Dominican Welcomes First Physician Assistant Program Students


January 20, 2017

The first class of students in Dominican University's new Physician Assistant Program started classes last week and received their white coats and stethoscopes in a kickoff ceremony for the program.

Dominican’s PAS program is offered under the auspices of the university’s new College of Health Sciences, which was announced by the board of trustees on October 6, 2016. 

The new PAS program addresses an urgent social need as well as great student demand. Dominican’s program received more than 450 applications for a maximum entering class of 30 students. The PAS program prepares degree candidates to work in collaboration with medical doctors to treat and prevent illness and injury. PAS students receive training that will allow them to order tests, prescribe medications, conduct exams, provide counsel on preventive care, and assist with surgeries.

“PA’s sustain the quality of medical care while extending its reach in underserved rural and urban areas of the country and substantially lowering its cost,” said Richard (Sal) Salcido, M.D.. Ed.D and founding director of the PAS program.

Dominican’s PAS program is the only one in the state at a Catholic liberal arts university and the only program in the Midwest offered at a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI). Students are required to take a course in Medical Spanish. First-year students study anatomy, pharmacology, physiology, diagnostic methods and evidence-based medicine, among other topics. Second-year students complete hospital and clinical rotations in surgery, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine and other specialty disciplines.

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Dominican's Physician Assistant Program