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Back to News Introducing the First Physician Assistant Program in the Bronx

Introducing the First Physician Assistant Program in the Bronx


Mount Launches Highly-Anticipated M.S. to Address Critical Healthcare Workforce Needs—Across the Borough and Beyond

It’s official—we’re approved and actively recruiting our first class for the Master of Science Physician Assistant (PA) Program.

The College has received provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) and approval from the New York State Education Department. The inaugural cohort will begin in the Fall of 2022.

The 28-month long program—the only PA program registered in the Bronx—augments the College’s offerings in the healthcare professions, building on its robust programs in nursing and nurse practitioner studies, while supporting enrollment and programmatic goals. Highlighting our mission and reflecting a longstanding tradition, the program provides incredible opportunities for students to learn and serve our community.

“Aligning with the College’s strategic plan, this moment demonstrates the tremendous collaborative effort of so many members of our community—and it could not come at a better time. Mount Saint Vincent’s Physician Assistant Program is not just the first registered in the Bronx, it also emphasizes leadership through service to others—a reflection of our core values instilled in us by our founders, the Sisters of Charity of New York, 175 years ago.”

— President Susan R. Burns, Ph.D.

Four students write in notebooks, with one students off to the right frame of the image, in a science lab with black countertops and a sink in the front.

One of The Fastest-Growing and In-Demand Jobs in Healthcare Today

A booming profession, PAs are among the top six healthcare professions expected to see the most growth in the next ten years—and the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts steady increases in the number of PA jobs, both nationally and in New York. Moreover, just last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked it as the best job overall, as well as the best healthcare job.

As skilled licensed medical professionals, physician assistants diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principle healthcare provider. PAs exercise autonomy in medical decision making and provide a broad range of diagnostic and therapeutic services, with the opportunity to practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, further improving healthcare access and quality.

Today, PAs also perform many duties that were once considered the sole purview of physicians—and while many can be found working in primary care, such as general internal medicine, pediatrics, and family medicine, an increasing number choose specialty areas like general and thoracic surgery, emergency medicine, and orthopedics.

Physician assistants are qualified to practice by graduation from an accredited physician assistant educational program and certification by the National Commission on Certification for Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

“When you factor in career mobility in a variety of settings, plus flexibility that provides a good income whether they choose to work full-time, part-time, or per diem, it adds up to a fantastic return on the educational investment. PAs have a very robust job outlook, and a phenomenal career ahead of them—and most new PAs receive multiple job offers even before they graduate.”

— Dr. Anthony Garofalo, Director for the Physician Assistant Program, Associate Professor

Health professions students gather in the background of the image, with a focus on a cutout on a cabinet, featuring the letters 'RX'.

Right Time, Right Place, Right Region

At Mount Saint Vincent, a student’s education extends beyond knowledge, skills, and preparation for work. In the spirit of Vincent de Paul and Elizabeth Ann Seton, we foster an understanding of our common humanity, a commitment to human dignity, and a full appreciation of our obligations to each other.

We are always committed to the service of others—something further evidenced by our program. Here, you’ll learn how to respond to a significant community need. Through a forward thinking curriculum and a team-based approach to medicine, you’ll become the ultimate patient advocate. The course of study aims to equip students with the knowledge and aptitude to provide effective care to individuals and families of diverse backgrounds and means. Accordingly, the curriculum includes applied medical, behavioral, and social sciences; patient assessment and clinical medicine; supervised clinical practice; and health policy and professional practice issues centered around public health concerns in under-served areas.

We’re also pleased to announce that, because of this program, the Bronx will no longer have the fewest primary care professionals in New York City. With an emphasis on community health, clinical research, health services, policy research, and medical education, the M.S. in Physician Assistant Program will create a tangible pathway to support key areas of need within our borough, the region, and beyond, while cultivating professionals prepared to serve any and all healthcare needs.

“A Mount Saint Vincent education facilitates critical thinking, analytical reasoning, and moral and ethical decision making. These are invaluable skills in any endeavor, but particularly for individuals who aspire to address the complex healthcare needs of our city and state.”

— Dr. Lynne Bongiovanni, Provost and Dean of the College

A close up view of the south side of Aquino Hall in the evening, with lights illuminating the exterior first and second floors.

New Program Housed in Aquino Hall

By training in state-of-the-art facilities and through clinical practice in a world-class infrastructure, students have the ability to prepare themselves as a leading healthcare provider through some of the most advanced technology available for practicing PAs

The program will utilize two floors of training facilities—housing cutting-edge instructional technologies in various simulation laboratories—in Mount Saint Vincent’s newest building on campus: Corazon C. Aquino ’53 Hall.

Joining the PA Program will be undergraduate and graduate students in the Mount’s pre-professional programs in nursing—this will include studies leading to the Bachelor of Science in Nursing, via traditional undergraduate and accelerated second-degree tracks, and a Master of Science in Nursing in Family Nurse Practitioner (individuals already holding a master’s degree in nursing have the option to complete the Family Nurse Practitioner concentration as an Advanced Certificate). Additional master’s degree concentrations and advanced certificates in allied healthcare fields are underway.

An immediate benefit of the new facility and programming is the opportunity to offer more options for students to practice working as part of a highly skilled medical team, as physician assistants are educated in a collaborative, team approach—an emerging trend in the health sciences. We’ve conscientiously created a program where students can train and collaborate together, fostering success by not only learning about one another, but from one another in the clinical environment.

“The health sciences rely on strong interprofessional relationships. Practitioners frequently deal with complex cases that require referrals to, or collaboration with, other health-related services and specialties, such as OT, PT, social workers, or behavioral health practitioners. It’s exciting to contemplate the range of possibilities for this advanced level, multi-disciplinary training.”

— Dr. Garofalo

Students compare notes in a science lab.

Your PA Journey Starts Here

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program at the University of Mount Saint Vincent is set to prepare graduates for one of the fastest-growing and in-demand jobs in healthcare today.

Where will you go with us? Take the next step—explore our innovative approach to medical education and launch your career as a physician assistant through our rigorous, transformative program.

Gold button to click to learn more about applying to the University of Mount Saint Vincent.

“The need for more extensive and accessible healthcare services is significant—and the University of Mount Saint Vincent is leading the way. I have no doubt that our future physician assistants will deliver the most exceptional, compassionate care, while strengthening the healthcare workforce for underserved communities.”

— President Burns

About the Physician Assistant Program
The University of Mount Saint Vincent Master of Science Physician Assistant Program strives to educate those individuals who aspire to achieving a higher level of medical knowledge so as to return to their communities and deliver quality medical care to all individuals across a culturally, socioeconomic, and diverse patient population. The program will offer guidance to all students so as to fully develop the professional maturity necessary to achieve the highest levels of excellence and leadership in their professions, while becoming leaders within their communities. Program faculty—through mentorship, scholarship, teaching, enthusiasm, and creative pursuits—will foster a vibrant and exciting educational environment where students will develop the foundational skills necessary to excel in leading meaningful and productive professional careers.