Robert Jay Amrien
Bryant University Physician Assistant Program
Robert Jay Amrien brings over 20 years of experience as a physician assistant, Coast Guard medical officer, and emergency medical technician to his role as founding director of Bryant's graduate program in physician assistant studies.
Amrien came to Bryant in 2013 to create the physician assistant program, and built a team and a course of academic study and clinical practice that value rigor, leadership, adaptability, curiosity, and a deep passion for patient care.
“I want the very best PAs to come out of our program,” Amrien said. “I want professionals who want to benefit society, professionals that give patients the right health care at the right time. This focus on bettering the lives of patients – on public service – is what I want our Bryant program to be known for.”
Service is a hallmark of Amrien’s career.
Amrien spent 22 years in the Coast Guard as a decorated crewman and officer, providing medical care to crews on land and sea – including a year afloat in Antarctica and another on a cutter in West Africa. These experiences proved to be seminal, cementing his interest in practicing medicine as a physician assistant, with its focus on primary care.
Because of the lack of fresh foods and exercise options aboard Coast Guard ships, Amrien became interested in heart disease prevention, and finding creative ways to get the crew moving and eating right. Amrien is now an expert in cardiac care and has delivered more than 20 invited conference lectures on the topic.