PAs are educated on the same medical model that physicians undergo during their training within a physician directed and patient-centered healthcare team.
First year, is considered didactic year:
- involves intensive coursework in medical foundations across all body systems/areas of medicine (anatomy & physiology, cardiology, respirology, hematology, GI, oncology, infectious disease, etc.)
- learning clinical skills (history taking, performing physical exams, interpreting lab results, reading x-rays & imaging)
- communications skills (preventative health counselling, motivational interviewing, etc.),
- and medical and professional ethics.
Second year, is clinical year, also known as “clerkship”. This compromises of clinical rotations across different areas and specialties of medicine: core rotations in placements like family medicine, emergency medicine, psychiatry, general surgery, internal medicine – although this varies from school to school. Evaluations for each rotation (lasting 4-12 weeks) completed by your clinical preceptor (a PA or physician) and you may have to complete a written test.
After completion of study, PAs go directly into practice. Additional learning takes place on the job, and scope of practice grows as PA builds competencies.
Regardless of your educational background or medical experience, you cannot skip any part of PA school.