Trent Scates named to head Bethel University’s PA Program.

Trent Scates named to head Bethel University’s PA Program

McKenzie, TNTrent Scates, former Admissions Director and full-time faculty member in Bethel University’s Physician Assistant Program, has been named Program Director of the school’s PA Program.

Scates earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies from Trevecca Nazarene University in 1999, and a Master of Science in Medical Science with a specialization in Rural Primary Care from Alderson-Broaddus College in Philippi, West Virginia. He is a lieutenant colonel in the Tennessee Army National Guard and graduated from the prestigious United States Army War College in July of this year. Scates will continue to serve as Battalion Commander of the National Guard’s 230th Engineer Battalion until Sept. 30, 2018.

‘I’m very excited about the opportunity to lead the PA program,” Scates says. “I’m moving into a new role, and I have a lot to learn, but we have a great staff and faculty who are highly skilled and very supportive. We’ve outlined a number of short- and long-term goals, and our entire team is focused on reaching or exceeding them.”

Those goals, says Scates, include “first, making Bethel’s program the best in Tennessee.  In the long-term, we plan to be recognized as one of the strongest PA programs in the country.”

The 27-month Physician Assistant program has already made significant strides toward both goals. In 2017, the program boasted a 100% pass-rate on the rigorous Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE). The average national pass-rate is approximately 95%. 

Scates credits the program’s success to first selecting top candidates from the large pool of qualified applicants. Only 50 students are admitted to the program per semester. Requirements for the program include a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university, the successful completion of the Graduate Records Exam (GRE), and the completion of a number of prerequisite courses, including biology, chemistry, anatomy, physiology, genetics, and psychology.  “We then provide these students with an excellent core medical knowledge during their didactic year and reinforce that knowledge with application during their final 15-month of clinical studies,” Scates says. 

During those final 15 months of the program, students benefit from a “hub-and-spoke” system which typically allows students to conduct rotations at multiple locations across the Southeast. 

“Students initially focus on a general practitioner approach, gaining experience in a wide variety of medical settings,” Scates says. “However, they may ultimately choose to emphasize within a particular field of medicine, ranging from family practice to emergency medicine.” Students who successfully complete a minimum of 450 hours in a specific field can obtain a Certificate of Emphasis. 

Scates, who began teaching in the Bethel University program in September of 2014, specializes in Clinical Medicine instruction with an emphasis on Renal and Genitourinary systems. He and wife Beth have three children: daughter McCall (22), and sons Matt (13) and Phillip (9). The family resides in Greenfield, TN.

Bethel University’s PA program is located in Paris, TN, directly across from the Henry County Medical Center. To learn more about Bethel University’s PA program, go to

LTC Trent Scates and wife Beth at his recent graduation from the United States Army War College. Scates has been named director of Bethel's Physician Assistant Program.
Posted by Jennifer Glass at 10:16 AM