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Physician Assistant Post-Graduate Program in Emergency Medicine

Brian T. Kloss


Brian T. Kloss, DO, JD, PA-C
Program Director

Contact: Denise Dexter, Program Coordinator
Phone: (315) 464-6223
Email: [email protected]


About the Program

Emergency Medicine is one of the most challenging and rewarding careers for physician assistants. EM is a highly desirable career choice but it is unfortunately very difficult to break into the field. Most employers require previous ED work experience and one doesn't gain that work experience until they get their first job. The purpose of the program is to train qualified physician assistant candidates to be competent in the delivery of emergency medical care.

Program Overview

  • 18 months fulltime paid program
  • 5 hours of weekly didactic lectures
  • ACLS & PALS Courses
  • ATLS, AHLS and ACLS & PALS Instructor Courses Optional
  • High Fidelity Simulation Lab and Training
  • Research and Publication Opportunities
  • Opportunities to Lecture at local PA Programs
  • Bedside Ultrasound Training
  • Eligibility to sit for AAPA Specialty Exam
  • Start Date: December - January


The Post-Graduate PA will train alongside the Emergency Medicine Residents at SUNY Upstate Medical Center and our affiliated hospitals. They will gain exposure to both the adult and pediatric emergency rooms in addition to our minor care treatment area. Rotations in critical care  medicine, toxicology, orthopedics, and ophthalmology will also be provided. Emphasis will be placed on  preparing the them to sit for the NCCPA Specialty Examination in Emergency Medicine.

Admission Requirements

  • Degree from Accredited PA Program
  • Current NCCPA Certification
  • NY State PA License
  • Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Personal Statement
  • PA School Transcripts

To Apply

Please submit CV, personal statement and letters of recommendation to: [email protected] or by mail to:

SUNY Upstate Medical University
Department of Emergency Medicine
Post-Graduate PA Program
Attn: Denise Dexter, Program Coordinator
550 East Genesee St., Suite 103
Syracuse, NY 13202

Frequently Asked Questions...

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What's the Program's History?

The program was founded in 2012 by Dr. Brian Kloss, DO, JD, PA-C based on his recognition of the need for a structured education program for Physician Assistants that want to practice Emergency Medicine. Dr. Kloss recognizes that the scope of Emergency Medicine is extremely broad and to truly be a competent practitioner as a Physician Assistant, additional education, mentoring and guidance under the direct supervision of Board-Certified Emergency Medicine Physicians is essential. Our program is tailored to allow new graduates to break into the profession.


This program provides newer graduates with the opportunity to get their first job as an EMP and to train in a supportive academic environment under the direct supervision of Board-Certified EM Physicians.

How Long is the Program?

The program is 18 months in duration. We chose this length for two reasons. First, it is half the length of a traditional EM Residency, and it allows sufficient time to gain enough clinical and procedural experience to sit for the NCCPA CAQ Exam. We cover the cost of the CAQ Exam in Emergency Medicine and use this a means to externally validate your knowledge of EM. The program is fulltime, averaging 50-55 hours per week, and provides exposure across adult and pediatric EM, as well as some experiences and rotations on other services that have a direct role in our scope of practice.

What About Work Life Balance?

We realize that most candidates are in young adulthood and have lives outside of work. We are considerate to your needs for scheduled time off for participation in extracurricular activities and vacation.

What About Salary and Benefits?

We typically set your salary at the same salary as the PGY-4 residents in our group. This amount typically increases annually to reflect inflation. We realize that this salary tends to be less than some new graduates make in other employment models, so we counter this by being more attentive to your scheduling needs. This program strikes a balance between service and education.


As an educational program we expect you to develop your skill set and grow personally and professionally over your 18 months with us. We have heard “horror stories” of new graduates accepting their first position at higher salaries, but not realizing that their expectations for performance exceeded their current capabilities as a new graduate. We have found that our salary and benefits package exceed many similar post-graduate programs and feel that it is fair compensation considering the role you’re asked to play in our department.

When Are Applications, Interviews and Start Date?

Applications are to be submitted on a rolling basis, we ask for 3 letters of recommendation, ideally from Emergency Medicine rotations, a personal statement, and academic transcripts. Interviews are typically held in October with notification of a candidate’s acceptance within a week of the interview. The anticipated start date is in the first week of January. Depending on credentialling, candidates may be able to be start as early as December.


Candidates will need to hold a valid NY State License and be certified by the AAPA. Once the position is offered to the candidate, they must meet certain background checks and be eligible to accept employment.

What is the Credentialing Process?

Prior to employment at Upstate, or any institution for that matter, practitioners must get credentialled to practice. In this process the hiring institution certifies your various transcripts, licenses, and diplomas. At most institutions the credentialing committee meets monthly or bi-monthly and if an application isn’t completed by the scheduled meeting date, it gets pushed back to the next scheduled meeting. The onus to submit all the necessary paperwork to the credentialling committee is on the applicant. We will walk you through the process, but you must ensure that copies of your transcripts, NY State License, NCCPA Certification and any other necessary papers are submitted to the appropriate administrator. Delay in credentialling will delay your employment. As credentialling can take up to two months, we are not able to entertain applicants who graduate in December for a January start date.

Can I Apply as a December Graduate?

Unfortunately, a December graduation date would set you significantly behind in the credentialling process. You still need to sit for the NCCPA Exam, then get a NY State License, then apply for a job, get hired, then credentialed.

What Are the Elective Rotations?

We provide rotations in: Adult and Pediatric ER, Community ER, Medical ICU (4 weeks), Surgical ICU (4 weeks), Burn Service (2 weeks), Orthopedic Consult Service (2 weeks), Ophthalmology (2 weeks), Toxicology (4 weeks), Anesthesiology – for intubation experiences (2 weeks), and Hyperbaric/Wound Care (2 weeks).

How Many Shifts Do I Work in an Average Month?

In most ED’s the schedule is based on 13, 4-week blocks, a year. You will work an average of 16 shifts every 4 weeks.

How Long Are Shifts?

Shifts typically run 8 hours and you’ll be exposed to the range of pathologies and experiences seen on the day, evening, and overnight shifts. It’s always advisable to arrive 15 minutes early and most folks stay about an hour after each shift to finalize documentation and tuck their patients in.

What Additional Courses and Training Do We Get?

In the beginning of the program, you are issued access to the “EM Boot Camp” and the “Advanced EM Boot Camp” lecture series. These are very similar to the orientation lectures offered during most EM Intern Orientations. These combined lecture series should award you close to 50 hours of EM specific CME required to sit for the CAQ exam. During your training, you will also be provided with the traditional “merit badge” course including: Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), ACLS/PALS Instructor, Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) and Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS). You also can participate in Wednesday Resident Conferences and local Upstate EM CME Conferences including Toxicology and Contemporary Issues in EM.


We fund and support you attending one National CME conference of your choosing. In the past, folks have attended either the Society of Emergency Medicine Physician Assistant Conference (SEMPA), ACEP Annual Conferences, High-Risk Emergency Medicine Conferences, the Annual AAPA Conference or a Wilderness Medicine Conference. The department covers airfare, conference fees and three to four nights in a hotel.