Mount Saint Mary College Now Offers Physician Assistant Program - Daily Hudson Valley News

Mount Saint Mary College Now Offers Physician Assistant Program

Feb 6th, 2014 | By | Category: Featured Articles

Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh, N.Y. is now taking applications for its three/two physician assistant program scheduled for launch in 2014-15.

Students accepted into the program will be immersed in the Mount’s rigorous natural sciences undergraduate curriculum for three years. Following completion of the undergraduate requirements, successful applicants will complete their studies at the Mount’s Physician Assistant Program (pending Accreditation-Provisional) in two years, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s in physician assistant studies.

Steven G. Sweitzer, P.A.-C, directs the graduate program. A Lieutenant Colonel in the N.Y. Air National Guard Biomedical Sciences Corps, he has also been in private neurosurgical practice since 1989 in Fairfield County, Conn.  He served on the Allied Profession Medical Staff at four area hospitals including Yale New Haven Health System, St. Vincent Medical Center, Bridgeport Hospital and Griffin Hospital.

His academic experience includes having taught healthcare management at St. Vincent College. He has had extensive involvement in the clinical education of physician assistant students while on clinical rotations in surgery at all facilities where he was in clinical practice.  Educated at the University of Bridgeport, Northeastern University, Cambridge College and Nova Southeastern University, he is certified by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants since 1985.

Director Sweitzer belongs to the American Academy of Physician Assistants and is a member of The Physician Assistant Education Association.

Mount Saint Mary College has applied for accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The Mount graduate program in physician assistant studies anticipates matriculating its first graduate class in May 2016, pending the Accreditation-Provisional, which is a status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation standards of the Review Commission.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants describes a physician assistant as a healthcare professional who is trained and licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician. The PA license allows one to perform medical or surgical duties delegated by a physician. This involves working as part of the health care team employed by hospitals, multispecialty organization, inner city clinics or being the only medical provider in smaller, remote clinic.

Physician assistants provide a broad range of health care services traditionally performed by physicians. PAs routinely conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, and order and interpret tests and perform minor procedures. They may also counsel patients on preventive health care, assist in surgery, give medical orders, and write prescriptions.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 40 percent increase in employment of physician assistants in the next decade.

At Mount Saint Mary College, more than 37 percent of current first year students are pursuing health professions careers, notes college president Fr. Kevin E. Mackin, OFM.

“Our strong career preparation and reputation in various health fields bode well for this program,” said Fr. Mackin.

In addition to the new PA program, the Mount offers nationally accredited nursing degree programs, and also pre-med, pre-veterinary, pre-dental, podiatry, and physical therapy studies.

Top-flight faculty and state-of-the-art facilities in the college’s Kaplan Family Mathematics, Science and Technology Center are combined with solid field experience.  Mount graduates work at hospitals and other health centers in the Northeast and beyond.

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