Clinical Role of the Student

PA White Coat Ceremony 2018

All students who have promoted to the clinical phase of the program have completed 15 months of didactic classes in preparation of their clinical year and should exhibit a baseline of medical knowledge and clinical skills. A course syllabus will be provided to the preceptor outlining the course learning objectives the student must meet.

Clinical experiences should be educational for the PA student, thus students 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 under the preceptor’s supervision. 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.

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
  • Discussing/recommending treatment approach, medication, and follow-up care
  • 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

UMKC PA students are on-boarded/credentialed with the facility/hospital similarly to medical providers in order to participate in clinical rotations. This includes, but is not limited to, providing verification of annual HIPAA, OSHA, and compliance training, in addition to any required site-specific trainings and health screenings.