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Program Overview

As the nation’s pioneer land-grant university, Michigan State University is one of the top research universities of the world with total research expenditures of 715 million in 2018. MSU is an inclusive, internationally recognized university with a mission of advancing knowledge and transforming lives. The university has four Medical colleges: Nursing, Veterinary Medicine, Human Medicine (MD) and Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.). MSU is ranked 28th among the nation’s public universities in the U.S. News & World Report’s (2024) best American colleges. 

The mission of the Michigan State University PA Medicine Department is to develop an interprofessional educational program that produces clinicians ready to practice in today’s dynamic healthcare environment. To achieve this goal, the PA Medicine Department has partnered with the Hub for Innovation in Learning and Technology at Michigan State University to design a competency-based curriculum to prepare students to be “Day 1” ready to begin practice as a PA upon graduation. This innovative curricular model integrates osteopathic and PA medical students to maximize collaborative experiences during their training. The IPE PA Medicine courses have completely separate university course numbers, objectives, assessments and outcomes for the students but the lectures will ensure competencies for both professions are achieved in a collaborative environment. The vision for MSU PAs will be to improve access to care and patient health outcomes while innovating optimal medical education. 

The 27-month curriculum is a 108 credit Master of Science degree in PA Medicine (15 months pre-clinical, 12 months clinical). There are the seven ARC-required core rotations, and four elective rotations in medical/surgical areas. Ideal applicants for PA Medicine will be highly skilled communicators, demonstrate leadership capacity and grit, and have a commitment to service in the community. Applicants will be screened to ensure academic preparedness for the rigor of a medical school training program. The holistic admissions methods of the College of Osteopathic Medicine will look to attract diverse student population to address the healthcare needs in the State of Michigan.

The program matriculated 32 students in the inaugural class, progressing to 36 students in the second year and plan for a maximum of 38 students in subsequent years. This will allow the college to ensure proper clinical education for the PA Medicine students while providing sufficient numbers to allow true IPE integration into the osteopathic medical school culture.  

The MSU PA Program uses the program student competencies as the foundational document for the curriculum. The student competencies were developed by the program planning committee to give a framework for developing a “Day 1” ready to begin practice as a PA upon graduation. All course and program activities should address one of the six major content areas of the student competencies document and will be tracked throughout the program.