Local student joins inaugural class of new Mississippi State program

Twenty students, including one from Jackson County, comprising the inaugural cohort of Mississippi State University’s new Master of Physician Assistant Studies program reported this week for orientation at the Riley Campus of MSU-Meridian.

Krishna Patel of Seymour is among the more than 250 applicants and 50 finalists who vied for limited slots in Mississippi’s only publicly funded program.

The program achieved accreditation-provisional status, the initial phase of accreditation for all new programs granted by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, or ARC-PA, in October 2020.

Physician assistants are nationally certified and state-licensed medical professionals who practice medicine on health care teams with physicians and other providers. They perform a broad range of diagnostic, therapeutic, preventative and health maintenance services.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the occupational outlook for PAs will increase by 31% through 2029.