For Your Health
For Your Health

News from the University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Physician Assistant Studies to present white coats to Class of 2020 on Jan. 11

pa-white-coatTwenty-eight University of North Dakota School of Medicine & Health Sciences (SMHS) students began the clinical portion of their studies this week in an effort to earn their Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) degree.

The White Coat Ceremony for these future physician assistants (PAs) will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 11, in the Charles H. Fee, MD, Auditorium at the SMHS. Matthew Massmann, MPAS, PA-C, will present the ceremony’s keynote address. Massmann was raised in Winger, Minn., and attended the University of North Dakota where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in Medical Laboratory Science and a master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS ’12). He is currently employed at Unity Medical Center in Grafton, N.D. Massmann previously practiced family medicine in Crookston, Minn., as well as emergency medicine in Detroit Lakes, Minn.

Welcome remarks will be given by SMHS Associate Dean for Health Sciences Tom Mohr, PT, PhD, and UND’s Vice President for Health Affairs and SMHS Dean Joshua Wynne, MD, MBA, MPH. Closing remarks will be given by Ken Ruit, PhD, associate dean of Education and Faculty Affairs at the SMHS.

“The presentation of the white coat is symbolic of the new profession the students are entering,” said Department of Physician Assistant Studies Chair Jeanie McHugo, PhD, PA-C. “The coats will be worn by students through the clinical phase of their training and denote their involvement with the PA program at UND.”

The Class of 2020, which will graduate during the PA Studies program’s fiftieth anniversary year, is the third group of students who have been admitted under a new admissions structure. The PA program now has two methods of entry with separate criteria for admissions purposes. Entry Point 1 is designated for health professionals with at least three years of clinical experience. Entry Point 2 is designated for applicants with science-based educational backgrounds and health-care experience.

Students have already completed their first two semesters of basic science instruction, and now will spend four weeks in the didactic setting in Grand Forks before returning to their home communities, where most of their training will take place under the supervision of physician and PA preceptors. Over the next 18 months, they will return to UND for several weeks at different junctures for education and training.

Eighty-six percent of the Class of 2020 is from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Students range in age from 22 to 48 years, with an average age of 29; the class includes 12 males and 16 females.

UND Master of Physician Assistant Studies Class of 2020

  • Kelsey Abraham, Hopkins, Minn.
  • Emi Binstock, Fargo, N.D.
  • Janene Caldwell, Victor, Idaho
  • Erica Donovan, Belle Fourche, S.D.
  • Heather Flaa, Mandan, N.D.
  • Austin Fridrich, Fargo, N.D.
  • Ellie Gillund, Wildrose, N.D.
  • Brenton Green, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Matthew Hockert, Reiles Acres, N.D.
  • Taylor Johnshoy, Baxter, Minn.
  • Steffani Johnston Mack, Fargo, N.D.
  • Christopher Klucas, Rapid City, S.D.
  • Matthew Knealing, Golden Valley, Minn.
  • Jason Marcello, New Port, N.C.
  • Jennifer McRae, Springfield, Mo.
  • Alexandra Mettler, Bismarck, N.D.
  • Mitchell Mimbach, Rice, Minn.
  • Erin Mondry, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Casey Myklebust, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Dane Rasmussen, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Blair Runde, Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Katelyn Sarlette, Fargo, N.D.
  • Bronte Schultz, Great Falls, Mont.
  • Audrey Smeenk, Harrisburg, S.D.
  • Hannah Tkach, West St. Paul, Minn.
  • Peter Tronset, Grand Forks, N.D.
  • Dustin Voss, Onamia, Minn.
  • Jordan Wiedmann, Fargo, N.D.