Upon successful completion of the didactic-level courses, the PA student proceeds into the clinical-education level of the program. The PA student will spend approximately 14 months in clinical rotations and preceptorships. This is divided into 10 five-week blocks.
The required clinical rotations are five or six-week blocks in the areas of internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry/mental health, women’s health and emergency medicine and are designed to expose the PA student to patient care in a variety of settings. The student is directly involved with the evaluation and management of patients to the extent that the clinical preceptor or supervisor is comfortable with the level of knowledge and skills of the PA student.
These clinical education experiences are designed to enhance the PA student’s knowledge, technical skills, clinical judgment and confidence in the evaluation and management of common medical problems. One of these must be completed as a 12-week (two six-week blocks) experience in an ambulatory, primary-care setting such as an outpatient family practice office or center.
The remaining preceptorship experiences include the Floating Medicine Block in a medically related specialty such as family, internal or geriatric medicine, and the clinical elective. During the elective, students can spend more time in one of their rotation specialties or gain experience in other settings such as neonatology, HIV, correctional medicine, urology, orthopedic surgery, cardiothoracic surgery and others.
Senior Seminar and Testing
Senior Seminars (held approximately every five weeks during clinical rotations and preceptorships) and Senior Summary Testing (held on campus) are required components of the clinical level. Senior seminars cover such topics as:
Advanced Cardiac Life Support
Health Policy and Medical Billing
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Biological and Chemical Terrorism
Community Resource Networks
Physician Assistant National Certification Exam Preparation