Physician Assistants (PAs) are skilled members of the healthcare team, qualified by academic and clinical experience to provide a broad range of services.

PAs, working under the guidance of supervising physicians, provide services including: performing patient interviews and physicial examinations; interpreting laboratory and diagnostic studies; evaluating and managing acute and chronic disease; implementing treatment plans; counseling patients about health maintenance and disease management; monitoring responses to programs of therapy; and facilitating access to healthcare resources. Francis Marion Department of Physician Assistant Studies seeks to educate our students to become skilled in all these areas. 

The PA department is housed in a The Carter Center for Health Sciences which contains state of the art equipment that gives you a great opportunity for learning. It is equipped with the latest teaching technology in medical education including a simulation center, an OSCE suite, physical exam and anatomy labs, large classrooms, and space for students to study and gather. We are also fortunate to be sharing this wonderful facility with the Nurse Practitioner and Psychology Graduate programs, and third and fourth year medical students from the University of South Carolina. This interprofessional collaboration will greatly enhance your teamwork skills as you prepare for your career.

Mission Statement

The Francis Marion University Physician Assistant Program seeks to educate excellent primary care physician assistants to become compassionate, ethical, and clinically skillful graduates who are ready to provide health care services with personal and professional integrity.

Our Goals

  • Matriculate a diverse student body who reflect the richness of South Carolina’s population
  • Promote an educational atmosphere that empowers students to become self-directed, life-long learners
  • Provide Physician Assistant students with superior knowledge and skills for the evaluation, monitoring, diagnosis, treatment, and counseling of patients across their lifespan
  • Foster the development of compassionate, ethical, culturally aware healthcare providers
  • Prepare students to practice as part of an efficient and effective health care team
  • Emphasize the needs of underserved populations and prepare and encourage graduates to serve those populations, particularly in the Pee Dee
  • Fully comply with the standards established by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)

Student Learning Outcomes

At the completion of the Program, graduates will be able to:

  • Elicit a detailed and accurate medical history, perform a complete physical examination, and appropriately record all pertinent data;
  • Perform and interpret routine diagnostic studies;
  • Perform or refer appropriately for diagnostic or therapeutic procedures;
  • Provide complete and accurate patient assessment in order to formulate an appropriate management plan in a variety of healthcare settings;
  • Provide appropriate patient education and counseling to address health maintenance and disease prevention; and
  • Facilitate the appropriate referral of patients to address their medical and social welfare needs.

Accreditation Status

At its March 2017 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) placed the Francis Marion University Physician Assistant program sponsored by Francis Marion University on Accreditation-Probation status until its next validation review in March 2019.

Probation is a temporary status of accreditation conferred when a program does not meet the Standards and when the capability of the program to provide an acceptable educational experience for its students is threatened.

Once placed on probation, programs that still fail to comply with accreditation requirements in a timely manner, as specified by the ARC-PA, may be scheduled for a focused site visit and/or risk having their accreditation withdrawn.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).