Surgical Assisting students practice in our simulation center.

Surgical Assisting, MSA

Join the rapidly growing field of surgical assisting with a degree from EVMS in the only master's level SA program of its kind in the country.

Considering a career in health professions or biomedical research? Sign up for our open house on October 27, and see which program is right for you.

Surgical Assisting students in masks practice surgical tasks in an OR setting

Why surgical assisting?

The field of surgical assisting is expected to grow rapidly in the next several years, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Demand is high for certified health professionals who can:

  • Open and close surgical sites
  • Dissect and remove tissue
  • Implant devices during surgery

EVMS' program is the fastest pathway for individuals with a four-year degree or higher with no medical training to enter this specialized medical field.

Why choose EVMS?

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100% pass rate

For more than 20 years, our students have achieved a 100% pass rate on certification exams.

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100% job placement

All EVMS Surgical Assisting students have job offers prior to graduation.

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3 times more cases

Our average student completes more than three times the number of cases required by the accreditation body.

What sets EVMS apart?

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our program provides training in minimally invasive surgery and in surgical applications including robotics.

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our SA students become certified in Robotic Assistance for the da Vinci Surgical System before graduation. Surgical assistants with this training are in high demand.

Working with equipment in high-tech facilities helps our students get ahead. The Human Anatomy Lab, Immersive and Simulation Lab and Center for Applied Surgical Technique include:

  • A plastination lab
  • An ultrasound lab
  • Gross and fresh cadaver labs
  • Mock operating rooms
  • Computerized trainers
  • A surgical skills lab
Training future leaders

EVMS students take part in leadership training to help them advance and broaden their career options.

Training future leaders

Our surgical assisting students participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s leadership certificate program. Students graduate with skills that can serve them in medical education, surgical services management and professional leadership settings.

First-year students organize and conduct Suture Fest twice a year and help medical students prepare for surgical training exposure.

Junior resident equivalency

Our graduates enter the workforce with the same level of experience as junior surgical residents.

Junior resident equivalency

Surgical assisting students learn the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery, the same coursework required of surgical residents. EVMS requires students to complete 240 cases — 100 more than the number required by the accreditation body — but many students complete more than three times the required number of cases.

Graduates from our program have the equivalent surgical competency and clinical knowledge expected of a junior surgical resident.

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our program provides training in minimally invasive surgery and in surgical applications including robotics.

Training future leaders

EVMS students take part in leadership training to help them advance and broaden their career options.

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our SA students become certified in Robotic Assistance for the da Vinci Surgical System before graduation. Surgical assistants with this training are in high demand.

Working with equipment in high-tech facilities helps our students get ahead. The Human Anatomy Lab, Immersive and Simulation Lab and Center for Applied Surgical Technique include:

  • A plastination lab
  • An ultrasound lab
  • Gross and fresh cadaver labs
  • Mock operating rooms
  • Computerized trainers
  • A surgical skills lab
Junior resident equivalency

Our graduates enter the workforce with the same level of experience as junior surgical residents.

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our program provides training in minimally invasive surgery and in surgical applications including robotics.

Training future leaders

EVMS students take part in leadership training to help them advance and broaden their career options.

Junior resident equivalency

Our graduates enter the workforce with the same level of experience as junior surgical residents.

Cutting-edge techniques & facilities

Our SA students become certified in Robotic Assistance for the da Vinci Surgical System before graduation. Surgical assistants with this training are in high demand.

Working with equipment in high-tech facilities helps our students get ahead. The Human Anatomy Lab, Immersive and Simulation Lab and Center for Applied Surgical Technique include:

  • A plastination lab
  • An ultrasound lab
  • Gross and fresh cadaver labs
  • Mock operating rooms
  • Computerized trainers
  • A surgical skills lab

Training future leaders

Our surgical assisting students participate in the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s leadership certificate program. Students graduate with skills that can serve them in medical education, surgical services management and professional leadership settings.

First-year students organize and conduct Suture Fest twice a year and help medical students prepare for surgical training exposure.

Junior resident equivalency

Surgical assisting students learn the fundamentals of laparoscopic surgery, the same coursework required of surgical residents. EVMS requires students to complete 240 cases — 100 more than the number required by the accreditation body — but many students complete more than three times the required number of cases.

Graduates from our program have the equivalent surgical competency and clinical knowledge expected of a junior surgical resident.

Ready to become a surgical assistant?

A surgical assisting student listens at Suture Fest 2016.

Clinical placements

EVMS manages and assigns students’ clinical placements. Students complete eight clinical rotations in their 12-month clinical training, at sites including:

  • Level 1 trauma facilities
  • Contract surgical service companies
  • Surgical centers, both private and outpatient
  • Hospitals and medical centers
  • Clinical facilities
  • Private practices

Effective Jan. 1, 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes Surgical Assistant as a distinct profession, a decision that could positively impact working SAs.

Who are our students?

Our students are highly motivated problem solvers, who possess the capacity and critical thinking skills needed to handle high-stress situations and be strong leaders in an operating room setting. Hear alumna Kenita Jackson's story.

Looking to hire one of our Surgical Assisting students? Are you a health adviser seeking more information? Find out more.