Program Overview & Locations
The didactic year curriculum builds a foundation for clinical practice and focuses on biomedical, clinical, and behavioral sciences as well as courses in physical diagnosis and critical thinking. During the first quarter of the didactic year, students may be introduced to clinical settings through shadowing experiences. In the second quarter, students must begin thinking critically and clinically, correlating classroom knowledge to clinical application through problem and case-based learning scenarios.
The final weeks of the didactic year include written and practical summative examinations — including simulated patient encounters — to assess each student’s preparedness for the clinical year. These examinations must be completed successfully as a requirement for entering the clinical year.
The clinical year consists of seven required clinical rotations and one elective clinical rotation. Each rotation is six weeks in length, and students return to campus the last two days of each rotation for required end-of-rotation testing, lectures, and debriefing sessions. They also begin preparation for their next clinical experience.
During the four months prior to program completion, students will be required to pass an Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE). Failure to successfully complete this examination will result in remediation and retesting. The final two weeks of the clinical year are spent on campus for a summative written examination, completion of a graduate survey, presentations, and review for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).