Physician Assistant

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What is a PA?

With a projected physician shortage by 2020, Physician Assistants will provide a critical role in meeting the primary care needs of an aging population in the United States. Physician Assistant is one of today's fastest growing health care professions.

Physician Assistants (PAs) are licensed to practice medicine with physician collaboration. Trained mainly in primary care, PAs conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery and may also write prescriptions. PAs practice in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology and surgery. They may also work in specialty fields such as cardiovascular surgery, orthopedics and emergency medicine. Find out more about the Physician Assistant Profession at the American Academy of Physician Assistant's web site.

The University of Detroit Mercy's PA Program offers two admission pathways for those interested in applying to the PA program.


Certification Rates

Detroit Mercy's College of Health Professions has been educating PAs since 1972. We offer diverse opportunities for clinical education taught by an experienced PA faculty.

Successful completion of the Detroit Mercy Physician Assistant program qualifies the graduate to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). Graduates who plan to practice in Michigan may find more information on licensure at Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, phone 517-241-0199, or email

University of Detroit Mercy has not made a determination of whether the PA curriculum meets the educational requirements in any State other than Michigan. Students are urged to contact the specific licensing board in the state in which they intend to practice in order to ensure they are in full compliance with the education, practice and certification requirements.

We have been continuously accredited since 1972 and our graduates have excellent national certification rates. You can view the current results by clicking below.

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    PANCE Pass Rates

    The Physician Assistant Program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA), holds membership in the Association of Physician Assistant Programs, and is host to a student chapter of the American Academy of Physician Assistants. Our graduates have excellent national certification pass rates. Click this link to view the PANCE Results Summary - Pass rates.

    Detroit Mercy's Physician Assistant Program has been educating PAs since 1972. Our graduates go on to work in all areas of medicine and many can be found in leadership position in most of the major health systems in the metro Detroit area. Several of our graduates have continued their education in selective post graduate residencies. See the FAQ page for more information.



    The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of Detroit Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Detroit Mercy.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards. 

    Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.  The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2029.  The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

    Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA)
    12000 Findley Road, Suite 150
    Johns Creek, GA 30097

    The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website.

    ARC-PA Student Attrition University of Detroit Mercy PA Program

    Our web address is




    Additional Resources

    PA Professional Organizations

    Job and Financial Aid Links

    • Medical Opportunities in Michigan (ACE MAPP Careers):
      MOM is a free service of the Michigan Health Council, a nonprofit organization established in 1943. MOM helps physician assistants connect with the Michigan communities and healthcare employers that need them.
    • MedCareers
      Online database of healthcare job opportunities and resumes.
    • Michigan State Loan Repayment Program
      The Michigan SLRP provides loan repayment assistance to medical, dental and mental health care professionals who are willing to provide full-time health care services in a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA) at a not-for-profit health clinic for two or more years.
    • Federal and state help to pay off students loans
      From, a free, multi-disciplinary, interactive health careers website.
    • The National Health Service Corps
      The National Health Service Corps (NHSC), through scholarship and loan repayment programs, helps Health Professional Shortage Areas in the U.S. get the medical, dental, and mental health providers they need to meet their tremendous need for health care.

    Academic Resources

    • Medscape
      Medical news and information, continuing education and conference coverage. From WebMD.
    • Prescribing Reference
      PA prescribing reference
    • 12 Lead EKGs
      Reading 12 lead EKGs
    • US National Library of Medicine
      U.S. National Library of Medicine The world's largest medical library and creator of MEDLINE/PubMed
    • HSTAT
      HSTAT is a free, Web-based resource of full-text documents that provide health information and support health care decision making. HSTAT's audience includes health care providers, health service researchers, policy makers, payers, consumers and the information professionals who serve these groups.
    • PubMed Central (PMC)
      PubMed Central (PMC) is the U.S. National Library of Medicine's digital archive of life sciences journal literature. Access to PMC is free and unrestricted.
    • Postgraduate Medicine
      Free access medical research and articles on medical topics.
    • Biomed Central
      The research articles in all journals published by BioMed Central are open access. They are immediately and permanently available online without charge.

    Other Professional Organizations

    Related Links

    Alumni eConnect

    eConnect is Detroit Mercy's online alumni update including news, events and activities through a web-based communication. This site contains the link to the College of Health Professions Healthy Times newsletter online, a periodic web-based newsletter from the University of Detroit Mercy College of Health Professions


    Goals, Objective and Outcomes

    The University of Detroit Mercy Physician Assistant Program developed its program goals as a reflection of the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Program in conjunction with the mission and vision statement of our College and University, as well as respect for the historical dedication to service of our founders. A complete list of program goals, objectives and outcomes can be found online: