Master of Science in Physician Assistant
In your search for physician assistant programs, we invite you to consider South University, Tampa. Our physician assistant courses offer fundamental medical concepts and theories, provides students with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to function, with physician supervision, as medical professionals who will serve as valued members of the health care team. Physician assistants are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. With thousands of hours of medical training, PAs are versatile and collaborative. PAs practice in every state and in every medical setting and specialty, improving healthcare access and quality. Physician assistants perform medical functions that include, but are not limited to, evaluation, monitoring, diagnostics, therapeutics, counseling, and referral. The scope of the practice varies according to state laws, the medical setting, and the training of the physician assistant. In many states, physician assistants can prescribe and/or dispense medicine. The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program at South University, Tampa’s campus, is designed to provide students with effective learning opportunities that will prepare them to perform their expected competencies in an ethical, legal, safe, and effective manner upon graduation.
South University Physician Assistant Program graduates are eligible to pursue licensure in all 50 states across the U.S. once they have passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) developed by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). South University does not guarantee third-party certification/licensure. Outside agencies control the requirements for taking and passing certification/licensing exams and are subject to change without notice to South University.
Accreditation Review Commission on Education for Physician Assistant
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation Continued to the South University Physician Assistant Program, Tampa, Florida sponsored by South University, Tampa, Florida. Continued accreditation is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA standards. Continued 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 comprehensive review of the program by the ARC-PA will be March 2027. The program's accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at: http://www.arc-pa.org/accreditation-history-south-university-tampa/Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 275, Johns Creek, GA, 30097; Telephone: 770.476.1224
PANCE Certification and Attrition
Graduates of an accredited Physician Assistant program must pass the national Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) in order to acquire state licensure to practice. This exam is developed jointly by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The South University, Tampa Physician Assistant Studies program has a 93% aggregate pass rate from the inception of the program. Below are the percentage pass rates for the first-time test takers of the PANCE for the past five South University, Tampa Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPA) graduating classes.
Click the link below to view the pass rates of South University, Tampa students
To view the South University, Tampa MSPA program student attrition information, please click HERE.
Admissions Information and Requirements
Procedure for Admission to the Master in Science in Physician Assistant Program
Entrance to the Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) program is gained through a formal application review and on campus interview. Application to the program is made through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). Applicants must specifically designate the South University campus(es) to which their application should be submitted within the CASPA system.
A completed application must be submitted through CASPA. The application cycle for the January start will begin in April annually. The deadline for all application materials to be complete* in the CASPA application portal is August 1st, annually.
To apply for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant degree program at South University, Tampa, individuals must:
- Complete CASPA online Applications including submission of all transcripts and GRE scores.
- Official GRE scores for the General Test (verbal, quantitative, and written essay) are required to be electronically submitted to CASPA through ETS (Educational Testing Service) using the Tampa program GRE Code: 0454. Paper copies are not accepted.
*This is the date your application became complete and was placed in the verification queue. Your complete date is the day your final required item - a transcript, reference letter, payment, or e-submitted application - posted to your CASPA account.
**Please do not send transcripts directly to South University. Transcripts should be sent to CASPA.
Individuals whose applications are deemed competitive will be invited for a required interview. All programs utilize a rolling admissions process in which applicants are notified of their admission decision within 2 weeks after interviewing. Therefore, those who apply early in the admission cycle are more likely to be granted an interview than those who apply later. Each program concludes interviews for the admissions cycle upon filling all available seats. Not all qualified applicants will receive an interview.
Students who are offered a seat into the Master of Science in Physician Assistant program are only permitted to reserve a seat at one campus. Within 30 days of the student signing the acceptance form, it is the responsibility of the student to notify any other South University Physician Assistant program(s) of his/her intent to withdraw. Seat acceptance fees are non-transferable to other South University programs.
Note: Applicants should refer to the Physician Assistant Program policy on Acceptance Fee for more details.
Admission CriteriaSelection for the Master of Science in Physician Assistant program is highly competitive. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee an interview or admission. Successful applicants will generally exceed the minimum criteria. The following criteria represent the minimum conditions established for students interested in applying to the South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant degree program:
- Applicants must have an earned bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution.
- Applicants must have an overall GPA as calculated by the CASPA service of 3.0 or greater (on a 4.0 scale) (including undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and graduate coursework). Preference will be given to those with an overall GPA at or above 3.4.
- Applicants should have a Biology-Chemistry-Physics (BCP) science GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) as calculated by the CASPA service. Preference will be given to those with a prerequisite (BCP) GPA at or above 3.0.
- Applicants must submit scores from the GRE general exam directly to the CASPA service using the South University PA program code 0454. Preference will be given to those with GRE scores (Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning) at the 50th percentile or above.
- At least three letters of reference on the CASPA application must be submitted
- At least one reference on the CASPA application must be from a physician (MD/DO), Physician Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner with whom the applicant has worked or shadowed and to whom the applicant is not related. Impressive, well- articulated, and unequivocal letters attesting to the applicant’s motivation, communication and interpersonal skills, professionalism, and future contribution towards health care are considered competitive. Preference is granted to applicants with letter(s) from a PA.
Clarification of MSPA Program Admission Policies Due to COVID-19
The South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant (MSPA) programs recognize the unique challenges faced by students and academic institutions during the COVID-19 pandemic. South University will continue to accept prerequisite courses, including lab work, completed online or on campus from any regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.
Due to the awarding of “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” or “Pass/Fail” grading for courses completed in the Spring, Summer, and Fall 2020 terms (or comparable terms at institutions with a quarter system) during the COVID-19 pandemic the South University PA program is providing clarification of its admission policies based on these grading scale changes.
• The South University MSPA programs will accept “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” or “Pass/Fail” grades for courses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as submitted through CASPA.
• This allowance applies to the 2021-2022 CASPA application cycle. Applicants are advised to visit the CASPA Applicant Help Center for more information regarding effects of non-letter grades on CASPA-calculated GPAs.
• When possible, the South University MSPA Program admissions committee recommends students elect to receive letter grades for these courses if the option is available.
• The South University MSPA programs will continue to require GRE scores at the time of CASPA application submission.
Students with concerns regarding how “Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory” or “Pass/Fail” grades in courses taken during the Spring, Summer, or Fall 2020 terms have affected their CASPA-calculated GPA may apply for an additional GPA review through the MSPA Admissions Committee.
The South University MSPA programs will revisit this policy and make additional changes if necessary in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students must complete all prerequisite courses listed below with a grade of C or better at a regionally accredited U.S. college or university prior to submission of his/her application.
- Human Anatomy (1 course) and lab
- Human Physiology (1 course) and lab
- General Biology (2 courses)
- General Chemistry (2 courses) and labs
- Microbiology (1 course) and lab
- Biochemistry (1 course)-or-Organic Chemistry (1 course) and lab
Prerequisite coursework which is obtained from a four-year college or university and which is designed for science majors is considered more competitive.
In general, prerequisite coursework with titles that include "Essentials of," "Survey of," or "Introductory to," unless specifically designed for science majors, are considered less competitive.
Human Anatomy and Physiology may be taken as standalone courses or as part of a sequence. In the event that the courses are taken as part of a sequence, only a completed sequence of Human Anatomy and Physiology I and II will be accepted.
Basic science courses should be those for science majors. Microbiology courses must be 200/2000-level courses or higher. The General Biology and Biochemistry courses are recommended to include a lab, but it is not required.
Only courses (excluding General Biology and Biochemistry) with an associated lab will be given credit for fulfilling prerequisite requirements. In the event that a laboratory is not offered with a prerequisite course, applicants may request the lab requirement for that course be waived by contacting the program. Lab waivers and/or course substitutions are granted at the discretion of the Admissions Committee. Applicants requesting such should be prepared to submit supporting documents, including, but not limited to, course descriptions.
The South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant program accepts credit for Advanced Placement (AP) courses. AP courses taken and successfully completed will be counted as one course credit towards completion of the respective prerequisite subject. Grades earned in AP courses are not used in the calculation of the applicant's overall or prerequisite GPA.
The South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant program does not accept College Level Examination Program (CLEP) credit for any prerequisite requirements.
South University Physician Assistant programs do not accept a transfer of credits from other physician assistant programs or provide enrolled students with a waiver of credit (i.e., advanced placement) for any component of the required curricular coursework. All students must complete each course in the South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant curriculum.
Clinical experiences should provide the applicant with a knowledge of and orientation to the presentation, signs, and symptoms of a variety of ill or injured patients. Preference is given to applicants with clinical experience that includes direct patient care. However, there is no requirement for a predetermined number of hours (or months) of health care experience to be earned by an applicant.
Admissions Committee Selection Factors
Applicants for admission are considered and ranked using multiple factors. Applicants are awarded preference points based upon the following selection factors:
Academic achievement (overall GPA, BCP, GRE).
- Preference will be given to those with GRE scores (Quantitative and Verbal Reasoning) at the 50th percentile or above.
- Preference will be given to those with an overall GPA at or above 3.3.
- Preference will be given to those with a prerequisite (BCP) GPA at or above 3.15.
Quality of letters of reference.
- References from Physician Assistants (PAs) are preferred.
- Letters from personal acquaintances are discouraged.
Quality hands-on patient care.
- Preference is given to applicants with clinical experience that requires direct patient care, such as: Physical Therapist, Respiratory Therapist, EMT/Paramedic, Nurse, or Certified Nursing Assistant.
Prerequisite coursework which is obtained from a four-year college or university and which is designed for science majors.
PA mentorship/shadowing experiences.
Community service hours.
Evidence of an applicant’s interpersonal skills, problem-solving ability, professionalism, motivation, academic potential, communication, knowledge of the PA profession and the health care system with an alignment to the mission and vision of the program are assessed by the Admissions Committee. The Physician Assistant Program adheres to the South University Non-discrimination policy.
Accepted applicants will be required to complete the following items in order to obtain approval for matriculation in January:
- Satisfactory Criminal Background and Drug Screen Report
- Health /Immunization Requirements
- Health Insurance Documentation
- Baccalaureate Diploma Verification
- American Heart Association (AHA) Approved Basic Life Support (BLS) Certification
- FAFSA application (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) submission for those applying for financial aid
There is a non-refundable $1000 acceptance fee for those applicants accepted into the Physician Assistant programs at South University, Tampa. Acceptance fees are applied towards tuition.
If you have questions in regards to the Application Process, please contact the Tampa Physician Assistant program office by calling 813-393-3720 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please click HERE for information on our Physician Assistant program and effectiveness in achieving program goals.
The following are program goals for the South University, Tampa Master of Science in Physician Assistant program:
- The program will recruit a highly qualified, diverse student cohort that will foster success in the program.
- The program will strive to adequately prepare graduating students to achieve a first-time pass rate that exceeds the national average upon completion of the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE).
- The program will provide students service learning opportunities that allow them to use their skills and education to demonstrate compassion and commitment to the community.
(Note: Requirements for NCCPA Certification are determined by the NCCPA and are subject to change without notification to South University. Graduation from the South University, Tampa Physician Assistant program does not guarantee certification or employment.)
Tuition and FeesEstimated Tuition for the MSPA Degree
Per quarter: $10,000.00
Required Fees for the MSPA Degree
Acceptance Fee: $1000.00
(Non-refundable/Applied to Tuition)
Graduation Fee: $125.00
AAPA Student Membership Fee: $75.00
State Association Fees: $60.00
Other Estimated Costs for the MSPA Degree
Professional Instruments: $1,100.00 (Approximate)
Digital Textbooks: $2,610.00 ($15 per credit)
Technology Fee: $2,610.00 ($15 per credit)
Surgical Scrubs: $55.00 (Approximate)
Laptop Computer and privacy screen: $1,500.00 (Approximate)
Background Checks: approximately $200-$400 (Additional fees may apply to the base package fee contingent upon credentialing requirements of the clinical site)
Estimated Total for the MSPA Degree
Tuition and Fees: $98,535.00
Tuition and fees are subject to change. The tuition for in-state and out-of-state residents is the same. Acceptance fee is non-refundable and upon acceptance is applied toward the student’s tuition. If a student decides not to attend after accepting, the fee will not be refunded.
All students are required to have a laptop computer with wireless internet access for use in the multimedia classroom. Purchase of these items is not recommended prior to acceptance into the program because of these very specific requirements.
Payment of Tuition and Fees
All charges are due and payable on or before the registration date for each quarter. Circumstances which prevent a student from adhering to these dates should be discussed with the financial aid office. Students attending school under grants and/or loans should confer with the financial aid office concerning payment of fees. South University will not impose any penalty or late fees, deny access to classes, libraries, or other campus facilities, or require a covered individual to borrow additional funds due to delayed payments from the VA under Chapter 31 or 33. Failure to make proper payments, unless otherwise cleared with the financial aid office, will result in dismissal from the university. Grades will not be issued, degrees granted, or academic transcripts furnished until all financial obligations have been satisfied and all university property returned. For refund policies, please see the academic catalog HERE.
Policies and procedures for student withdrawal, refunds of tuition and fees, policies that limit or prevent students from working during the program and policies and procedures for processing student grievances can be found in the
Due to the rigorous nature of the Physician Assistant program, employment during a student's course of training is strongly discouraged.
Employment must never interfere with academic or clinical assignments.
At no time is a South University Physician Assistant student allowed to or required to work for the South University Physician Assistant program or program clinical sites.
South University Student Handbook
For the Physician Assistant (MS) Program Student Handbook please click HERE. All Physician Assistant program policies apply to all students, principal faculty, and the program director regardless of location, i.e., didactic and clinical settings.
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Physician Assistant at South University
South University is committed to creating career opportunities for our students, so we provide the relevant coursework for you to meet your career goals in a position as a Physician Assistant as well as the ethical and legal competencies and effective communication skills that are integral for this profession. In addition, we instill the value of continued education in our students so you can continue to create more opportunities for success in your career.
Mission & Vision
Physician Assistant Program
The South University Physician Assistant (MSPA) exists to educate a diverse student population as providers of high-quality, cost-efficient health care who will make a positive impact while practicing the art and science of medicine with physician collaboration.
The South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant (PA) degree program strives to provide educational experiences where faculty, staff, clinical instructors, students, and other health care providers work together in an atmosphere of mutual respect, cooperation, and commitment. The program’s primary focus is on the development of physician assistants capable of expanding into clinical leadership roles by demonstrating proficiency in critical thinking and creative problem solving, utilizing evidence-based skills gained through innovative approaches.
In order to ensure that patients receive the best medical care possible, the faculty of the South University Physician Assistant program has identified certain skills and professional behaviors that are essential for successful progression of physician assistant students in the program. A student must possess skills and behaviors at a level of capability to perform a variety of duties required of a physician assistant as a health care professional.
Students with disabilities who can perform these skills and successfully execute professional behavior either unassisted, with dependable use of assistive devices, or by employing other reasonable accommodations are eligible to apply for enrollment in the program. Minimum performance standards include critical thinking, communication skills, observation skills, motor skills, and interpersonal abilities. Interested parties may contact the Physician Assistant program office for additional information about South University performance standards. These skills and behaviors include, but are not limited to;
Critical Thinking: A student must possess the intellectual, ethical, physical and emotional capabilities required to undertake the full curriculum and to achieve the levels of competence required by the faculty. The ability to solve problems, a skill that is critical to the practice of medicine, requires the intellectual abilities of measurement, calculation, reasoning, analysis and synthesis. Students must be able to perform demonstrations and experiments in the basic sciences.
Communication Skills: A student should also be able to speak, to hear, and to observe patients in order to elicit information, describe changes in mood, activity and posture, and to perceive nonverbal communications. The student must be able to communicate effectively and efficiently in oral and written forms.
Observation Skills: The student must be able to observe a patient accurately, both at a distance and in close proximity. This ability requires the functional use of vision and somatic sensation.
Motor Skills: A student should have sufficient motor function to elicit information from patients by palpation, auscultation, percussion and other diagnostic techniques. A student should be able to execute movements reasonably required to move from area to area, maneuver in small spaces, calibrate and use large and small equipment, position and move patients, and provide patients with general care and emergency treatment.
Interpersonal Abilities: A student for the Physician Assistant program must possess the emotional health required for full utilization of his or her intellectual abilities, the exercise of good judgment, the prompt completion of all responsibilities required for the diagnosis and care of patients and the development of professionalism through mature, sensitive, and effective relationships with patients, families, and colleagues.
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program at Tampa
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program Faculty
Thomas J. Williams, MHP, PA-C
Program Director, Assistant Professor
Mr. Williams has been Program Director at South University, Tampa since 2016. A native of New England, he graduated from Colby College in 1983 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology and French. After graduating from the Northeastern University Physician Assistant Program in 1986, he practiced in a variety of internal medicine fields: neurology and head injury, nephrology/dialysis, pulmonary medicine, oncology and cardiology. In 1994, Mr. Williams joined the faculty of his alma mater as Educational Coordinator of physician assistant didactic studies. While at NU, he also was involved in the education of athletic trainers during their junior year.
In 2009, he moved from Boston to assist in the development of the South University, Tampa program as the Academic Director. Since entering academia, he has taught a multitude of topics including medical interviewing skills, physical exam techniques, EKG interpretation, and clinical medicine in nearly every system of the body.
Mr. Williams previously served as a board member and secretary for the Massachusetts Board of Physician Assistants for nearly a decade. He has been a clinical preceptor for nearly 30 years. He has given lectures at the state and national level and for many student groups interested in the profession. A former director of rehabilitation, his interests in medicine include medical and physical rehabilitation.
Karen Wilcox, MMS, PA-C
Assistant Program Director, Assistant Professor
Ms. Wilcox has lived and worked in the Tampa Bay area for the past 14 years. Originally from New York, she received her Bachelor of Science degree from Loyola College in Maryland in 2002. She graduated from Nova Southeastern University-Fort Lauderdale in 2005 with both a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and a Master of Medical Science degree. Upon graduation, she began her clinical career in family practice/urgent care and quickly developed a passion for wellness and prevention. Ms. Wilcox worked for 3 years in integrative medicine before joining South University, in 2011, at first, as an adjunct professor, and in 2016 as full-time faculty. Her teaching/academic interests include otolaryngology, endocrinology, and women’s health. She continues to practice clinically in urgent care.
Ms. Wilcox is an active member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), and the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). She lives in Tampa with her husband and three boys.
Diane Butler, MCMS, PA-C
Director of Didactic Education, Assistant Professor
Ms. Butler recently joined the South University, Tampa Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program after relocating to the Tampa Bay area in 2020. Originally from South Carolina, she attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in biology. In 2006, she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master’s degree in Clinical Medical Sciences from Barry University’s Physician Assistant Program. She has spent the majority of her career as a Physician Assistant practicing in Orthopedic Surgery, most recently as the Lead Advanced Practice Provider at Emory Healthcare’s Orthopedic and Spine Center in Atlanta, GA where she worked for nearly 10 years.
She has a passion for teaching and has been involved with educating Physician Assistant and Nurse Practitioner students for several years, serving as both a preceptor and an Adjunct Instructor. Her academic areas of interest are orthopedics, pediatrics and women’s health. She is an active member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA), and the Georgia Association of Physician Assistants (GAPA). In her free time she enjoys playing tennis, listening to music, traveling and spending time with her husband and 2 sons.
Scott French, MPAS, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor
Mr. French has been Director of Clinical Education at South University, Tampa for the past 7 years. He graduated from Nova Southeastern University with a Bachelor of Science in Physician Assistant Studies in 1999. He later attended University of Nebraska, received a Master of Physician Assistant Studies in 2001, and then completed a post-graduate certification program at Duke University in Occupational and Environmental Medicine in 2002. Mr. French went on to practice family and pediatric medicine in the Tampa area. He started his own practice in family and pediatric medicine in Wimauma, FL in 2005, treating socioeconomically disadvantaged and indigent patients.
Working over 20 years in medicine, Mr. French cumulatively has been a preceptor for thousands of PA students from various programs across the country. Showing his passion for educating the next generation of PAs, he teaches basic medical skills and advocates for the profession at various local middle and high schools.
Mr. French is a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and Army Reserves from 1990-2012. He deployed for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 1990 and Operation Noble Eagle in 2001. During his deployments, he had experience in drug interdictions, sea rescues, humanitarian aid operations in foreign countries, and in the treatment of many combat wounds. He brings these skills and experiences to the classroom in teaching family practice medicine, orthopedics, pediatrics, and physical assessment techniques.
LaBree Hans, MSPAP, PA-C
Director of Admissions, Assistant Professor
Ms. Hans, although originally from Illinois, grew up in the Tampa Bay area. She earned a Bachelor of Science at University of South Florida. In 2005, she completed her Masters of Science in Physician Assistant Practice from Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science in Chicago. LaBree has over 14 years of clinical experience in emergency medicine. During this time, she discovered a passion for wilderness and travel medicine, becoming certified in Advance Wilderness Life Support. She has practiced wilderness medicine at a bush clinic in Kenya.
In 2010, she joined the faculty of South University, Tampa as an assistant professor teaching on such topics as emergency medicine, clinical procedures, ethics, radiology, dermatology and rheumatology. She became the Director of Admission for the program in 2013. She continues to practice clinically in emergency medicine at one of the trauma centers in Tampa.
Ms. Hans is an active member of the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants (FAPA), the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA), the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA), and the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS).
She lives in Tampa with her husband and white terrier. She enjoys hobbies such as hiking and travel.
Amy Nichols, MMS, PA-C
Ms. Nichols joined the South University, Tampa Master of Science in Physician Assistant program in February 2017, after spending eight years in clinical practice as a physician assistant in internal medicine. She earned a Master of Medical Science degree in 2008 from Nova Southeastern University, and transitioned into academia in 2017 with the passion to teach and share knowledge gained from clinical practice.
Ms. Nichols graduated from the University of Pittsburgh magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science. She was a four-year letter winner on the swimming team, and served as captain in her last two years of college.
At South University, she lectures in a number of courses including: Physical Diagnosis and Labs, Clinical Medicine and Pharmacotherapeutics and Labs, Behavioral Medicine, and Medical Interviewing and Documentation. She also schedules and coordinates lectures for the students returning from their clinical rotations, and enjoys preparing them for their transition to practice. In addition, she is a Fellow member of both the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
Ms. Nichols resides in Tampa with her husband and two children. They enjoy spending time outdoors and all water-related activities.
Jennifer Pantaleo, MPAS, PA-C
Ms. Pantaleo joined South University as an Assistant Professor in 2016. Since that time, she has been active in both didactic and clinical education within the program. As a graduate of the South University, Tampa Master of Science in Physician Assistant program class of 2014, Ms. Pantaleo brings more than 5 years of clinical experience specializing in family practice and urgent care. She has a strong interest in preventative medicine and the management of diabetes mellitus.
Prior to practicing as a Physician Assistant, Ms. Pantaleo obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences with a Minor in Public Health from the University of South Florida in 2011. She is a current member of the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants. In addition to her regular teaching duties, Ms. Pantaleo has lectured at the state level for the Florida Academy of Physician Assistants and has served as the Student Faculty Liaison for the program. She is also passionate about speaking to local pre-PA organizations in the Tampa Bay area and serving as a preceptor for pre-PA and PA students on her clinical days.
Elliot E. Cazes, MD
Dr. Cazes has been the Medical Director of the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Program at South University since July 2018. He is originally from the Northeast, having grown up in the Trenton, NJ area. He completed his undergraduate work at the University of Connecticut, graduating with a Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology. He then attended Georgetown University, completing research and a Master’s degree in Physiology. Dr. Cazes graduated from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and spent an additional 4 years completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology. After completing his residency in 1995, Dr. Cazes moved to Tampa where he entered into private practice in Ob/Gyn. He has been in private practice for 25 years. Dr. Cazes lives in Tampa, with his wife. He has four grown children scattered throughout the U.S.
Since early in his medical career, Dr. Cazes has had a passion for teaching. Over the years, he has taught Students from several different universities in the area. He has been involved with the education of South University students for the past several years. In addition to serving as a preceptor during clinical rotations, he also gives didactic lectures throughout the year, and he is involved in the PA program admissions process.
Dr. Cazes also spends time lecturing throughout the U.S. on a variety of topics, including breast cancer, hereditary cancer screening, endometriosis and pelvic pain, and menopause. He remains involved with several different clinical trials at his practice site.
Physician Assistant Program Staff
Ms. Nelson joined South University, Tampa Physician Assistant Program in March 2011. She began her tenure assisting with the admissions review process and data collection. Her role has since evolved into the oversight of logistics of the program with a focus on projects and clinical administrative support. Ms. Nelson has also assisted with the coordination of several successful accreditation visits for the program.
As the clinical support staff, she facilitates affiliation agreement acquisition and maintains student records. She is the liaison for the department and the clinical site administrators. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two sons.
Amanda M. Davis
Ms. Davis worked as a medical assistant in pediatrics for over six years before joining the South University, Tampa Physician Assistant Program team in July 2018. She assists with the admission review, data collection, and as overall liaison for the program. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends and creating crafts on her circuit machine.
The clinical phase is 12 months in length. Eight five-week clinical rotations are conducted at a variety of clinical sites. Students will gain clinical exposure in the following disciplines: Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Women's Health, Behavioral Medicine, Emergency Medicine and the Clinical Elective.
Clinical sites are recruited by the Program’s Clinical Department and personnel from the Area Health Education Center (AHEC). Sites offer the students the wide variety of clinical experiences for that specific clinical rotation (course) and service delivery system. Students are not required to supply their own clinical sites or preceptors for clinical rotations. Sites for rotations will be determined by the department. Alternate rotation sites may be provided by the student to the Clinical Department personnel. Clinical Department personnel will evaluate sites suggested by students for viability as a clinical rotation site. In order to qualify for rotations outside of South University sites, or in student suggested sites, a student must demonstrate successful academic, clinical, and professional progress in the program.The South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant program immunization policy is aligned with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations for health professionals. After acceptance into the program, but before registration can be successfully completed, all students must complete the South University Health Requirements. Be aware that additional immunizations may be required by some clinical training sites and are the students’ responsibility. If students choose not to be vaccinated, they will not be allowed to rotate at clinical sites that require immunizations unless expressly permitted in writing to the program by the appropriate personnel at that site. If any of the core (required) rotations cannot be completed because the student voluntarily chose not to be vaccinated as required by the clinical rotation site, the student will not be eligible for graduation from the Physician Assistant program. In addition, if the number of clinical sites available to students who have not been vaccinated does not meet graduation requirements, those students will not be eligible for graduation from the Master of Science in Physician Assistant program.
Physicians, physician assistants, and other health care providers serve as preceptors for clinical students in direct patient care, providing the opportunity for the student to perfect technical and procedural skills, and to become competent in communication, physical diagnosis, succinct recording and reporting, problem assessment, and development of a logical approach to further studies and therapy.Our students rotate in busy clinics, private physician offices, teaching hospitals, large institutions, and military hospitals and clinics. Rotations exist both in small towns and metropolitan cities. Our students are offered a wide variety of experiences and locations for their clinical rotations that are designed to round out the application of knowledge and skills to actual patient care.No text in field]
The following are the program learning outcomes (Graduate Competencies) for the South University Master of Science in Physician Assistant program. Prior to graduation from the program, students will:
- PLO-1. Integrate behavioral, social, and medical knowledge established from the evolving biomedical and clinical sciences in recognizing, evaluating, and managing patient disease states across the lifespan during acute, chronic, preventative, and emergent encounters.
- PLO-2. Demonstrate the interpersonal and communication skills required to sustain effective, multi-directional information exchange within a diverse population of patients, their caregivers, and members of the healthcare team.
- PLO-3. Demonstrate the ability to elicit an accurate patient history, perform an appropriate physical examination, and perform appropriate clinical procedures using essential clinical and technical skills to provide quality patient care.
- PLO-4. Collaborate effectively as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team through clinical reasoning and problem-solving skills to formulate a logical differential diagnosis, select and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies, and synthesize a comprehensive, patient-centered management plan for the promotion of wellness and disease prevention.
- PLO-5. Demonstrate the ability to interpret and integrate an evidence-based approach to clinical and professional practice through clinical reasoning, problem- solving, and decision-making processes to improve patient care practices.
- PLO-6. Demonstrate professionalism through personal behaviors, sensitivity, and accountability essential to patients, society, and the profession.
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