PRINCESS ANNE, MD – The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES) has received accreditation confirmation to offer its Physician Assistant program.

The reaffirmation will allow the University to resume graduate-level instruction leading to a physician assistant degree in the coming academic year.

Based on the review of the program by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA), UMES looks to enroll a cohort of 20 new students in August 2020 with plans to grow the program annually.

The program will be 28 months in duration and include a didactic and experiential education components. The University will award a Masters of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies to those who successfully complete the program.

Tiffany’s Maxwell, program director and department chair, who led the reaffirmation effort for the campus, said: “The University’s Physician Assistant program will be an integral part of the healthcare community by educating the next generation of healthcare providers to serve our local and surrounding communities.

As the 16th president of UMES, Dr. Heidi M. Anderson made reaffirmation of the PA program an institutional priority.

“Given that all the counties on the Eastern Shore of Maryland are designated as medically underserved areas and/or Health Professions Shortage Areas, having more physicians assistants is vital for our communities,” said Anderson.

The value of the program has been confirmed by the support of the University System of Maryland’s administration, its governing board and Gov. Larry Hogan.

“Everyone in our community should be excited about this,” said Anderson. “The program graduates will infuse the region with highly trained medical professionals with skills in illness diagnosis, medical treatment prevention and care plans.”

PAs are further able to conduct clinical research and make advancements in medical sciences. The overall contributions of Physicians Assistants are many and varied, which can have special value in rural communities and where there are shortages in medicinal clinics.

In additional to providing endorsements for the reaffirmation of the PA program, elected leaders in Maryland also approved funds to underwrite construction of a healthcare training complex that will enhance all healthcare curricula at UMES, including the physician assistant program.

Maxwell acknowledged the program will be strengthened by the engagement with the local healthcare community, including Peninsula Regional Medical Center, Atlantic General Hospital, University of Maryland Shore Regional Health, local physicians, physician assistants and other healthcare providers.

Students in Physician Assistant program will complete over 2,000 hours in rotations including family Medicare, general surgery and mental health training. The rigorous course content aligns closely with that of medical school and the program in attractive to students of all career and educational backgrounds.

“I am so proud of Dr. Maxwell and Dean Randall Allen,” said Anderson. “They took on this monumental task and got it accomplished in record time. And it comes just when the nation is dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic and needing a plethora of healthcare providers.”

For more information on the Physician Assistant program at UMES, please see the website: https://www.umes.edu/PA/.

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About the University of Maryland Eastern Shore

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES), the State’s Historically Black 1890 Land-Grant Institution, is a teaching, research, and doctoral institution that nurtures and launches leaders in a student-centered environment. Committed to providing high quality programs in an ethnically diverse environment, the University prepares students who will serve and shape the global economy. For more information, visit www.umes.edu.