Physician Assistant

According to MONEY magazine (2010), physician assistant is one of the Top 5 Best Jobs in America. Physician assistants (PAs) provide healthcare services under the supervision of physicians. PAs are formally trained to provide diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventive healthcare services, as delegated by a physician. Working as members of the healthcare team, they take medical histories, examine and treat patients, order and interpret laboratory tests and X-rays, make diagnoses, and prescribe medications. They also treat minor injuries by suturing, splinting, and casting. PA’s record notes, instruct and counsel patients, and order or carry out therapy.

PAs may be the principal care providers in rural or inner city clinics, where a physician is present for only 1 or 2 days each week. In such cases, the PA confers with the supervising physician and other medical professionals as needed or as required by law. PAs also may make house calls or go to hospitals and nursing homes to check on patients and report back to the physician. They are trained to function in a variety of settings such as private offices, clinics, hospitals, emergency departments, health maintenance organizations, neighborhood health centers, armed services, and federal and state agencies. (

Curriculum (pdf)
Advisors: Dave Cassiday & Molly Sanderson

Dave Cassiday

David Cassiday

Dave was born in Nebraska but spent time growing up in Montana and graduated from high school in Colorado. He completed his undergraduate degree in history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and earned a M.A. in Higher Education Administration at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Dave started his advising career at UMKC, and worked in distance education at Kansas City Public Television (KCPT-19). He did both during his eight years at the University of Nebraska-Omaha, before moving to Manhattan in May 2013 in order to return exclusively to advising students face-to-face, which he loves.

Phone: 532-6900
Office: 113 Eisenhower Hall


Molly Sanderson

Molly SandersonMolly earned an undergraduate degree at Kansas State University, and a Master of Social Work from the University of Utah. She has enjoyed serving as a medical social worker in a variety of health care settings. She is looking forward to meeting each student and assisting them in moving towards their chosen path within the health care field.

Phone: 532-6900
Office: 113 Eisenhower Hall

Eligibility Criteria & Application Information 

Students must obtain a bachelor’s degree prior to admission to a Physician Assistant program. Pre-Physician Assistant is not a major. There is no preferred major, so consider a major in something you are interested and excited about. In addition to completing a bachelor’s degree, students must complete the core courses required by the pre-Physician Assistant program and score competitively on the GRE. Strong applicants also shadow physician assistants in a variety of settings.

Early and regular consultation with the Pre-Physician Assistant advisor is recommended.

Relevant Tests

The GRE revised General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills — below is a brief description of each of the content areas:

  • Verbal Reasoning – measures your ability to analyze and evaluate written material and synthesize information obtained from it, analyze relationships among component parts of sentences and recognize relationships among words.
  • Quantitative Reasoning – measures problem-solving ability, focusing on basic concepts of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, and data analysis.
  • Analytical Writing – measures critical thinking and analytical writing skills, specifically your ability to articulate and support complex ideas clearly and effectively.

For more information about the GRE, visit their website:

Relevant Links