About UHAS Department Of Physician Assistantship
1. Bachelor in Physician Assistantship (Clinical)
The Physician Assistantship Clinical programme is designed to train professionals to fill essential positions in the health care delivery system in Ghana, thereby, providing the much needed medically trained personnel for poorly resourced areas.
The role of the Physician Assistant is centered on patient care responsibilities, that is, diagnostic and therapeutic services, as well as the social or psychological aspects of patient management. It also includes educational (health promotion and prevention services), research and administrative activities. Although the Physician Assistant’s profession is now well-established in the USA, it is relatively new among the health professions, having been established only in 1965 at Duke University in North Carolina. The first class of Physician Assistants was composed of former U.S. Navy hospital corpsmen, the curriculum of the PA program being based in part on first-hand knowledge of the fast-track training of medical doctors during World War II.
The UHAS Physician Assistant Program’s curriculum is partly based on the knowledge of the curriculum for training medical doctors operational in Ghana today, bearing in mind the objective to educate caring, competent Physician Assistants who practice professional Medicine under the supervision of medical doctors, are leaders in the profession, dedicated to their communities, and devoted to positive transformation of the health care system.
The Physician Assistant (PA) is a health care professional who practices medicine with (and now increasingly sometimes without) physician supervision. As a member of the health care team, the PA provides a broad range of medical diagnostic, therapeutic, and health promotion/disease prevention services. PAs will be qualified by graduation from an accredited PA educational program and certification by the Ghana Medical and Dental Council to exercise a level of autonomy in the performance of clinical responsibilities within Ghana’s health care delivery system. The clinical practice of the PA includes both primary care and specialty care roles, and spans a wide range of medical practice settings in both rural and urban settings. PA education also prepares physician assistants to deal with many medical emergencies. PAs often act as first or second assistants in major surgery, and provide pre- and post-operative care. The role of the Physician Assistant is centered on patient care responsibilities, including the social or psychological aspects of patient management, but may include educational, research, and administrative activities.
The Physician Assistants are expected to play a critical role in performing first line medical intervention. They are expected to occupy an essential position in the health care delivery system in Ghana, providing much needed medially-trained personnel for poorly resourced areas. They will be trained to take medical histories, perform physical examinations, order and interpret diagnostic tests, formulate a working diagnosis and implement a treatment/management plan. Patient care, advocacy, education and counseling will be components in their training and function. The programme will place a strong emphasis on primary health care exposure, emphasising the Physician Assistant’s role as the first line of defence in medical intervention and delivery in the community. In addition, the programme will be highly clinical/practical, in recognition of the great need for a high degree of clinical competence among its products who may, in some cases, have to work with minimal supervision. Given the high rate of maternal and early neonatal mortality, the Physician Assistant should be especially well-trained to work in delivery and neonatal units.
Our goals are to educate physician assistants who:
- Demonstrate knowledge and skills necessary to evaluate and manage primary care problems,
communicate effectively and work collaboratively with other members of the health care team, and;
create partnerships with their patients to promote health, prevent disease and positively impact the management of chronic conditions;
- Demonstrate awareness and sensitivity to social, legal and ethical issues;
- Show understanding of the complexity of the health care system and contribute to positive transformation of health care in Ghana;
- Relate and respond sensitively to patients and the communities in which they live;
- Express the desire and potential to grow personally, socially and professionally;
- Enthusiastically pursue lifelong learning;
- Contribute to and enrich the PA profession, to make it a sought after profession in Ghana.