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School of Medicine Columbia

Our Program

The PA program at the USC School of Medicine Columbia is a program that while young--founded in 2017 with an inaugural class of 20 students--plays an integral role in providing healthcare to the state of South Carolina.

Our Mission

To educate and train competent, compassionate, and collaborative PAs to deliver patient centered care as part of an interprofessional team.

Our Vision

To increase accessibility to quality primary medical care for the citizens of rural and underserved areas of South Carolina and the nation​.

Our Path Forward

  1. Enroll diverse and highly qualified students who reflect the dynamic population of South Carolina and the nation.
  2.  Encourage professional involvement and interprofessional collaboration.
  3. Maintain a level of first-time PANCE pass rates that meets or exceeds the national average.
  4. Train graduates to practice evidence-based medicine and patient-centered care.

View and download the full version of the Physician Assistant Program Goals and Outcomes.

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia Physician Assistant Program sponsored by University of South Carolina School of Medicine-Columbia.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards

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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be June 2031. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy. 

The program’s accreditation history can be viewed on the ARC-PA website at

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Our Competencies

Students of the USC Physician Assistant Program will build their knowledge and skills throughout their didactic, clinical, and summative training to achieve the following program competencies:

  1. Demonstrate the knowledge to evaluate and manage common medical, surgical and behavioral problems in patients across the lifespan in a variety of healthcare settings. 
  2. Utilizing and interpreting appropriate diagnostic and laboratory studies, formulate a treatment plan to include pharmacologic therapy and patient education. 
  1. Communicate and interact effectively with patients, families and members of the interprofessional team across a broad range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.
  2. Elicit an appropriate medical history and accurately document in the medical record.
  1. Apply an understanding of indications, contraindications, techniques, risks and benefits of common medical procedures.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to perform a detailed physical exam relevant to the medical history.
  1. Demonstrate professional behavior in congruence with the AAPA ethical code of conduct.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to search, interpret and evaluate medical literature in application to professional development and patient care.
  1. Applying clinical acumen and medical decision-making skills, create and refine the differential diagnosis to determine the most likely diagnosis.
  2. Develop a patient- centered management plan with consideration to socioeconomic status in an effort to increase access to care and patient compliance.

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You can keep up with our program's growth on Facebook and Twitter.

Licensure Information

Each state has its own individual licensing boards along with their own Physician Assistant licensure requirements. The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Columbia.  Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.   Graduates are eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and apply for professional licensure in the state of South Carolina. However, we cannot confirm that the program meets the requirements for professional licensure in other states. Students living outside of South Carolina should click here for information regarding state licensure specific to individual states throughout the United States.

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