All second year PA students are required to participate in the following clinical
rotations: Family Practice, Internal Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Pediatrics,
Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Surgery. At some time during the clinical year,
students must have exposure to patients in long term care. We have an additional primary
care and specialty elective for our students.
Second year PA students should be able to perform comprehensive and focused histories
and physical examinations. Their clinical reasoning skills should be refined to the
point of developing a list of differential diagnoses and next steps in the diagnosis
and treatment of common medical conditions. They have had some practice with patient
counseling and education as well as common medical procedures such as phlebotomy,
splinting and wound care. Experience and ability will vary from student to student,
as they tend to come from diverse backgrounds.
Rotations vary from four to five weeks in length. Students are expected to engage
in hands-on patient care experiences at least 40 hours per week, depending on Preceptor’s
schedule. Students should follow the schedule of the preceptor, including evenings,
weekends and holidays.
PA students must have the opportunity for clinical training. The intensity of the
supervision will vary depending on the student’s experience and the preceptor’s comfort.
It is typical for a preceptor to start by having the student observing patient encounters.
After a day or two of orientation to the practice, it is reasonable to transition
to observing the student performing history and physical examinations. Once you are
comfortable with the student’s skills, allowing him/her to perform histories and exams
without direct observation is perfectly appropriate. The student would then present
the patient to the preceptor, discuss possible next steps and complete the patient
encounter with the preceptor reviewing and confirming the student’s findings with
the patient. Periodic direct observation throughout the rotation is recommended and
a student should never discharge a patient without discussing the case with the preceptor
Clinical procedures practice opportunities are also critical – phlebotomy, starting
IVs, wound care, splinting and Pap smears are some of the basic skills taught during
the first year which should be reinforced through practice in clinical rotations.
Students in a surgical setting need to be involved in pre-and postoperative management
of patients, as well as observation and, as appropriate, students should have the
opportunity to assist in surgical procedures.
In addition to supervising the student as described above, we ask our clinical partners
to provide the students with regular feedback regarding their clinical skills. This
includes daily, informal discussions and critical feedback to the student, as well
as a mid-rotation meeting to assess progress and a written final evaluation.
Students are allowed to spend time with other qualified practitioners within the practice.
All preceptors must be identified to the program and complete a preceptor profile.
It is typical for some groups to identify a primary preceptor who will be responsible
for coordinating the student’s experience. The student can then spend time with several
practitioners within the group over the course of the rotation.
Yes, Franklin Pierce University carries institutional insurance and all students in
the Franklin Pierce PA program are covered by a $1 million/$3 million malpractice
binder. This binder will be included in the packet you will receive in advance of