Physician Assitants

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What is a Physician Assistant?


A physician assistant is a licenced medical professional who works under the supervision of a physician as part of a team. However, supervision does not mean that a physician is always physically present with the PA or direct every aspect their practice. This team model is an efficient way to provide high-quality medical care to more patients. In rural areas, the PA may be the only healthcare provider on-site, collaborating with a physician elsewhere through telecommunication.


PAs share similar diagnostic reasoning as a physician because the PA program is modeled on the medical school curriculum, a combination of classroom and clinical instruction. PA school is rigorous and intense. The average length of a PA program is 27 months.


Licenced PAs participate in lifelong learning. In order to maintain national certification, a PA must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education every two years.


Today, approximately 92,000 certified PAs practice medicine across the U.S. in almost every area of medicine, improving access to care for patients while providing invaluable support to their supervising physicians.

UNM Pre-PA Club

The Pre-PA Club was formed when a group of UNM students noticed insufficient peer resources for students interested in pursuing a career as a PA. Based off of this observation, they created the University of New Mexico's first "Pre-Physician Assistant Club" for undergraduate students.


Their goal is to create a welcoming environment for members, educate them on the role of PAs in health care, and provide informative support in the pursuit of their goals. The club works closely with UNM's 1st and 2nd year PA students and encourages all members to study hard for classes, obtain direct patient care, shadow PAs, prepare for the GRE, and support each other.

The group meets bi-weekly throughout the semester, Monday evenings at 7pm.

To get in touch with them, email

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“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

― Mahatma Gandhi

PA Schools in NM


There are two schools offering PA studies in New Mexico. Please visit each institution's website for more information about each program.

University of St. Francis

USF offers a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at its  Albuquerque campus which is dedicated to the health care fields.


The University of New Mexico

The Physician Assistant Program at UNM offers a Master of Science and is administered within the Department of Family & Community Medicine. Student instruction is provided by the physician assistant faculty as well as by integrative instruction with the School of Medicine.

Other PA Schools