SMITHFIELD, R.I. — Bryant University’s sixth Physician Assistant (PA) Class of 2022 will graduate and take the Physician Assistant Oath on Saturday, March 26. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in Bryant’s Stepan Grand Hall in the Bello Center for Information and Technology.
Forty-seven distinguished graduates will earn a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS). They were selected from pool of more than over 600 applicants to enroll in the rigorous 27-month program, which was made even more challenging as their cohort began in January 2020 and continued studies during the coronavirus pandemic.
“The entire community is very proud of the contributions made by this class and of their unwavering dedication to the healthcare field which has continued throughout the pandemic.”
Cardiothoracic surgeon Arun Singh, M.D., will receive an honorary doctorate of Humane Letters and give the Commencement address. Dr. Singh began practicing at Rhode Island hospital almost 50 years ago and helped to build a nationally recognized cardiac surgery program there. He has authored, edited, and co-edited many books including “Your Heart, My Hands,” which chronicles his life, from his childhood in India to his career and interaction with his patients. Singh performed more than 15,000 heart surgeries and 5,000 related procedures before retiring from active surgery in 2016. Prior to retirement, he was a Professor of Surgery at Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School from 1991-2016, now Emeritus, and has been an adjunct professor at Bryant University’s Physician Assistant program since 2016.
Dr. Singh has received numerous awards including the “Hero at Heart” award from The American Heart Association and the lifetime achievement designation from Rhode Island Hospital. He was inducted into the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame in 2017 and was named “Top Doc” for 20 consecutive years by Rhode Island Monthly magazine.
“What this cohort was able to accomplish was truly a first. They have risen above the demands placed on them at a time when many people around us withered under circumstances that were far less challenging.”
“Bryant’s program has provided our students some of the best facilities, classroom educational experiences, and clinical experiences in the New England region and nation,” said Bryant President Ross Gittell. “The entire Bryant community is very proud of the contributions made by this class and of their unwavering dedication to the healthcare field which has continued throughout the pandemic.”
Bryant University’s Physician Assistant program, launched in 2014, was the first in the state to be fully accredited in 2018. Since then, 245 Bryant-trained physician assistants have completed the program and are helping to meet the critical need for providers who can care for individuals and create greater efficiencies in the health care system that will benefit all.
Christopher Furbee, Ph.D. DSc, PA-C, Interim PA Program Director, who has been with the program since its inception, described the accomplishments of this class as “unprecedented.” “What this cohort was able to accomplish was truly a first. They have risen above the demands placed on them at a time when many people around us withered under circumstances that were far less challenging.”
Class of 2022 graduates completed 12 months of didactic study in the classroom (2000 hours) and countless hours of study outside the classroom. During their 15 months of clinical rotations – 126 semester hours in total – they provided outstanding care to thousands of patients with over an average of 6,100 hours of healthcare experience at matriculation. They hail from 13 states from Maine to California and more than half of the graduates have pending job offers or have already accepted positions around the country including Texas, Colorado, and Arizona. One graduate has received an Air Force commission.
Increasing demand, valued partnerships with some of the country’s best health care organizations, including Brown University’s Warren Alpert Medical School, and outstanding students, alumni, and staff contributing in their communities, are just a few of the ways Bryant's program is making a difference for individuals and organizations.
How Bryant’s PA program benefits students and communities:
State of the art educational tools and a hands-on approach to learning that features a simulation center solidifying didactic coursework (more than 10 hours a week,1900-plus total). Small group activities with dedicated clinicians providing real-world examples of patient care.
World-class teaching, from gross anatomy at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, to didactic education from 174-plus adjuncts who are experts in their fields. A core faculty with a passion for educating PAs.
Service to the underserved and early clinical encounters in the Rhode Island Free Clinic and our own student-run free diabetes clinic. This is further enhanced by our overseas rotation in American Samoa.'
Community and professional involvement with local, state, and national organizations supporting patients and enhancing the PA Profession.
The integration of health care and business education, a critical component of Bryant’s PA program, provides skills and best practices that enable graduates to create successful practices that can better serve community health care needs.
Exceptional results: pass rates (100 percent), job placement (94 percent within three months), and salaries (average starting salary $102K).
For more information about Bryant’s Physician Assistant program, visit gradschool.bryant.edu.
ABOUT BRYANT UNIVERSITY:
For nearly 160 years, Bryant University has been at the forefront of delivering an exceptional education that anticipates the future and prepares students to be innovative leaders of character in a changing world. The University delivers a uniquely integrated academic and student life experience with nationally recognized academic programs at the intersection of business, STEM and the liberal arts. Located on a 428-acre contemporary campus in Smithfield, R.I., Bryant enrolls approximately 3,800 undergraduate and graduate students from 38 states and 49 countries. Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, Money, Bloomberg Businessweek, Wall Street Journal, College Factual, and Barron's. Visit https://www.bryant.edu/.