Why Become a Preceptor

UMKC’s preceptors are key to helping our students enhance their clinical acumen as well as growing their inter-professional development to ensure the next generation of providers are capable, well trained and compassionate team members.

Besides helping to train our future colleagues, our PA preceptors benefit by:

  • Courtesy academic appointments (Adjunct Clinical Assistant Professor or Adjunct Clinical Instructor) available
  • Category 1 CME for PAs serving as preceptors (through AAPA)
  • Connects you to the next generation of clinicians
What our current preceptors have to say

Below are a few quotes from current preceptors when asked what the biggest benefit they find as a preceptor.

“(It provides) renewed energy and passion for my job”

“Ability to share knowledge and pay it forward”

“Discussing cases and reasoning behind management decisions. It helps me stay current.”

“Joy of learning more and getting to know the next generation of providers.”

Interested in becoming a preceptor?

Please contact Janell Ridenour for more information

Preceptor Responsibilities & Guidelines

Responsibilities
  • Provide adequate clinical space for the student to care for patients.
  • Ensure that students are not used as a substitute for clinical or administrative staff.
  • Review and sign all of the student’s patient records within 24 hours.
  • Familiarize each student with the protocols, rules, and regulations of the facility.
  • Maintain administrative and professional supervision of the student while on duty.
  • Provide direct supervision by qualified staff while the student is performing procedures.
  • Provide students with dressing and eating facilities similar to those of employees.
  • Allow students to participate in and attend education offerings by and at the facility. Notify the Clinical Coordinator in a timely manner of any unsatisfactory conduct or performance.
  • Provide evaluations for each student on PA program forms. Allow and provide students with opportunities to meet objectives.
  • Provide PA program faculty access to the student, preceptor, and facility.
  • In the event of an accident or sudden illness, the student will be allowed to seek medical attention at the facility or an emergency room where the provider on duty will determine the course of treatment. Cost of the injury of illness is the sole responsibility of the student. In regard to the management of minor or chronic illness, PA students are advised that preceptors are not required or encouraged to provide care for students, pro bono or otherwise.
  • Maintain full responsibility for the patient’s medical care and treatment.
  • Orient student to the safety and security measures of the clinical site.
  • Take the lead in the care of the patient; s/he must be present and actively involved in any student contributions to portions of the billable service.
Guidelines
  • Expect students to perform similar to a third or fourth year medical student. If the student shows any serious deficiency or is in danger of not achieving the learning objectives or failing the rotation, please promptly notify the Clinical Coordinator.
  • Contact the Clinical Coordinator for clarification of matters relating to the rotation. Notify your hospital, clinic, or nursing home that you will be a preceptor. Inquire about policies and regulations governing PA students in all facilities.
  • Ensure that only medical tasks delegated by you are performed by the student and that services rendered by the student are regularly evaluated.
  • Judge the student’s performance according to the objectives and goals set by the program for the clinical rotation
  • Involve the student in all aspects of the practice, including hospital and nursing home services, so that your students receive a well-rounded education.

Preceptor Resources

Before the student arrives

The student should reach out 1-2 weeks before the start date with information about themselves including past rotations and goals for the upcoming rotations

It is vital that the student has a proper introduction and orientation into your practice.

A detailed orientation checklist with descriptions of each component as provided by the PAEA.

This tool will help identify the ability and level of experience each student has prior to the rotation, with a list of common behaviors and actions to prepare for in order to help evaluate the student through the rotation

Time To Teach

This method is a brief teaching tool that fosters assessment of student knowledge as well as provision of timely feedback.

 SNAPPS is a learner-centered teaching approach to clinical education consisting of six steps

It is encouraged that our students are integrated into charting in the medical record. This helps prepare them for the ever demanding increases in EMR usage as well as decreasing the burden placed on preceptors.

On average, patients who receive care from a student and a provider receive 12.8 more minutes per visit. With the students charting, it brings down the extra time required from the provider from 3.8 minutes to 0.5 minutes (Usatine RP, Tremoulet PT, Irby D. Time-efficient Preceptors in Ambulatory Care Settings. Academic Medicine. 2000;75(6):639-642. doi:10.1097/00001888-200006000-00016.)

“The teaching physician must personally perform (or re-perform) the physical exam and medical decision making activities of the E/M service being billed, but may verify any student documentation of them in the medical record, rather than re-documenting this work.” CMS: Medical Claims Processing Manual.

Providing Feedback

Use this tool to help students identify their own strengths and areas for improvement as well as provides preceptors with the opportunity to share positive and constructive feedback to students

Article published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine that reviews literature regarding feedback and provides an algorithm for general feedback.

Thomas JD, Arnold RM. Giving Feedback. Journal of Palliative Medicine. 2011;14(2):233-239. doi:10.1089/jpm.2010.0093.

Article from the Hospital of Pharmacy providing an excellent checklist to providing feedback.

Wilkinson ST, Couldry R, Phillips H, Buck B. Preceptor Development: Providing Effective Feedback. Hospital Pharmacy. 2013;48(1):26-32. doi:10.1310/hpj4801-26.

Evaluations

Clinical Role of the Student

PA White Coat Ceremony 2018

Clinical experiences should be educational for the PA student and should not be called upon or used to substitute for regular staff. The following are some “guidelines” regarding what a PA student may be permitted to do by the preceptor. The judgment of the preceptor regarding how much responsibility a student is ready to assume should be the determining factor of which tasks are assigned and how much supervision is needed.

All students should exhibit a baseline of medical knowledge and clinical skills.

All students who have matriculated onto the clinical year have completed 15 months of didactic classes in preparation of their clinical year.

A course syllabus will be provided to the preceptor outlining the rotation objectives the student must meet.

Typical tasks assigned to PA students include:
  • Taking histories and performing physical examinations
  • Assessing common medical problems and recommending appropriate management
  • Performing and assisting in diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
  • Assisting the preceptor in hospital/nursing home rounds, recording progress notes, transcribing specific orders of the preceptor as allowed by the facility
  • Following protocols (verbal or standing orders) of the preceptor
  • Presenting patient cases orally and in a written problem-oriented format
  • Discussing the basic pathophysiologic mechanisms that have produced the signs, symptoms, and disease processes under investigation
  • Completing assigned readings and preparing presentations as requested by clinical preceptor and/or program faculty
  • Attending all teaching rounds and conferences
  • Following the assigned on-call schedule
  • Discussing/recommending treatment approach, medication, and follow-up car

UMKC PA students undergo extensive health screening and compliance training to maintain state and federal guidelines. This includes HIPAA training, EMR training, immunization verification, current annual TB test, drug screen and recent background check. These documents will be made available to the preceptor site once student placement has been confirmed.

Clinical Preceptor of the Year

Each year the PA class submits preceptors who stands out in their commitment to educate and train the students as they learn on rotations.

The nominations are based on the preceptors having an active involvement in education, providing timely and meaningful feedback, facilitating teamwork in their patient care, fostering an innovative and effective learning environment as well as opportunities for new learning experiences and growth.

Congratulations to Dr. Armilio, internal medicine physician at Connect Care Hospitalists for being awarded this year’s Preceptor of the Year. Dr. Armilio remains committed to and teaching PA students month after month. “Not only is he fun to work with, he is very patient with us and broke down complicated acute care concepts into patterns we could understand.”- Courtney Simcoe, 2018 graduate class

“Dr. Armilio ensures the student is integrated into a compassionate and innovative team of providers. He provides clear expectations and goals for the rotation and ensures that the student progresses through the rotation with the freedom, yet support needed.”- Luke Mathes, 2018 graduate class

Preceptors

The mission of the UMKC’s PA program is to educate competent, compassionate, and culturally-aware Physician Assistants who are prepared to meet the healthcare needs of our community.

This cannot be accomplished without the expertise and devotion that our preceptors impart on our students throughout their clinical year.

This page will provide resources and answers to your questions about being a preceptor of UMKC PA students. Follow the links below to the information needed to help train the next generation of PAs. On behalf of UMKC’s PA program, we are thankful for your time and commitment to the training of its PA students.

Why Become A Preceptor >>

Learn the benefits of precepting at UMKC, from CME credits to impacting the future generation of PA’s.

Preceptor Responsibilities and Guidelines >>

Learn the responsibilities and guidelines of our preceptors

Clinical Role of the Student >>

Learn what you can expect of our PA students

Preceptor Resources >>

Validated resources to improve your precepting abilities. Clinical teaching strategies and practical tips can help preceptors maintain clinical productivity while integrating a student into the clinical setting.

Forms and Documents >>

Pre-requisite Course Evaluation

Eligibility for the Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant (PA) program requires completion of the program’s pre-requisite courses, found by clicking here. In an effort to assist prospective students in evaluating their previous coursework for equivalency to the required pre-requisites, the School of Medicine Office of Admissions has provided information below for courses that have previously been evaluated for equivalency.

PLEASE NOTE: Due to the high volume of courses offered that may meet the pre-requisite requirements, only courses that have been officially reviewed in the application process are posted below. If you have taken coursework that is not listed below, you may email a syllabus of the course to medicine@umkc.edu for official equivalency approval (and it will be posted below thereafter). This list is continually updated as courses are reviewed for approval.

A-C

Alamance Community College
Allen County Community College
Alma College
American Public University System
Arapahoe Community College
Arizona State University
Arkansas State University
Atlanta Metropolitan College
Auburn University
Austin Community College
Avila University
Azusa Pacific University
Baker University
Barry University
Barton County Community College
Baylor University
Bellevue University
Bemidji State University
Benedictine College
Benedictine University – Lisle
Bethany College – Lindsborg
Bethel College
Bethel College – North Newton
Bethel University
Blinn College
Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Bluegrass Community and Technical College
Boise State University
Boston University
Bradley University
Brigham Young University
Brigham Young University – Hawaii
Brigham Young University – Idaho
Brookhaven College
Broward College
Butler Community College
Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo
CALCampus
California State University – Chico
Calvin College
Camden County College
Cardinal Stritch University
Cayuga Community College

Cedar Valley College
Central College
Central Methodist University
Central Michigan University
Central New Mexico Community College
Central Wyoming College
Centre College
Century Community and Technical College
Chicago State University
Cisco Junior College
Clarke University
Cleveland Chiropractic College – Kansas City
Cloud County Community College
Coffeyville Community College
College of Dupage
College of Southern Nevada
College of the Ozarks
Colorado Mesa University
Colorado State University – Fort Collins
Colorado Technical University – Kansas City, MO
Columbia College (MO)
Community College of Denver
Community College of Philadelphia
Concordia University – Seward
Cornell University
Cottey College
Cox College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Creighton University

D-K
Dalton State College
Delaware Technical Community College
DePauw University
Des Moines Area Community College
Dixie State College of Utah
Doane College
Dodge City Community College
Donnelly College
Drake University
Drexel University
Drury University
East Carolina University
East Central Community College
Eastern Illinois University
Eastern Kentucky University
El Camino
College

El Paso Community College
Elmhurst College
Emporia State University
Evangel University
Florida Atlantic University
Florida State College – Jacksonville
Fontbonne University
Foothill College
Fort Hays State University
Fort Lewis College
Front Range Community College
Galveston College
Garden City Community College
Gateway Community College – Phoenix
Gateway Technical College
Georgia Military College
Georgia Perimeter College
Georgia State University
Glendale Community College (Arizona)
Golden West College
Governors State University
Graceland University
Grand Valley State University
Grand View University
Greensboro College
Greenville College
Greenville Technical College
Grinnell College
Gustavus Adolphus College
Hamline University
Harding University
Harold Washington College – City Colleges of Chicago
Harry S. Truman College – City Colleges of Chicago
Harvard University Extension
Heartland Community College
Highland Community College
Hillsborough Community College
Hofstra University
Houston Community College
Howard Community College
Hudson County Community College

Hutchinson Community College
Illinois Central College
Illinois College
Illinois State University
Indiana State University
Indiana University – Bloomington
Indiana Wesleyan University
Inver Hills Community College
Iowa State University
Ithaca College
James Madison University
Jefferson College
John Brown University
John Wood Community College
Johnson County Community College
Kalamazoo Valley Community College
Kankakee Community College
Kansas City Kansas Community College
Kansas State University
Kaskaskia College
Kirkwood Community College
Klamath Community College

L-N
Labette Community College
Lagrange College
Lake Land College
Laney College
Lansing Community College
Lee University
Lewis and Clark Community College
Lewis University
Lincoln Land Community College
Lincoln University
Lindenwood University
Lipscomb University
Logan College of Chiropractic
Logan University
Loras College
Loyola University Chicago
Loyola University New Orleans
Luther College
Madison Area Technical College
Madison College
Malcolm X College – City Colleges of Chicago
Marquette University
Maryville University
Master’s College and Seminary
McLennan Community College
McNeese State University
Metropolitan Community College – Blue River
Metropolitan Community College – Kansas City / Lee’s Summit
Metropolitan Community College – Longview
Metropolitan Community College – Maple Woods
Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley
Metropolitan Community College (Omaha, NE)
Miami University – Oxford
Michigan State University
MidAmerica Nazarene University
Midwestern State University
Midwestern University – Downers Grove
Midwestern University – Glendale
Minneapolis Community and Technical College
Minnesota State University – Mankato
Minnesota State University – Moorhead
Missouri Baptist University
Missouri Southern State University
Missouri State University
Missouri University of Science & Technology
Missouri Western State University
Moberly Area Community College
Montgomery College – Rockville
Moorpark College
Moraine Valley Community College
Mott Community College
National American University – Lee’s Summit, MO
Nebraska Wesleyan University
Neosho County Community College
New Mexico Junior College
New River Community College
New York University
Newman University
Normandale Community College
North Carolina State University
North Central Missouri College
North Dakota State University
North Hennepin Community College
North Iowa Area Community College
North Lake College
Northeast Community College
Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College
Northeastern State University
Northern Illinois University
Northern Michigan University
Northern Oklahoma College
Northwest Arkansas Community College
Northwest Florida State College
Northwest Missouri State University
Northwestern Oklahoma State University
Northwestern University
Nova Southeastern University

O-T
Oakland Community College (MI)
Oakland University
Oakton Community College
Ocean County College
Ohlone College
Oklahoma State University – Stillwater
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon State University
Ozarks Technical Community College
Palm Beach State College
Park University
Pikes Peak Community College
Pima Community College
Pittsburg State University
Portland Community College
Portland State University
Prairie State College
Pratt Community College
Pulaski Community College (Now Pulaski Technical College)
Purdue University
Quincy University
Ramapo College of New Jersey
Richland Community College
Rio Salado College
Rock Valley College
Rockhurst University
Rogers State University
Rose State College
Saint Ambrose University
Saint Charles Community College
Saint John’s University (NY)
Saint Louis College of Pharmacy
Saint Louis Community College
Saint Louis University
Saint Olaf College
Saint Paul College
Saint Petersburg College
San Diego Mesa College
Santa Monica College
Shasta College
Shorter College
Simpson College
South Dakota State University
Southeast Missouri State University
Southern California University of Health Sciences
Southern Illinois University – Carbondale
Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
Southern Methodist University
Southern Virginia University
Southwest Baptist University
Southwestern Illinois College
Stanford University
State Fair Community College
Stephens College
Sterling College (KS)
Tarrant County College – Southeast
Tarrant County College – Trinity River
Taylor University – Upland Campus
Texas A&M University – College Station
Texas A&M – Corpus Christi
Texas Christian University
Texas Tech University
Three Rivers Community College – Poplar Bluff
Towson University
Triton College
Troy University
Truckee Meadows Community College
Truman State University
Tulsa Community College
Tyler Junior College

U-University of
United States Air Force Academy
University of Alabama – Birmingham
University of Arizona
University of Arkansas
University of Arkansas – Little Rock
University of California – Berkeley (Extension)
University of California – Davis
University of California – Los Angeles
University of California – Los Angeles (Extension)
University of California – San Diego
University of California – San Diego (Extension)
University of California – Santa Barbara
University of Central Missouri
University of Central Oklahoma
University of Colorado – Boulder
University of Colorado – Colorado Springs
University of Colorado – Denver and Health Sciences Center
University of Dayton
University of Denver
University of Detroit Mercy
University of Florida
University of Georgia
University of Houston – Clear Lake
University of Illinois – Chicago
University of Illinois – Springfield
University of Illinois – Urbana / Champaign
University of Iowa
University of Kansas
University of Kansas Medical Center
University of Maryland – Baltimore County
University of Maryland – College Park
University of Michigan
University of Michigan-Dearborn
University of Minnesota – Twin Cities
University of Mississippi
University of Missouri – Columbia
University of Missouri – Kansas City
University of Missouri – Saint Louis
University of Nebraska – Lincoln
University of Nebraska – Omaha
University of Nebraska Medical Center
University of Nevada – Las Vegas
University of Nevada, Reno
University of New England
University of New Mexico
University of North Carolina – Asheville
University of North Carolina at Greensboro
University of North Dakota
University of North Texas Health Science Center – Fort Worth
University of Northern Colorado
University of Northern Iowa
University of Notre Dame
University of Oklahoma
University of Saint Francis (IL)
University of Saint Mary (KS)

University of Saint Thomas (MN)
University of San Diego
University of Scranton
University of Sioux Falls
University of South Carolina
University of South Florida – Tampa
University of Southern Indiana
University of Texas – San Antonio
University of Texas at Arlington
University of Texas at Austin
University of Texas at Tyler
University of Tulsa
University of Wisconsin – Green Bay
University of Wisconsin – La Crosse
University of Wisconsin – Madison
University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point
University of Wisconsin – Waukesha County
University of Wisconsin – Whitewater
University of Wyoming
Upper Iowa University
Utah State University

Admissions Committee

The intent of the MMSPA Admissions Committee is to identify and select those applicants who demonstrate the ability to fulfill the purpose of the UMKC MMSPA program.  The MMSPA Admissions Committee must establish appropriate policies and procedures with regards to the selection of students for the MMSPA program.  The admissions policies of the Admissions Committee must guarantee a competitive review process, the individual review of applicants, and an open assessment of what the applicant may potentially contribute to the PA program and healthcare community.  This process must be applied equally and consistently to all applicants.

The admissions process should provide a holistic review of all applicants who meet the minimum requirements for admission.  This review should focus on academic achievements and ability, but should also provide an open review of other talents and experiences that relate to potential success as a physician assistant.  It is necessary for the Committee to review applicants in terms of their potential academic success in the MMSPA program, but also in terms of their potential contribution to the greater healthcare community and to the learning experiences of others around them.

With a limited number of seats available in the incoming class, the Admissions Committee faces the challenge of selecting future physician assistants from numerous applicants with strong combinations of academic performance, aptitudes and abilities.  This challenge necessitates clear intentions from the Committee.

Residency:  The students who enter the MMSPA program shall be selected from three residency categories: Missouri resident, Kansas resident, and non-resident.  Resident students are those who are bona fide residents of the State of Missouri according to the residency rules of the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri.  While out-of-state students are welcome to apply to UMKC’s PA Program, preference and priority consideration is given to in-state students from the state of Missouri as well as to students from the state of Kansas.*

Eligibility:  Only students who are U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the U.S. are eligible to be considered for admission to the MMSPA program.

Competitive Review:  All applicants to the MMSPA program who meet the minimum requirements for admission are considered equally in the admissions process.  All applications are initially pre-screened by the School of Medicine Office of Admissions.  All applications are screened by the MMSPA Program Director, as well as by two members of the  MMSPA Admissions Committee. Applications are screened within the appropriate applicant pool (resident or non-resident), and the screening process determines which students will be offered the opportunity to interview.

Once interviews are complete, all interviewed applicants are reviewed equally by members of the Admissions Committee.  The Admissions Committee considers each applicant individually within the appropriate applicant pool (resident or non-resident), and all applicants are reviewed under the same criteria and expectations.  Both the screening and selection process are competitive.

The selection process for the MMSPA program provides individual review of applicants in both the screening and selection process, competitive review of all applicants and a holistic review of applications once an applicant has met the minimum requirements for admission.  The School of Medicine does not adhere to any quotas when considering and selecting students for any of its programs.

The Holistic Process:  The MMSPA program utilizes a holistic review process, a process that is a flexible and individualized way of assessing applicants.*  Balanced consideration will be given to the experiences, attributes and metrics as defined by the MMSPA Admissions Committee in alignment with the strategic plan and goals of the program and the School of Medicine.  The experiences, attributes and metrics will be considered in combination with how a student might contribute to the program and to the profession.

The holistic review process utilized by the MMSPA program is defined by several key concepts:**

  1. The criteria for selecting students are broadly based, but linked to the School of Medicine and MMSPA program’s mission and goals, specifically promoting diversity as an essential element to achieving a vibrant health science learning community.
  2. A balance of experiences, attributes and metrics is used to evaluate applicants in order to create a diverse applicant pool, interview pool and student body. The use of experiences, attributes and metrics is applied consistently to all applicants when making admissions decisions.
  3. In addition to the review of experiences, attributes and metrics, the MMSPA Admissions Committee gives individualized consideration to how each applicant might impact the PA community and the profession.
  4. Metrics of diversity, such as race, ethnicity, or geographic origin, are factors that influence admissions decisions only when aligned with the strategic plan and mission of the School of Medicine and the MMSPA program and only when considered among the broader mix of experiences, attributes and metrics.***

The review and selection process executed by the Admissions Committee evaluates both cognitive and non-cognitive variables.  Cognitive variables, such as grade point average, performance in pre-requisite courses and standardized test scores, are essential in selecting students.  However, while such cognitive variables are factors in considering applicants, no academic accomplishment of whatever superiority constitutes an entitlement of admission to the MMSPA program.

Although cognitive variables are considered, it is also important to consider other non-cognitive variables such as passion for medicine, civic or community volunteer experience and maturity.  MMSPA applicants are evaluated holistically using the following application components:

Cumulative college/university grade point average
Pre-requisite grade point average
Standardized test score (MCAT or GRE)
Personal statement
Activities, leadership or other experiences
Health experiences/Investigation of the PA profession
Letters of recommendation
Results of the interview process (if applicable)

Policy Review:  The admissions policies of the MMSPA program must be reviewed annually by the MMSPA Admissions Committee to ensure fair, equal and consistent evaluation of applicants.  Regardless of policy changes, the admissions and selection process must remain competitive with individualized and flexible review of applicants.

A Statement of Diversity

The MMSPA program intends to admit a class of students who can contribute to the diversity of the UMKC School of Medicine, the PA program, as well as to the PA profession and community.  The School of Medicine believes that diversity among peers during education prepares students to effectively deliver health care within diverse communities upon graduation.

The Admissions Committee intends to foster diversity through the selection of candidates for admission to the MMSPA program.  This will include, but not be limited to, admitting students from different racial and ethnic origins, socioeconomic backgrounds, rural and urban communities, academic backgrounds, as well as students who can contribute to the experience of PA education through different personal experiences such as overcoming hardship, serving in the military, demonstrating extensive involvement within the community, possessing multilingual abilities and/or exhibiting different life experiences that may contribute to achieving diversity.

Equal access to the School of Medicine will be offered to all candidates regardless of race, sex, religious persuasion, sexual orientation, or national origin, provided they meet the other criteria expressed in the statement of intent.  The School of Medicine does not employ a quota system when reviewing and admitting applicants.  All applicants are reviewed individually and holistically.

*Out of state tuition, costs, and fees still apply.

**Definition and concepts taken from:  Association of American Medical Colleges:  Holistic Review Project, 2011.

***Under federal law and as permitted by the State of Missouri and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Student Profiles

Brandon Bressler
Brandon Bressler
Hometown: Branson, Missouri
Class of 2021
College/University Attended: College of the Ozarks
Undergraduate Major: Molecular Biology
Specialty Interest: Family Practice
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC School of Medicine?

The UMKC PA program has many features which both initially attracted me to apply here and to ultimately choose it as my first choice school. When I compared it to other schools, I was impressed with both the organization of program and that fact that a majority of the lecturers also teach in the medical school or are practicing providers in their respective fields. I also admired that the faculty are committed to providing students with first-hand clinical experiences throughout their diadatic year. These begin within the first semester of the program and include experiences in both the hospital setting as well as community outreach through the Sojourner Health Clinic.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience?

Ironically, what I’ve enjoyed most about my experience so far is the same thing that I was most anxious about when initially applying: the small class size. For me, starting at UMKC meant moving from a small town to much larger metropolitan area where I didn’t know anyone or how to get around. However, what I realize now is that the program takes special care when selecting applicants to ensure that the class will be both diverse and cohesive. Each of my classmates has lived their own journey and possesses skills leading them to this career. We utilize our different backgrounds to help one another succeed and understand various concepts. The people in your class are not only classmates, they become your friends, your family, and your support system almost instantly. Additionally, the school’s smaller class size means more individualized attention from the faculty. They know not only know your name but have a genuine interest in you as a person and are dedicated to ensuring that you have everything you need to become an educated, competent PA.

Student organizations involved with/honors and awards?

  • Physician Assistant Student Association – President
  • Physician Assistant Student Ambassador


Bailey Hession
Bailey Hession
Hometown: Willard, Missouri
College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Columbia
Undergraduate Major: Health Sciences
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program?

I was born and raised in Missouri, so I really wanted to attend schools in state for both my undergraduate and master’s degrees. Two schools in the University of Missouri system ended up being my perfect matches. And because I did attend Mizzou, a partner institution, for my undergraduate degree, I was also able to take advantage of the PA Scholars Program that UMKC offers. It was a unique opportunity for me to apply to PA school during my senior year of college and get accepted a year early. Because of this, I was able to finish my senior year stress free, as I knew exactly where I was going after graduation. In addition, I really appreciated UMKC’s dedication to looking at the applicant holistically; I think it helps the school to get the best prospects to apply each year.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

I have really enjoyed the small class size, as getting to know all my classmates has been amazing. We all come from such different backgrounds and experiences, so we all have different contributions to make to the class. I was unsure what to expect from a graduate level cohort, but since there are only 20 of us, we have become very close. They are the only ones that know what this experience is like, and we have become such a great support system for each other during this process. The small class size has also allowed us to get the most from our professors as well. They are able to dedicate their time and talents to making sure we become the best version of ourselves. They always have an open-door policy and really are here to help us succeed.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

I believe that PAs have the ability to impact patients in a way that other providers might not be able to. This career provides a unique opportunity to be able to interact and care for patients while still providing high-level medical knowledge. I have always been drawn to the balance that PAs have between medicine and patient interaction. In practice, I hope to develop a patient-provider bond that will allow me to impact my patients in more ways than one. I also want to provide quality care that is easily accessible by all and, by becoming a PA, I can do that. All this can be done within the confines of a team of providers, which I think is the best way to practice. I pursued this degree to be able to help the most people in the shortest amount of time. To go to school for 2.5 years and graduate as a competent, caring provider is something that you cannot find in many other professions. Upon graduation, hopefully a job will not be hard to find, so I know that what I have learned here at UMKC will be put to good use right after graduation.



Alexis Bridges
Alexis Bridges
Hometown: Florissant, Missouri
Class of 2020
College/University Attended: University of Missouri - Kansas City
Undergraduate Major: Biolgoy
Why did you choose to attend the UMKC Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant Program?

I got my undergraduate degree from UMKC so I already knew and appreciated how much UMKC truly cares about diversity and giving back to the community. Since freshman year of undergraduate, UMKC has always felt like home to me so I was extremely happy to continue my education at the same school.

What have you enjoyed most about your experience at UMKC?

Bonding with my classmates while, at the same time, learning to provide the best patient care possible.

Why are you pursuing a career as a Physician Assistant?

During undergrad, I was on the pre-med track. I loved the science behind medicine, and I thought that becoming a doctor was my best option. It wasn’t until senior year, when I began shadowing other medical professions, that I realized the PA profession lined up perfectly with what I wanted for a career. I love the fact that, as a PA, you get to work as part of a team to give patients the best healthcare possible. I love the fact I would still get to see my own patients and make my own medical diagnoses. On top of that, I love the fact that the process to becoming a PA is much shorter than becoming a doctor. From what I’ve been told the work-life balance is also great as well. There are countless other pros about the PA profession—such as the ability to switch specialties and the fact that the job outlook is expected to grow by 30% in the next 10 years. It’s a great time to be a PA. I’m so happy that I chose this career path, it was the best choice for me, and I wouldn’t change a thing. I can’t wait until I’m officially a PA-C.