Sacred Heart accredited for master of physician assistant program

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Fairfield’s Sacred Heart University will for the first time be offering master of physician assistant studies this fall, after being granted accreditation-provisional status by The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant.

The commissioners, whose members include PA program directors, MDs and PA educators, found zero observations or areas in need of improvement, which Teresa Thetford, director of SHU’s PA program said “can be considered analogous to a perfect score on our accreditation.”

After receiving more than 700 applicants and conducting 150 interviews, 28 students will begin SHU’s 27-month PA program this fall in Stamford Hospital’s Tandet Building, where a 13,000 square foot, completely renovated space — including a state-of-the-art lab, classrooms and a patient-assessment suite — will open for students on August 29.

Students will participate in a 12-month classroom phase followed by a 15-month clinical phase, providing 2,000 hours of experience in several medical specialties. All students will complete clinical rotations primarily at Stamford Hospital as well as other SHU-affiliated hospitals and health care sites.

The university said it is accepting applications for the 2017 PA cohort, which will consist of 34 students, through Oct. 1. More than 700 applications have already been received, it added.

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