A recent news brief from the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, brought to light the fact that the Physician Assistant profession “was created over 50 years ago to help address health care needs during a time of unprecedented demand”. The profession continues to do its part, as seen with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MSU PA Program provides the skill sets necessary so that our current PA students and alumni can continue the tradition of meeting the ever-changing healthcare needs of not just our local communities but the nation as well. Examples of this are reflected in recent didactic year students vaccination efforts on campus, local alumni who participated on MSU’s on-campus mega-clinic event, alumni who traveled to New York City during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and another alumni who provided a narration of her experience while in New York City during the same crisis.
The MSU PA Program recently took the lead on campus by formally announcing to our first- and second-year PA students the expectation that they must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Not only for obvious personal health reasons, but also because of their duty of care and the basic principles of medical ethics, particularly beneficence and non-maleficence. This duty of care and medical ethics are reiterated in the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the PA Profession, as published by the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
We welcome ideas from our clinical preceptors and partnering healthcare systems on how to better prepare students to help manage not only this current pandemic but future medical crisis as well. If you have ideas, feel free to contact the PA Program Director, Dr. Roberto Canales at Robertocanales@missouristate.edu.