Master of Medical Science
Physician Assistant

ABOUT US

Committed to preparing physician assistants to care for communities in Hawai’i and underserved populations, the Hawaiʻi Pacific University Physician Assistant (PA) program is a rigorous, full-time 24-month program of study culminating in the Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree. The didactic phase of study is hybrid, with a combination of remote and in-person learning. Remote instruction includes daily synchronous and asynchronous engagement with experienced faculty with a wide range of scientific and clinical expertise. In-person sessions involve periodic travel to Hawaii for 1-2 week-long immersions on HPU’s downtown Honolulu campus to allow hands-on acquisition of physical examination and clinical skills, as well as for assessment of competency in preparation for clinical rotations. During the clinical phase of study, students complete intensive, hands-on supervised clinical practice experiences across seven required disciplines (emergency medicine, surgical medicine, internal medicine, behavioral medicine, family medicine, women’s health, pediatric medicine) as well as in an elective clinical rotation specialty. Students’ final on-campus immersion consists of a comprehensive summative evaluation prior to graduation from the program, along with preparation for transition to professional practice as a physician assistant.

MISSION

Educate the next generation of physician assistants by engaging students who are dedicated to advancing health equity and delivering an innovative educational model that reduces barriers for PA learners. We are committed to preparing students to deliver high quality patient-centered care to the Hawaiian island communities and medically underserved populations across the nation.

VISION

To cultivate a student-centered culture of inclusion and excellence that develops graduates who serve their communities and improve healthcare delivery. 

CORE VALUES

The HPU MMS-PA Program embraces the Hawaiian values of aloha, pono, kuleana, mālama, and lōkahi.

Accreditation

The Hawai'i Pacific University (HPU) Master of Medical Science - Physician Assistant (MMS-PA) Program was granted approval by the WASC Senior College and University Commission on 8/25/2021. HPU has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The HPU MMS-PA program anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2025, pending achieving Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2024 ARC-PA meeting. Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students. The program will not commence in the event that Accreditation-Provisional status from ARC-PA is not received.

Prospective Students

The Hawaiʻi Pacific University Physician Assistant Program is a graduate entry-level course of study for individuals who hold a baccalaureate degree to become a Physician Assistant (PA). The PA Program is designed to prepare graduates for clinical practice as a PA with an emphasis on patient-centered care, advancing health equity, and serving underserved populations. Please visit the program page for further information about admission requirements.

Preceptors

The clinical experiences that a PA student gains during the clinical education phase of the PA Program are vital to a student's success in their journey to becoming a physician assistant. Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPES), or clinical rotations, are required in seven core disciplines: emergency medicine, surgical medicine, internal medicine, behavioral medicine, family medicine, women’s health, pediatric medicine. SCPEs provide the opportunity for students to have a concrete experience in the application of medical knowledge and clinical skills. Clinicians who serve as preceptors for clinical rotations are the key to successful learning in a practical clinical setting. Please visit the preceptor page to find out more information about becoming a preceptor and to access resources with tips, tools, and guidance for PA student preceptors. 

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