A new agreement between Hope College and Grand Valley State University helps pave the way for Hope graduates interested in attending the university's Physician Assistant Studies Program.
Through an agreement signed on Thursday, Dec. 1, Grand Valley has approved the courses at Hope that address the topics that the graduate program requires of those seeking admission.
"It helps because it gives the students a guarantee that the coursework that they do here at Hope will meet their requirements," said Dr. William Mungall, who is the health professions advisor at Hope and is also the Elmer E. Hartgerink Professor of Chemistry at the college. "And it's an opportunity for Hope and Grand Valley to work together to help meet the health care needs in the community."
The physician assistant program at GrandValley is a 32-month curriculum of professional studies leading to the degree of Master of Physician Assistant Studies, and graduated its first class in 1998. Prerequisites for admission include several courses, in a variety of subjects ranging from introductory psychology, to organic chemistry, to human anatomy and medical ethics, all of which are available at Hope.
Working under the direct supervision of physicians, a physician assistant takes patient histories, performs physical examinations, diagnoses and treats illnesses, gives medical advice, counsels patients, sets fractures, assists in surgery, and orders and interprets diagnostic tests. Physician assistants are qualified by graduation from an accredited physician assistant education program such as Grand Valley's and/or certification by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). NCCPA certification is required for state certification in Michigan and most other states.