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The role of physician assistants in the health system continues to grow both in value and need. Since 2011, the University of Bridgeport’s Physician Assistant Institute (PAI) has offered the Physician Assistant (M.S.) degree program in order to address this demand by providing a preventative approach to medicine.

Pursuing your degree at UB’s Physician Assistant Institute allows you to take advantage of the following benefits:

  • Curriculum that emphasizes community service and global health
  • Small class sizes that allow you to work closely with our diverse faculty
  • On-site cadaver lab
  • Integrative medicine approach
  • 28-month schedule and January start date

University of Bridgeport Physician Assistant Institute Mission Statement

The mission of the University of Bridgeport Physician Assistant Institute is to develop clinicians with: dedication to patients; commitment to life-long education; respect for the profession; a global perspective on health care; volunteerism as a professional core value and an integrative approach to practice for the benefit of all patients.

This mission to educate the physician assistant is reflected in our motto: Adiuvare, Mederi, Communiter; TO HELP, TO HEAL, TOGETHER.
—Adopted by the Physician Assistant Faculty – December 17, 2009 (reviewed and reaffirmed: August 21, 2018).

Dedication to patients
The UB PAI curriculum contains a number of courses aimed specifically at listening to, speaking with, counseling and respecting patients. These include:

  • MSPA 551 History & Physical Exam I
  • MSPA 552 History & Physical Exam II
  • MSPA 574 Global Health & Preventive Medicine
  • MSPA 534 Correlative Medicine I
  • MSPA 542 Correlative Medicine II
  • MSPA 556 Patient Education, Nutrition & Counseling
  • MSPA 574 Medical Ethics & Professional Practice

Commitment to lifelong learning and education

Each year, the program hosts a gala dinner dance, during which time the Bruce Fichandler Scholarship is awarded to students who demonstrate leadership ability, commitment to their field, extracurricular activities, community service and professional awareness. Alumni contribute to this scholarship and gather at this event.

The PAI is in the final stages of initiating a joint degree with the UB Acupuncture Institute. Graduates of the PAI will be able to transfer some credits in the quest to earn a degree in acupuncture, in an evening and weekend program at UB.

Respect for the profession

Each year, UB PAI students travel to Rockefeller Center in Manhattan on PA Day, representing the UB PAI on the “Today Show” to raise awareness of the profession. UB students are active in ConnAPA and with the PA foundation.

In 2018, one student, Marissa Weeks, won the prestigious Physician Assistant Education Association Student Health Policy Fellowship, the culmination of which will be an education project on PA Policy for fellow students in the program.

Global perspective on health care and volunteerism

MSPA 575 Global Health and Preventive Medicine introduces students to the principle of difference in determining health, disease prevention and treatment strategies internationally.

For five years, the Physician Assistant Institute has sent groups of 12 to 16 students to participate in an educational experience in Quetzaltenango Guatemala. This on-going relationship with one community has allowed the program to build opportunities for direct aid, screening and support to an international underserved community.

Volunteerism

UB PAI has a number of annual service opportunities in which students participate. The Mercy Learning Center, a center for largely immigrant residents of Bridgeport to learn basic literacy and other life skills, is walking distance from the campus. UB PAI students provide preventive medicine education as well as conduct drives for food and household items throughout the year.

Students participate in an annual Kidney Foundation Walk, as well as a walk for breast screening awareness. Mikey’s Walk raises money for pediatric cancer. Students also participate in material aid projects for homeless veterans

Integrative approach to practice

MSPA 565 Integrative Medicine & Practice exposes students to many complementary and alternative treatment modalities.

Faculty from the UB Fones School of Dental Hygiene provide education on the impact of dental health on patient outcomes.

Students have the opportunity to use the university-run UB Clinics for acupuncture, chiropractic, dental hygiene, and naturopathic medical care at a minimal cost.

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