In continuing its goal to provide affordable, innovative medical education, LECOM has introduced its new Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway (APAP) for the fall 2011 semester. The program makes it possible for certified physician assistants to attend medical school and complete their D.O. (doctor of osteopathic medicine) degrees in three years instead of four – saving them one year of time, tuition, fees, and living expenses.
LECOM decided to launch its APAP curriculum after hearing from certified physician assistants who expressed a desire to practice independently. Some said the cost of medical school and time away from clinical practice prevented them from pursuing their dreams. By accelerating the medical school program, LECOM will give certified physician assistants the opportunity to become physicians in three years. APAP is available only on the Erie and Seton Hill campuses.
“This is the only accelerated medical school curriculum specifically designed to help PAs meet their self-identified need for increased medical knowledge and practice autonomy,” said Mark Kauffman, D.O., M.S., Director of the Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway. “Their prior clinical experience and real world understanding of the practice of medicine allows for maturity and the opportunity to be leaders in their studies and among their peers.”
Six APAP students will attend classes in Erie and one will study on the Seton Hill campus. Taylen Peaden, a certified physician assistant from Gainesville, Fla., will attend medical school in Erie through the APAP program. “You work as a team in medicine, but I reached a point where I was ready to step to the head of the table and lead the team,” Peaden explained.
|Taylen Peaden, a certified physician assistant, is among seven LECOM students in the new Accelerated Physician Assistant Pathway.|
Peaden said LECOM’s progressive teaching style and the variety of learning pathways attracted him to LECOM. “The APAP program is appealing to a person in my position who has already committed to over six college years studying science and medicine and then practicing for six years,” he said. “Receiving credit for this experience, by shaving off some of the cost and time associated with becoming an osteopathic physician, is a wonderful opportunity.”