Co-op and Experiential Learning Options

Physician Assistant BS/MS

You will have a wide range of opportunities for career preparation directly related to your field of study, all of which provide hands-on experiences that turn knowledge into know-how.

Typical Co-op Schedule

Determined by department

Additional Circumstances

Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations include a five-week experience in various disciplines of medicine, providing students with the opportunity to apply the basic principles of medicine to hospital-based and ambulatory patient care settings. Students are assigned to a primary preceptor (physician/physician assistant) and are exposed to a wide variety of acute and chronic medical problems. The emphasis is on data gathering, physical examination, differential diagnosis, patient management, maintenance of medical records, performance of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, and the provision of patient education and counseling. Mandatory rotations are in the fields of internal medicine, family medicine, orthopedics, emergency medicine, women's health, pediatrics, general surgery, and behavioral health. Students also select two elective rotations, which enables them to customize their experience according to their medical area of interest.

The clinical rotations represent the integration and combination of the didactic and clinical phases of the physician assistant program. A great deal of planning has gone into creating a learning environment that will allow the student to obtain the high-level skills required for practice as a physician assistant. The affiliates (hospitals and office-practices) are busy places offering a variety of services. It is the responsibility of the student to explore and learn as much as possible during this very important year. You will be assigned a preceptor for each rotation by the program. This will generally be a physician, physician assistant program, or nurse practitioner who is responsible for your actions and educational experience. In general, the student is expected to participate in each and every aspect of the department or office where assigned.

The physician assistant program is fortunate to have the support of the local and neighboring medical communities for providing clinical sites offering a wide array of clinical experiences. Program faculty provides rotation assignments for all students. The program cannot assure the student assignment to a clinical affiliate within the immediate Rochester area or other desired area. Several of these sites are located some distance from the RIT main campus. The physician assistant program makes every attempt to assist the student in finding suitable housing. However, ultimately the responsibility for housing, travel, and food are the student's responsibility.

Career Services Contact

Portrait of Kris Stehler.
Kris Stehler
Assistant Director