About the Surgical Assistant Program

The EVMS Surgical Assistant program is the only CAAHEP accredited Surgical Assistant program that does not require its students to be trained as a surgical technician. Our graduates earn a Master of Surgical Assisting, MSA degree and become certified in 22 months. The program consists of two phases: Didactic and Clinical.

Our Mission is to train competent surgical assistants in a dynamic academic environment, nurture future educators and leaders of the profession.

Didactic Phase

SA Program Faculty Member Karen PowellAll classes during the 10 month didactic phase are held on the EVMS campus in our classrooms and simulation skill centers.  In the EVMS program students are involved in a structured didactic immersive experience in the clinical environment.  This experience provides students with direct observation and active participation with the surgical team to develop the critical clinical skills needed for the Surgical Assistant.  Students are exposed to surgical services that include perioperative, intraoperative and postoperative patient care.  In addition, students are involved in ancillary surgical services, such as Central Sterile Services and Pathology.  This preclinical training experience complements the knowledge and skills students obtain during the 10-month didactic phase of the program with hands-on instruction in the surgical environment. As a result of this preclinical training experience, students are prepared to enter the clinical training phase of the program with practical experience in the operating room and a strong foundation of surgical knowledge.

 Clinical Phase

SA Student in ORIn contrast to other accredited programs, the EVMS program manages and assigns the students' clinical placements. At the end of the 12-month clinical phase, EVMS students:

  • Complete eight clinical rotations.
  • Perform the duties and serve in the role of the surgical assistant in at least 240 cases.
  • Have the equivalent competencies expected of a Junior Surgical Resident.
  • Are eligible to sit for a national certification exam.