Mount St. Joseph University

Physician Assistant Program Equipped with New Technology

Physician Assistant Studies, Physician Assistant, School of Health Sciences, Department of Physician Assistant Studies

By: Amanda Gratsch

File Under: physician assistant studies

The Mount’s Physician Assistant (PA) program introduces new state-of-the-art technology to enhance student learning by providing high-quality classroom instruction.

One of the new pieces of technology is the AnatomageTM, a virtual anatomy program that allows students to learn human anatomy through virtual dissection on an interactive table.  The program features virtual "cadavers,” both male, female that can be rotated to look at different angles or cut in half to look at an axial, sagittal or coronal view.

 “This gives students an appreciation for the location of structures in a true three dimensional perspective,” says Patrick Cafferty, MPAS, PA-C, Program Director and Chair of Physician Assistant Studies. “Think of this as a 6 foot iPad.”

When using the program, student dissection, if done incorrectly, can be "undone" and the student can repeat the dissection procedure.  On a traditional cadaver, once the tissue has been cut or removed, there is little room for error or re-dos. In addition, the Anatomage table is portable, so it can be used in multiple classroom settings.  The table has HDMI and UBS ports that allow faculty to project the images onto other screens or incorporate into presentations. There are also radiographic images that allow a student to compare "gross" anatomy to radiographic anatomy. (See demonstration video below).

Many different programs, both undergraduate and graduate, will benefit from this new technology. Programs throughout the School of Health Sciences, and various programs including biology in the School of Behavioral and Natural Sciences will also utilize AnatomageTM in their teaching and learning experiences. 

“The combination of state-of-the-art technology in a smaller class size will allow the faculty to work closely with students to assure they receive a great education,” says Cafferty. 

Another piece of new technology, the Simulation iQTM program from Education Management Solutions, is an online suite of products for simulations in healthcare training.  The products allow for the creation of scenarios or cases where a student is given information about a patient situation and engages the standardized patient to simulate a real-life medical encounter.  Students will use this technology in Mount classrooms where their performance will be recorded for review.

These videos can be evaluated by faculty and used to instruct the student in areas such as interpersonal communication, professionalism, proper examination techniques, etc. Once the encounter is complete, the student logs into the SimiQ program to complete documentation similar to an EMR (electronic medical record) that medical professionals need to use.  The program has a multitude of other features for the institution such as scheduling software, inventory management, grading rubrics and electronic mail capability. 

To learn more about this exciting new technology, join the Mount for the Masters in Physician Assistant (PA) online virtual education fair on Tuesday, July 18 and Wednesday, July 19 through the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA). You can learn more about the program and technology by speaking with Mount admission representatives and faculty members in the field. Please click here for more information and to register.