Physician Assistant Program
Gundersen Health System is one of the largest health systems in the United States. For more than five generations, it has been providing primary care and specialty care to over half a million residents of Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Northern Illinois.
Gundersen is a complete medical center with more than 400 staff physicians, each of whom have been carefully selected for their clinical expertise as well as commitment to teaching. Indeed, each staff member joins our multispecialty group only if they understand that a requirement is their willingness to support a very aggressive education program through their teaching.
UW-L/Gundersen/Mayo/Marshfield PA Program
The Gundersen Medical Foundation supports the education of Physician Assistant students as one of the four partner institutions for the Physician Assistant Program comprising of the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, Gundersen Medical Foundation, Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, and Marshfield Clinic Health System. The program's two-year curriculum includes a 12-month pre-clinical phase consisting of classroom and laboratory activities at the Health Science Center located on the campus of UW-L.
Clinical instruction during the second 12 months of the program occurs within the three clinical partners' healthcare systems. Through our partnership, the program strives to educate highly competent and compassionate physician assistants who excel in meeting the healthcare needs of the regions served by Gundersen, Mayo, and Marshfield healthcare systems.
The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse Physician Assistant Program sponsored by the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse. 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remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards.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 September 2027. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.
All students must earn a Bachelor's degree and complete required prerequisite coursework prior to matriculating into the program. Individuals may apply while finishing their degree and/or completing prerequisite courses. Prior direct patient healthcare experience is expected, but not required for admission. The program participates in the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). For further information regarding the program's admission process, please refer to the UWL-Gundersen-Mayo-Marshfield PA Program website.
Graduation and Certification
Upon successful completion of the PA Program, graduates receive a Master of Science (MS) degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Graduates are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).
Non UW-L Physician Assistant Student program
We are unable to place non UW-L Physician Assistant students in the following primary rotation areas: OB/GYN, Cardiology, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine (Inpatient), Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, and Behavioral Medicine.