– I’m Bert Simon. I’m the Chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies
at A.T. Still University in the Arizona School of Health Sciences. My responsibility as chair is to direct the entry level
physician assistant program, as well as oversee the
advanced physician assistant program that we run for PAs who did not receive a master’s
degree when they graduated. The education level for
physician assistants has had to increase to keep up with the increasing demands in
medicine and responsibility. Many years ago, PAs were trained
at the certificate level, and then the baccalaureate level. And now with prescriptive practice and increased responsibility, both inpatient and outpatient settings, we have had to raise that up to the master’s degree as entry. Many individuals who are
already physician assistants, find it’s necessary to
obtain an advanced degree because they’re interested in moving into more of an administrative position, they’re interested in
moving into supervisory responsibilities within a
department at a hospital. So it opens many other doors
for them in their career path. The great thing about being
a physician assistant is that you have direct responsibility
for the patient’s care. You’re an integral part
of the healthcare team that’s involved in decision making, in treatments, in
follow-up with the patient. My greatest joy in being a PA educator is to watch them develop over
the 26 months they’re with us and turn into competent
healthcare providers. The best thing for me
personally about being a PA is the feeling that you
get when patients tell you how much they appreciate the
time you’ve spent with them, the answers that you’ve given
them to their questions, and just the comfort that
you’ve provided to them. We believe that healing is
more than just treatment, and so we want to make sure and treat both the body, mind, and spirit. (gentle piano music)