Physician Assistant Studies Program Overview
Gardner-Webb University, a private, Christian, Baptist-related university, provides outstanding undergraduate and graduate education that is strongly grounded in the liberal arts while offering opportunities to prepare for various professions. Fostering meaningful intellectual thought, critical analysis, and spiritual challenge within a diverse community of learning, Gardner-Webb is dedicated to higher education that integrates scholarship with Christian life. By embracing faith and intellectual freedom, balancing conviction with compassion, and inspiring a love of learning, service, and leadership, Gardner-Webb prepares its graduates to make significant contributions for God and humanity in an ever-changing global community.
In 2011, the Commonwealth Fund ranked North Carolina 41st in its overall healthcare delivery, 32nd in access to care, 32nd in prevention and treatment, and 40th in healthy lives when compared to other U.S. states. To meet the same standards as the number one state, North Carolina would need to (1) insure 793,512 adults and 171,177 children, (2) provide preventive care to 124,733 adults aged 50 and older, (3) provide preventive services to 131,627 diabetics over 18, (4) give routine childhood vaccinations to 23,609 children, and (5) prevent 3,432 premature deaths under the age of 75 (The Commonwealth Fund, 2011). Unfortunately, the Western Region of North Carolina has a significant shortage of medical care providers, especially in primary care. By creating a Physician Assistant Program, Gardner-Webb University hopes to close the gap between this need and access to medical care.
In accordance with the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) entry-level standards, the Gardner-Webb University School of Physician Assistant Studies design prepares experts in the field of primary care practice. Gardner-Webb hopes to attract students focused on providing medical service in underserved communities. The PA Program will be a practice oriented master’s degree program designed to accommodate students with a bachelor’s degree, diverse educational background, and an aptitude toward patient care.