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Greetings! We are extremely proud of our School, its history and tradition of excellence. We are also proud of the University of Florida and the College of Medicine for the support that has been given to this School throughout our history.

The University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies is a continuous 24-month, full-time educational program that accepts new students once a year to begin in late June. The program strives to prepare physician assistants in a broad range of medical and surgical knowledge and skills and educate them to provide high-quality and compassionate health care to diverse patient populations under the supervision of a licensed physician.

The first half of the curriculum consists of an intensive didactic phase taught in the classrooms, laboratories, and clinical facilities of the University of Florida Health Science Center in Gainesville. School faculty, joined by faculty from the College of Medicine and other Health Science Center colleges, teach courses that include the basic and clinical sciences.

The clinical phase of the curriculum is built around 12 one-month clinical rotations at the associated teaching hospitals and clinics of the University of Florida Health Science Center, including UF Health Jacksonville, and at hospitals, clinics and physicians’ private practices throughout Florida, from Pensacola to Miami. Clinical settings are spread across urban, inner city and rural areas.

A capstone project is a requirement for graduation. Capstone project details and development will begin in the academic year culminating in a manuscript and presentation in the clinical year.

Upon successful completion of the two-year curriculum, the student is awarded the Master of Physician Assistant Studies degree as well as a Certificate of Completion. The graduate is then eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).

The school is fully accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). The next accreditation review is scheduled for 2027.

Below you will see some frequently asked questions.

What modes of Instruction are used at UF?

We utilize cased based learning, problem based learning, practice-based learning, systems-based learning. Our classroom utilizes MD/PhD/UF School of Physician Assistant Studies lecturers for all. Medicine and the sciences (Pharmacology and Physiology) are taught primarily in strict lecture format due to the volume of material needing to be covered in a 50-minute space of time. Medicine classes will also utilize clinical cases to teach and emphasize the points needing bolstering. Medicine/Pharmacology/Physiology are taught in systems-based fashion. For example, if studying Cardiology in Medicine, then Pharmacology covers cardiac medications and Physiology covers cardiac function. These courses are taught simultaneously in the fall semester of the 1st year. We use small group learning and simulation throughout.

 

What are the clinical experiences students participate in in the 1st year?

Our 1st year students are given opportunities to volunteer on UF’s Mobile Outreach clinic or the Equal Access clinic, of which the mobile outreach clinic is a part in their very 1st semester. In the 2nd semester, which is in the fall of the 1st year, students are expected to volunteer a minimal number of hours utilizing interview and exam skills taught earlier or concurrently. In the spring of the first year students are assigned a Medicine resident in one of the hospitals and with the Resident’s guidance, students are assigned patients who they must interview, examine and write up. We provide a generous amount of simulated clinical training in our program which enhances classroom teaching.

 

What qualities make a student successful in our program?

The qualities that make a student successful in our program include, but are not limited to, a solid academic foundation (we have found academic strength in students having over a 3.0 science GPA minimum and over 300 GRE minimum), varied clinical exposure of more than 2000 hours hands-on and/or scribing patient care experience, and backgrounds of volunteer work, leadership, and assorted life’s experiences.

 

What is the process of remediation if a student is struggling?

Failed exams require remediation in areas not passed. Remediation varies a good deal depending on the professor and what was missed. Remediation design is individualized depending on the circumstances and is never the same for any two students. Struggling students are offered tutors and tools to use on their own at no charge. If an end of rotation exam is failed in the 2nd year, students must retake the exam they failed in a subsequent month, and they may have to repeat the rotation.

 

What makes UF stand out?

The University of Florida’s College of Medicine (COM) is the largest of (6) health science colleges on a contiguous campus in the heart of Gainesville.  UF COM includes the oldest and highest-ranked public medical and PA schools in Florida.  Our PA school has been continually accredited since 1973.  The design of the George T. Harrell, M.D. Medical Education Building was specifically with medical and PA students in mind and the kindling of relationships between the two professions.  Its doors are open 24/7 to medical and PA students alone.  The building fosters a collaborative and interprofessional learning environment and features state-of-the-art learning studios, student lounges, small group study rooms with writable walls, and two floors of clinical simulation labs.  

UF’s PA school is one of a few in the nation that includes a Cadaver Lab and Anatomy lectures taught fully by pathologists.  Students in a ratio of 5-6 per non-prosected cadaver are taught to dissect the complete human body and recognize anatomical variations in other cadavers in the lab.  

Classroom instruction in the first year involves a patient-centered approach and rigorous competency-based curriculum designed to teach and foster learning of the biomedical, clinical, and psychosocial sciences. The second year of training involves more than 2,000 hours of clinical rotations in medical and surgical disciplines.  The highest standards of professionalism, and interpersonal, communication, and clinical skills are developed and integrated throughout UF’s PA school.  

For our PA education curriculum overview, visit www.pap.med.ufl.edu/academics.

 

How does UF view Personal Statements?

I view PERSONAL STATEMENTS as telling a story - your story. They are generally

used to state why/how you came to seek the PA profession for yourself.

Sometimes a story involving a patient(s) is how it's done. Sometimes just your

evolution for how you got to the point of applying.

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