staff, and students from RMUoHP and [...]
With today’s complex healthcare challenges, providing the best quality patient care includes the integration of healthcare providers across disciplines. As such, it’s essential that - [...]
Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions (RMUoHP) faculty member within the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program, Viet Le, MPAS PA-C, AACC, was a recent contributor [...]
Master of Physician Assistant Studies Faculty and Staff
Jon Baird MPAS, PA-C, ATC
Alan Bybee MPA, PA-C
Travis Layne MPAS, PA-C
Viet Le MPAS, PA-C
Bryan Nelson MMS, PA-C
David Payne MPAS, PA-C
Marie Pittman MPAS, PA-C
Cecile Pryor MPH
Lauren Stanford MPAS, PA-C
Summer Shepherd, Clinical Education Coordinator
Rachel Dunlap, Program Operations Coordinator