Clinical Year

Area of Preference

During the clinical year of the curriculum, students complete 12 one-month clinical rotations at various locations throughout the state of Florida and occasionally (with special arrangements and permissions) in other states. Based on availability when assigning students to the various clinical site locations, the School of Physician Assistant Studies makes every effort to accommodate each student’s selection of an “area of preference” as the primary area of the state where the majority of the student’s rotations will be located. Customarily each student requests an area of preference in an area where the student has family or other interests as well as housing available. In addition, each student must also complete at least one AHEC (rural) rotation, which usually takes him/her outside his/her home base area. Currently the School recognizes five areas of preference: Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Pensacola.

PA student examines a patient under the direction of a faculty member

Courses

Summer B & Fall ; Spring & Summer A

  • Clinical Year Major Training Areas: Gainesville, Jacksonville, Orlando, Pensacola, and Tampa
  • As part of the Schools support for the primary care health needs of rural populations, all students will take at least one of their primary care clinical rotations in a rural area.

Typical Schedule and Number of Months

  • Elective — 2
  • Emergency Medicine — 1
  • Intensive Care Medicine — 1
  • Internal Medicine — 1
  • Internal Medicine Selective — 1
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology — 1
  • Pediatrics — 1
  • Primary Care — 2
  • Psychiatry — 1
  • Surgery, General — 1
  • Clinical Practicum — 12 four-week rotations, 3 credits each = 36 credit hours
  • Special Topics seminar — 1 credit for each of the four semesters = 4 credit hours

TOTAL CLINICAL YEAR SEMESTER HOURS = 40

No advanced placement or advanced standing is granted, nor is transfer credit or credit for experiential learning accepted in lieu of PA courses.

PA classes are open to enrolled PA students only.

All PA students must complete the entire PA curriculum to be considered eligible for graduation and completion of the program.  The UF PA School Curriculum is a 24 month length of study. Students are expected to complete the didactic phase of the curriculum within the prescribed 12 month time frame further delineated by semesters as outlined above. The clinical phase of the curriculum immediately follows the didactic phase, students are expected to complete their rotations in 4 week intervals over the course of a 12 month time period. The clinical phase culminates with graduation.

Any course grade below a “C” (or a failure in a pass/fail course) in either the academic or clinical year of the PA curriculum may be grounds for dismissal for academic reasons, subject to the decision of the School of Physician Assistant Studies’ Professional Standards and Promotions Committee. If a student earning a grade below a “C” is retained in the School, s/he will be placed on probation for the duration of his/her time in the School and will be required to complete any remedial work prescribed by the faculty; this may result in the student’s delayed graduation.

Master’s Capstone Project

Completion of a Master’s capstone project is required of UF PA students in their clinical year. Students work in pairs or individually to answer a clinical question relevant to medical practice. Under the mentorship of a faculty advisor students develop their ideas with the goal to implement original research, provide a service, education, or quality improvement project, or develop an in-depth systematic review of the existing literature with publication in mind. Student must demonstrate skills in scientific writing of an abstract and manuscript. The capstone project is introduced in conjunction with the Evidence-Based Medicine (PAS 5013) course at the end of the first year and concludes with presentations of instructional posters at the end of the Fall semester. Students may opt to apply for presenting their posters in UF’s annual College of Medicine Research Poster Session in the spring.

Clinical Coordinator

The role of the Clinical Coordinator is to negotiate the clinical schedule with the various clinical sites and develop the rotation schedule for the entire clinical year; to troubleshoot concerns related to clinical year students and/or rotation sites; to monitor students’ progress on rotations and remediate students’ academic needs; to develop end-of-rotation examinations and review test responses when questions arise; to review preceptors’ and student’s evaluations and address concerns accordingly; and to coordinate the Special Topics lectures that occur on Clinical Day. The Clinical Coordinator is also responsible for maintaining a close working relationship with on-site coordinators appointed by the Director, in an effort to stay abreast of conditions at each site and ensure that the School continues to provide a viable rotation experience at each site.

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