Off-campus Pacific University users: To download campus access theses and dissertations, please log into our proxy server with your PUNet ID and password.

Non-Pacific University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Theses or dissertations that have a specific embargo period indicated below will not be available to anyone until the date indicated.

Date of Graduation


Degree Type

Capstone Project (On-Campus Access Only)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Jon Gietzen PA-C


Background: At first glance it appears that medical schools use humanities much more often than physician assistant (PA) 'schools. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, out of 125 medical schools, 88 offer medical humanities as a course. Out of 135 P A schools, only 6 offer medical humanities as a course. Hypothesis: P A schools use the humanities at a high rate in the teaching of other courses with those schools associated with medical schools doing so at a higher rate than those schools without an association with a medical school. Study Design: Survey Results: Of the 56 responses, 4 (7%) required a medical humanities course as part of their curricula. Two of the 56 (3.6%) schools offered humanities as an elective. At first glance the results seemed to show that physician assistant schools offer medical humanities at a rate much lower than medical schools' rate of70%. However, a closer look shows that only 12.5% (7 of the 56) do not include humanities as part of their curricula. 51.9% of the respondents indicated that they use humanities in the teaching of ethics courses. The same can be said for cultural diversity classes; again, 51.9% of the schools use humanities to teach a course that is not labeled "medical humanities." The study also showed that over 30% of the schools use humanities in the teaching of traditional medical courses (internal medicine etc.) Another way to look at the same numbers is to say that 87.5% of P A schools use humanities as at least a tool for teaching and learning. Conclusion: This study showed that most schools use humanities as a tool to teach courses, even if humanities is not offered as a class on its own. This study showed that the subject of humanities is not necessarily being taught at a high rate in PA schools, but it also showed that humanities are being used at a high rate to reinforce and strengthen classes that are already being offered.


The digital version of this project is currently unavailable to off-campus users; however, it may be requested via interlibrary loan by eligible borrowers from Pacific University Library. Pacific University Library is a free lender. (Library Use: NL)