Clinical experience is an essential component of the Physician Assistant Program. Students begin this hands on aspect of the curriculum after completion of four semesters of didactic education. By means of clinical rotations in the major disciplines of medicine and surgery, students learn to integrate their fund of knowledge, and what they have learned about clinical medicine, with the actual care of the patient. The Department is clinically affiliated with numerous hospitals, clinics and private practices. During the clinical year, students undertake seven six-week and two three-week supervised clinical rotations in each of the following disciplines:
Internal Medicine: Students actively participate in all aspects of direct patient care in inpatient or outpatient adult medicine. This fundamental clinical experience places emphasis on patient evaluation and assessment, oral and written case presentations, understanding the complexities and interrelationships of disease processes and diagnostic and therapeutic collaboration.
Family Medicine: This clinical practicum provides the student with an opportunity to gain experience in a primary care setting with patients of all ages. This experience exposes the student to a wide range of common ambulatory care problems.
General Surgery: This clinical experience provides exposure to concepts and principles that characterize the practice of general surgery. Students participate in the pre-operative, operative and post-operative care of patients admitted to a variety of surgical services in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Pediatrics: Practical clinical experience in the recognition and management of common pediatric problems is provided, including assessment of the newborn, well baby care, preventive pediatrics and parent counseling.
Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine: This three-week clinical rotation provides experience working with patients in a psychiatric or behavioral medicine setting. Emphasis is placed on the clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, treatment and management of these patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.
Women's Health: This three-week clinical experience encompasses the fundamentals of women's health. Emphasis is on the medical history, physical examination, diagnosis and treatment involved with pre-natal, post-natal and general gynecologic care.
Emergency Medicine: This clinical experience includes the management of acute medical and surgical problems with an emphasis on the importance of precise diagnosis as well as the principles of emergency therapy.
Evidence Based Medicine Clerkship: Students choose their clinical specialty and critically review one area of the medical literature based on a clinical question of interest. They develop a project that includes concepts of evidence-based medicine in relation to their clinical question and their clinical experience.
Clinical Elective: Many specialty options are available for this elective experience. Specific clinical disciplines may be chosen based upon special interests of the student or upon what he or she determines would best augment existing clinical knowledge and skills.
Most students are required to do one or two assigned out of town rotations each year. Housing is the responsibility of the students. Out of town rotations are at least 60 miles outside of St. Louis. The PA student organization may share previous housing arrangements.