Physician Assistant

The Physician Assistant (PA) program at Marywood University is committed to excellence in the training of students to provide both primary care and specialized health care in a variety of health care settings. The program provides students the foundation for professional growth through personalized attention, diverse clinical experience, and a commitment to excellence. Our students are encouraged to incorporate Marywood University’s goal of learning to live and practice medicine responsibly in an interdependent world. A Physician Assistant is a highly trained medical professional who works collaboratively with physicians to provide high-quality care to patients. PAs diagnose illness, order diagnostic studies including laboratory studies and x-rays, create treatment plans, prescribe medications, perform medical procedures, and assist in surgery. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality. 

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Accreditations

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Marywood University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Marywood University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2026. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Accreditation History »

Professional Memberships

PA Program 5 Year First-Time PANCE Pass-Rate

About The Physician Assistant Department

The Physician Assistant Program at Marywood University is committed to providing students with an exceptional education in a supportive and nurturing environment. This professional education will include the biomedical and clinical knowledge necessary to diagnose, treat, educate, and empower patients in a variety of settings across the lifespan.

  • The Program is committed to preparing students to deal with the changing healthcare environment while promoting the PA profession.
  • The Program emphasizes the importance of creating a knowledge community for future PA students to succeed while providing leadership to promote the PA profession. 
  • The Program acknowledges that patients are more than his or her physical body; therefore, the Program is dedicated to teaching our students to appreciate the patient’s spirit in addition to caring for his or her body.
  • The Program has an awareness of the need for quality healthcare, both regionally and globally, and the Program prepares each student to embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion; advocate for their patients; serve their communities; and undertake the challenges of an ever-changing healthcare environment.  

Program Goals

Goal 1: To provide students with the knowledge, skills, and experience necessary to be successful, competent physician assistants.  

Goal 2: To prepare students to participate as effective members of interdisciplinary healthcare teams in the promotion of health, prevention of illness, and care of diverse populations across the lifespan.

Goal 3: To develop effective interpersonal and communication skills within the medical community.

Goal 4: To encourage students to utilize service opportunities to gain professional experience, enhance their classroom learning, and strengthen their community.

Goal 5: To develop professionalism and leadership skills at the local, state, and national level, shaping future policy and legislation to promote Physician Assistant practice.

Physician Assistant Faculty

Dr. Stanley W. Blondek
Bio
Marie S. Bonavoglia
Bio
Abigail Patricia Davis
Bio
Jessica R Eberle
Bio
Robert Emery
Bio
Cheryl Fuller
Bio
Robyn M. Hachan
Bio
Frank Kasmark
Bio
Rebecca Ann Friemann Kenderes
Bio
James McKenna
Bio
Stephen Redding
Bio
Kara Rempe
Bio
Justine Samanas
Bio
Nathan Sanders
Bio
Alan Vannan
Bio
Gretchen Welby
Bio
Joshua Wilbur
Bio

The Physician Assistant Program is housed in the Keith O'Neill Center for Healthy Families. It features a cutting-edge, technology-ready, amphitheater style classroom. The Physical Assessment Lab (PAL) includes 22 exam tables and 5 private exam rooms for practical education and individual testing of history taking and physical examination techniques. In addition, there are X-ray view boxes, operating room scrub sinks and a variety of teaching models.

PA students complete Gross Anatomy Lab at Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, which is 2 miles away from campus. 

Marywood's library supports the PA Program and includes a variety of medical resources, relevant journals, and texts.

MUPASS

Marywood University Physician Assistant Student Society. MUPASS is an organization comprised of Physician Assistant students. This organization is committed to increasing awareness of the PA profession and promoting health and wellness on campus, in the community and on a national level. The members of this society will participate in health related awareness activities, conferences as well as encourage service and scholarship by its members.

Graduate Student Council

Pre-Physician Assistant Club

Marywood is here for you each step of the way. For currently enrolled students visit the Pre-Physician Assistant Student Resources Website for academic tips, forms, and more to guide you on your academic journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find a PA to shadow?
We require candidates to shadow a PA for a minimum of 50 hours. We do not provide a shadowing service. If you don't already know a PA, you may consider asking a local health care provider, local medical office or area hospital to recommend a practicing PA. Just make sure to first obtain permission from the physician assistant and be aware that you may also need permission from the hospital or clinic, as there are strict patient privacy (HIPAA) issues involved.

How do students prepare for PANCE during the clinical year?
Students should be well prepared for the PANCE prior to graduation while completing the Marywood PA Program.  Students first are tested on every PANCE topic during their clinical year.  So students are continually studying for their boards.  Students also are provided with end of rotation day lectures on board related topics.  Students are given a Mock Boards exam during their clinical year along with the PACKRAT, a standardized testing tool, to help prepare for boards.  Students are allowed 1 week off during the clinical year to attend a board review conference of their choice.  Lastly, students are provided with a board review course on campus the week of graduation.

Does the program offer job placement services?
The program does not guarantee job placement.  Faculty do provide students with any emails/requests they receive for job placements.  Faculty also help students write a curriculum vitae and cover letter.  They provide lectures on contract negotiations and the interview process.  Students are also able to discuss job offers with PA faculty and review of their contracts.

Does the PA program provide housing at clinical sites?
The PA program does not provide housing at clinical sites but also does not send a student to a location where they do not have housing.  For example, if a student says they have housing in Virginia, they may be sent to rotations in Virginia in driving distance from their house.  A student that is not from Virginia would not be placed there and expected to find housing.  Many students keep local housing as they complete rotations near Marywood.

Can I select any of my own rotations during the clinical year?
Yes! At Marywood, you have an individualized rotation experience. Each student will be assigned a clinical advisor who will work with them on setting up their clinical rotations. Students are able to make suggestions on rotations they would like to complete either locally or out of the area. Although all of these accommodations are not guaranteed, most students are pleased with the input they have into their clinical experiences.

Where are the clinical rotations located?
The clinical rotations can be located anywhere across the United States.  Some students elect to stay "local" and are scheduled as rotation sites within a 1 hour drive from campus.  Other students like to complete rotations either near their home town or other geographical location to have a varied experience on how medicine in practiced.  We encourage students to spend at least 1 rotation out of the area so they get some diversity in the way medicine is practiced.
What type of financial assistance is available?
Most students receive a combination of loans, grants, and, in the case of our Pre-PA students, work-study.

What kind of support is available for students in the PA program?
We offer a Mentor-Mentee program that matches a Didactic year student with a Clinical year student, as a “mentor” to help guide a new student through the program.  Every student is also assigned a faculty advisor.  Advising meetings will occur at least once per semester, at which time the advisor and student will discuss their academic progress. Professionalism assessments will also be performed once per semester, which allows students to perform a self-assessment of their professionalism and receive feedback from their advisor.

What is a typical student schedule?
This is a full-time program, with no part-time option. During the first year, students will have classes Monday through Friday, generally from 8 a.m. to at least 5 p.m. There may be one or two evening classes per semester as well. While on rotations during the second year, students will go to a new rotation site every five weeks and are expected to fulfill the hours required at different sites, including evenings, weekends, and on-call coverage.  A Marywood PA student will complete all of their rotations in 1 year.  Students will start in May and end in May prior to graduation from PA school. Students will be scheduled in 10 - 5 week rotation blocks in various specialties. Some specialties are required such as pediatrics, emergency medicine, and internal medicine. Some rotations, such as the students clinical track choice and elective, are in specialties that the student can choose.

Will I be able to work full-time while I am going to PA school at Marywood?
Our program involves an intensive course of didactic and clinical medical education. It is extremely difficult to work during the didactic and/or the clinical phase of the program due to the intensity of the coursework. During the clinical year, most of our students will average 50 or more hours per week in clinical learning activities.

If I am chosen, is there an orientation program for new students?
There is a mandatory weeklong orientation that occurs one week prior to the start of Summer classes in May.

How many students are in each cohort?
The PA program is accredited for a maximum of 60 students per cohort.  Approximately half of those students come from Marywood’s Pre-PA program. 

What’s next if you’re offered a seat on the Wait List?
  1. Confirm if you want to be on the wait list.
  2. Those on the wait list can potentially be admitted into the program up until May.
  3. Continue with your current experiences and complete your prerequisite courses.
  4. Review the website and statistics on admitted students. Re-assess your application to find areas for potential improvement.  For example, maybe you had one or two low grades that lowered your overall and/or prerequisite GPA, or maybe you were not involved actively in community service, or merely forgot to include it on your application.
  5. Start your process of reapplying for the next admissions cycle. If this is the path you are committed to, then keep trying!
What should I expect if I get placed on the wait list?
The wait list is utilized to fill seats that open after interviews have concluded. Typically, candidates are selected as seats become available. After all expected candidates arrive for orientation in May, those not selected will be sent a final decision letter.

When can I expect to receive an admission decision?
Applicants are notified of an admission decision within two weeks of their interview. Upon acceptance, a $500 non-refundable deposit is required to secure your spot in the program.

Do you accept Advanced Placement credits?
Yes, as long as your undergraduate institution granted AP credits and they are listed on your transcript.

Do my prerequisite courses need to be complete prior to applying?
No, however all applicants must have completed the prerequisite courses prior to matriculation into the program.  If you are granted admission, you will need to provide Marywood with your updated transcript and proof of degree completion (if applicable) prior to matriculating into the PA program.

Do I need a Bachelor’s degree prior to applying?
No, however all applicants must have completed their bachelor’s degree prior to matriculation into the program. If you have completed most prerequisites and are in the process of finishing your bachelor’s degree you may apply and be granted conditional acceptance. Proof of your degree will be required prior to matriculation.

When does the program begin?
The Master of Physician Assistant Studies program is 24 months in duration and begins in May.

What is the deadline for application?
The Admissions Cycle opens in mid-April every year, and the deadline for admission is October 1st.  Any application that is received or incomplete after that date will not be reviewed and the applicant will be ineligible for consideration during that cycle. 

Undergraduate

Academic