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St. George Physician Assistant program receives accreditation

By Hanna Pollock

Students wanting to stay in St. George to pursue their health sciences educational goals now have the opportunity to do so, as the University of Utah has been approved by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant to offer its Physician Assistant Program on the Dixie State University campus.

Thanks to the Accreditation Review Commission approving the U of U to establish a distant campus in St. George, the first cohort of 16 students will begin their graduate training in May. A collaboration between the U of U School of Medicine and Dixie State, the program will be housed in DSU’s Russell C. Taylor Health Sciences Center, located on the campus of Dixie Regional Medical Center.

The Physician Assistant Program prepares students to examine patients, diagnose injuries and illnesses, and provide treatment collaboratively with their supervising physicians. For the first 15 months of the 27-month program, students will be taught primarily in a classroom setting.

The universities are working with Dixie Regional Medical Center and other regional providers to allow students to work with physicians in the community during their second year of the program for their clinical training. This community involvement will help students branch out, network and get real-world experience while enjoying the beauty of Washington County.