Mission

To graduate collaborative clinicians who will serve the healthcare needs of a global community with intelligence, compassion, and integrity.

Goals

The program has four primary goals specifically designed to achieve our mission of educating competent and caring physician assistants.

  1. Recruit and retain a student body which demonstrates academic excellence.
  2. Provide a comprehensive academic program that fosters the development of the knowledge and skills necessary for entry level practice as competent, collaborative clinicians.
  3. Promote opportunities for physician assistant students to develop cultural sensitivity, professionalism and a dedication to service.  
  4. Support faculty in their professional development, leadership, and service to students, patients and the profession.

Goal 1

Recruit and retain a student body which demonstrates academic excellence.

 Outcomes for Goal 1: 
 
                                        Class of 2024 Class of 2023 Class of 2022 Class of 2021 Class of 2020
Ratio of App/Enrolled Students   18:1 20:1 21:1 21:1
Mean Overall GPA   3.68 3.69 3.70 3.62
Mean Science GPA   3.62 3.63 3.66 3.54
Mean Prerequisite GPA   3.66 3.63 3.70 3.59
BCP (biology, chemistry, physics)   3.58 3.59 3.52 3.47
Mean Science Credits Completed   70 72 68 73
  • Mean GPA Class of 2023 at completion of the didactic phase of the Program: 3.40
  • Mean GPA Class of 2022 at the time of graduation: 3.56
  • Mean GPA Class of 2022 at completion of the didactic phase of the Program: 3.45
  • Mean GPA Class of 2021 at the time of graduation: 3.65
  • Mean GPA Class of 2021 at completion of the didactic phase of the Program: 3.61
Program Attrition: The program has an overall attrition rate of 3%.

ARC-PA Attrition Template
Please note that the attrition rates include students who did not complete the program due to dismissal or withdraw and students who decelerated to a subsequent cohort.

*Attrition rate calculation: Number of students who attritted from cohort divided by the entering class size.
**Graduation rate: Number of cohort graduates divided by the entering class size.

Goal 2

Provide a comprehensive academic program that fosters the development of the knowledge and skills necessary for entry level practice as competent, collaborative clinicians.

Outcomes for Goal #2:
  • The Salus University Physician Assistant Program is a comprehensive Master of Medical Science degree program which requires successful completion of 109 credits (61 credits didactic phase, 48 credits clinical phase).
  • The designed curriculum includes PAS 5050 and 5051 Clinical Problem Solving 1 and 2 which provide students with weekly observational pre-clinical experiences in the spring and summer semesters of their didactic year. Under the direction of their preclinical instructional faculty, students are provided direct access to patients and opportunity for practical application of classroom instruction. The course also affords faculty-facilitated, small group case-based learning opportunities to foster critical thinking skills essential to medical decision making.
  • On the End of Didactic Year Surveys, the percentage of students from the Classes of 2023, 2022, 2021, and 2020 rating the PA program as above average to excellent in preparing their development of critical thinking skills was 80%, 87%, 76%, and 81% respectively. (response rates: 2023=94%, 2022=79%, 2021=92%, 2020=96%).
  • Based on Graduate Exit Survey data for the prior three graduating classes (Class of 2022, 2021, and 2020): Respondents rated the PA program above average to excellent in preparing their development of critical thinking skills as 86%, 94%, and 77% respectively. (response rates: 2022-89%, 2021=37% **poor response due to delayed survey distribution, 2020=90%).
  • 2021 Alumni Survey: 79% of respondents (N=77) rated the program (above average-excellent) regarding how well it prepared students in critical thinking skills. Alumni Surveys are conducted every three years with the next survey deployment in 2024.
 
  • Class of 2023 PACKRAT 1 Performance:
class of 2023 packrat 1
  • Class of 2022 PACKRAT 2 Performance:
Class of 2022 PACKRAT 2 Performance
 
  • Class of 2022 PACKRAT 1 Performance:
class of 2022 packrat 1
 
  • Class of 2021 PACKRAT 2 Performance:
class of 2021 packrat 1
 
  • Class of 2021 PACKRAT 1 Performance: 
class of 2021 packrat 1
 
  • Class of 2020 PACKRAT 2 Performance: 
2020 Packrat 2
  • Class of 2020 PACKRAT 1 Performance: 
2020 PACKRAT 1 Performance
  • ​Class of 2022 End of Rotation (EOR) exam performance compared to national performance:
2022 PAEA EOR chart
 
  • Class of 2021 End of Rotation (EOR) exam performance compared to national performance:

2021 PAEA EOR

  • Class of 2020 End of Rotation (EOR) exam performance compared to national performance:
Class of 2020 PAEA (EOR) Exams
 
  • PANCE Performance
  • 100% of students (Class of 2022) met program-defined skill competencies as outlined in their Clinical Passports, an assessment logging tool.
  • 100% of students (Class of 2022) successfully met all requirements of their summative assessments.
  • Clinical preceptors rated the Class of 2022 (99.7%), Class of 2021 (99.5%) and the Class of 2020 (100%) in the following assessment areas related to collaboration as part of the healthcare team. (Survey: Interpersonal interactions with healthcare professionals - Maintains appropriate personal/professional boundaries with all members of the healthcare team; active member of the team; works well with others; appreciates the contribution made by each member of the healthcare team). (Scoring Scale100=excellent, 90%=good, 80%=average, 70%=fair, 60%=poor)
 
 

Goal 3

Promote opportunities for physician assistant students to develop cultural sensitivity, professionalism and a dedication to service.  
 
Outcomes for Goal #3:

Cultural sensitivity:
  • 100% of all Salus University physician assistant students complete cultural humility instruction provided by the University during orientation, and in the PAS-5009 Community Health and PAS-5901 Transition to Practice courses. Additionally, students receive instruction about how to support the needs of vulnerable populations in the PAS-5009 Community Health and PAS-5003 Behavioral Science courses.
  • Students participate in two workshops during the didactic phase of the Program conducted at the Philadelphia Museum of Art developing the skills of observation, interpretation, empathy and recognizing bias. 
Professionalism:
  • All PA students receive an introduction to professionalism during their University orientation, with subsequent formal programmatic instruction in the didactic and clinical phases of the Program. Opportunities to assess this competency are afforded through self-reflection, peer-review, faculty assessment, preceptor evaluation, and summative review.
    A professionalism grading rubric is included in each course syllabus.
  • Clinical preceptors rated student professionalism for the Class of 2022 as 99.7%, the Class of 2021 as 99.7% and the Class of 2020 as 99.9%. (Survey: Professional Behavior – Present punctual, conscientious; behaves with honesty and integrity; responds appropriately to constructive criticism). (Scoring Scale100=excellent, 90%=good, 80%=average, 70%=fair, 60%=poor) 
  • 100% of all graduating students have met this competency.
Service Opportunities:
  • Through faculty facilitation, the Program supported students interested in participation in a medical and public health mission trip to Guatemala in August.
  • As part of the PAS 5102 Integrative Medicine course, all students participated in a day of service at MANNA, a learning experience which reinforces nutrition as a means of health promotion and an integral aspect of disease management.
  • The Class of 2020 participated in the PA Olympics in April along with fellow students and faculty from six other Philadelphia area PA programs. The charity this year was the IM ABLE Foundation, whose mission is to remove obstacles that prevent people affected by disabilities from being physically active by providing grants, resources, fitness opportunities and motivation.
  • The Class of 2021, in collaboration with their PA students from seven other PA programs, raised money for the For Pete's Sake Cancer Respite Foundation which enables cancer patients and their loved ones to strengthen, deepen and unify their relationships by creating unforgettable and lasting respite experiences.
  • The Class of 2022 participated in the PA Olympics in April along with fellow students and faculty from six other Philadelphia area PA programs. The charity this year was the The Krueger Hat Trick Foundation, a non-profit organization whole-heartedly devoted to providing financial aid and hope for families inflicted by congenital heart defects/disease.
  • The Class of 2023 participated in the PA Olympics in April with students from eight other Philadelphia area PA programs, raising money for METAvivor, a non-profit organization focused on increasing awareness of advanced breast cancer and equity in research and patient support.

Goal 4

Support faculty in their professional development, leadership, and service to students, patients and the profession.

The University values the contributions of its PA faculty in their efforts for lifelong learning, leadership, and service. 

Outcomes for Goal #4:
  • Principal faculty rated their satisfaction with faculty development resources provided by the University in 2022 at 88% very satisfied-satisfied, and in 2020 and 2019 at 100% very satisfied-satisfied (Response rates: 2022: 89%, 2020: 100%, 2019: 78%).
Scholarship/Professional Development (2020-2022): 
  • One principal faculty member is currently pursuing a Doctor of Medical Science degree.
  • One principal faculty member is currently pursuing a Doctor of Health Sciences degree with a concentration in Global Health.
  • 89% of clinical PA faculty maintain current medical practice in the disciplines of internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, pediatrics, gastroenterology, rheumatology, and urgent care and are afforded release time from the University to do so.
  • Faculty Presentations and Publications (2020-2022)
    • Ditoro R. Student self-assessment – it’s time to dig a little deeper. Presented at Physician Assistant Education Association 2022 Education Forum; October 15, 2022; San Diego, CA.
    • Ditoro R, Orr C. Empathy – the elusive competency. Presented virtually at Physician Assistant Education Association 2022 Education Forum; October 12-15, 2022; San Diego, CA.
    • Ahmed Z, Ahmed N, Baig WA. Bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia in a young healthy female patient. Indian Journal of Respiratory Care. 2021;10(1):139-142.
    • Ahmed N. Accentuating preventive medicine education in physician assistant curriculum. Lynchburg Journal of Medical Science. 2021;4(1).
    • Baig WA, Ahmed N, Alfahad OA, et al. Learning satisfaction among students of a higher learning institution for e-learning mode of teaching during Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of Positive School Psychology. 2022;6(6):7994-8001.
    • Ahmed N. Smoking hookah: a dire need of raising awareness and dispelling misconceptions. Journal of Pharmaceutical Negative Results. 2022;13(5):925-932.
    • Orr C, Verano L. The starting line: What is diabetes? Presented at Real World Diabetes; October 3, 2022; Philadelphia, PA.
    • Orr C. Preventing complications of diabetes. Presented at Real World Diabetes; October 24, 2022; Philadelphia, PA.
    • Fischer M. A breath of fresh air: Updates in asthma management. Presented at Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants Annual Conference; November 2022; Pittsburgh, PA.
    • Bonnin K, Brownlee L, Ditoro L, Hussaini S, Maloney-Johns A. Leading Out of COVID.  Presented at Physician Assistant Education Association 2021 Education Forum; October 2021; (Virtual).
    • Dascher C, Orr C. The starting line: What is diabetes? Presented at Real World Diabetes; January 15, 2021; Philadelphia, PA.
    • Dascher C, Orr C. Preventing complications of diabetes. Presented at Real World Diabetes; February 12, 2021; Philadelphia, PA.
    • Orr C. Lipid Management: How low can we go? Presented at Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants Annual Conference; Oct 27, 2021; Mount Pocono, PA.
    • Serianni R, Benjamin G, Brim B, DiToro R, Myers B, Owen J, Pennington J, Perla, F, Killen C, Verma S, Vitek M.  Developing an Interprofessional Education Session for Clinical Supervisors: Reflections on the Collaborative Process and Outcomes. Presented at the National Academies of Practice Annual Forum 2021; (Virtual).
    • Hudak N, Ditoro R. International clinical rotations. In: Ritsema TS, Brown DL, Vetrosky DT, eds. Ballweg’s Physician Assistant: A Guide to Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:275-284.
  • Two principal faculty members in 2021 and one in 2022 attended the state PA conference. Two principal faculty members attended the American Academy of PAs conference in 2022. Two principal faculty members attended the PAs for Global Health conference in 2022. One principal faculty member attended the Society of Emergency PAs conference and participated in several related workshops in 2021 and 2022. One principal faculty member in 2020 and 2021, and two faculty members in 2022 attended the national PA Education Association conference. One principal faculty member attended the PAEA Faculty Skills workshop in 2022.
Service/Leadership (2020-2022): 
  • One faculty member is/was an ARC-PA site visitor between 2020-2021.
  • One faculty member serves on the PAEA Leadership Mission Advancement Committee.
  • Two faculty members facilitated the Hearts on Motion Medical Mission trip to Guatemala in 2021, 2022 and will again in 2023.
  • Four faculty serve as County Medical Reserve Corps volunteers.
  • One faculty member was selected by the American Academy of Physician Assistants and serves as the Physician Assistant representative to the American Diabetes Association’s Primary Care Council.