Arizona School of Health Sciences
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Physician Assistant

Physician Assistant

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Who We Are : Program and Guidebooks : Faculty and Staff : Students and Alumni : Didactic and Clinical Year Overview : Admission : Tuition and Financial Aid : Profession : Fact Sheet

Didactic and Clinical Year Overview


Didactic Year Overview

Classroom lectures and labs are conducted on the Mesa campus.  Lectures are generally in large group format, often with case studies, interactive clickers, and projects to encourage participation and collaboration with peers and faculty. 

Labs are generally in smaller group format, often with students working with other students and faculty to practice skills (for example: clinical skills, procedures, history taking, and physical exam). 

Standardized patients are utilized to give “real world” scenarios and exposure in the testing environment to best prepare students for clinical rotations. 

Students gain practical experience to prepare for clinical rotations by going into the community to see patients during their didactic year.  Students build confidence by working closely with preceptors and patients.   Examples of these didactic year clinical experiences include the following:

  • Family Medicine
  • Community Health
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Hematology/Oncology
  • Medical Examiner
  • General Surgery
  • Ears Nose Throat (ENT)
  • Dental Clinic
  • Mesa Fire Department (Emergency Medical Response)

Clinical Year Overview

All students complete eight 6-week clinical rotations which include the following:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Women’s Health
  • General Surgery
  • Behavioral Health
  • Elective

Students are assigned to complete their supervised clinical practical experiences in either the state of Arizona (Arizona Track Campus) or one of our community health center partners. 

Arizona Track for Clinical Experiences

Students in the Arizona Track for Clinical Experiences focus on serving the communities in Arizona.  Clinical rotations are generally assigned in the Phoenix and surrounding areas, and they may be assigned to other areas of the state. 

Community Health Centers (CHC) for Clinical Experiences

CHC Community Campuses are located in various locations throughout the United States.  Students generally live in the community where they are serving.  Most rotations are completed in the CHC itself, which may have multiple locations in the geographic area.  Emergency medicine and general surgery clinical experiences are generally completed in nearby hospitals that work with the CHCs. 

Our current CHC partners include the following:

  • Community Health Centers of the Central Coast, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Teche Action Clinic, Franklin, LA
  • Morton Comprehensive Health Services, Tulsa, OK
  • Albany Area Primary Health Care, Albany, GA
  • Family Healthcare Network, Visalia, CA
  • Camarena Health, Madera, CA