“I think with the facilities and the people that are here in conjunction with the medical school, we are going to produce the flagship anesthesiologist assistant program,” Paulsen said.
Paulsen helped to design space for the program on Quinnipiac’s North Haven Campus, including two fully functioning operating rooms and an anesthesiology learning laboratory. The anesthesiologist assistant program will be housed in the same facility as the Frank H. Netter MD School of Medicine, which is currently under renovation. The medical school received preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and approval from the Connecticut State Board of Education in October 2012. The school is recruiting its first class for Fall 2013. Renovations on the shared facility will be complete in time for the anesthesiologist assistant program’s start date in May.
“We are giving them the tools and knowledge they will need to go out and work with patients in an operating room,” Paulsen said. “The opportunities here to serve New England and the other states throughout the country are important to the profession.”
While Connecticut does not permit the licensing or practice of anesthesiologist assistants in the state, the need for AAs is strong. “There’s a great demand for AAs across the country,” Paulsen said.
Students will complete clinical requirements of the program outside of Connecticut. The first graduates are expected with a master’s in health science in 2015.