LCE is longitudinal clinical experience (called Longitudinal Placements or LPs at McMaster’s PA Program). We are expected to do 30 to 40 hours Max, in any clinical setting.
In certain semesters, we have certain requirements for areas of medicine. For example, 10 hours of LCE has to be primary care, which includes family medicine as well as emergency medicine. And you can do the remaining hours in other specialties.
The thing about LCEs is you are expected to reach out and network and, this goes back to the importance of networking skills.
We are given an LCE database of clinical preceptors and locations, to reach out to people who’ve taken students on before. These LCEs are done based on your interests, and you do these clinical placements and again, throughout the week.
Tuesdays are officially allocated for those placements. Your day could range from just four hours of clinic, or 10 hours like when a General Surgery LCE which was from 7:30 a to 5:30 PM. So it can be short or long days.
Every semester has a different requirement and as you progress through 1st year PA school, you’ll find that second and third semesters LCE requirements are more focused on specialties. While first semester you have primary care as well as allied health professionals, which is when I was able to do those super cool, EMS places and with the paramedics.