Yale School of Medicine’s PA Online curriculum prepares students to become compassionate, well-rounded, patient-focused physician assistants. Students work closely with faculty members and other clinicians to build their skills and become excellent members of health care teams.
The program is designed to be completed in 28 months of full-time study. The didactic year is comprised of 57 credits while the clinical year offers 61 — a total of 118 credits delivered through four integrated components.
“The course content built upon itself and made it easy to think about topics many times throughout the didactic year instead of just in isolated sections. I found the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) groups to be particularly helpful as it forced us to utilize the information we were learning and start to put things together.”
– Rebecca Preston ’20, MMSc
The first 12 months of the program focus on online classes and coursework in which students explore the various organ systems, such as cardiology, hematology, and gastroenterology. Pediatric, emergency, and geriatric medicine are integrated throughout the curriculum as students work to refine their clinical skills and consider how learned material is applicable in real-life situations.
All classes are taught by Yale School of Medicine faculty, who also develop the content for all coursework. Students attend classes using the program’s Online Campus, a portal that houses assignments, schedules, coursework, and the virtual classroom.
The Clinical Experience in Early Didactic (CEED) is a curriculum component designed for first year Yale Physician Assistant Online students. CEED exposes students to direct patient care in clinical settings and provides 120+ hours of hands-on experience.
A preceptor will be assigned to each student and act as their guiding supervisor through the didactic year. CEED enables students to develop a practical understanding of PA skills and responsibilities prior to beginning the clinical year.
Students spend the last 16 months of the program acquiring hands-on clinical experience working at sites in or near their communities. All clinical work is designed to offer students practical experience working in teams and maintaining ethical medical practice.
Each four-week rotation is supervised by a clinical preceptor. Students can expect to dedicate 40 hours or more per week to each clinical rotation.
Yale placement specialists work with students to secure clinical rotation sites in or near students’ own communities. All placements are approved and supervised by Yale faculty, as are clinical preceptors.
Immersions are opportunities for students to hone hands-on skills while working in the Yale Center for Medical Simulation. Students demonstrate their surgical approach through cadaver dissection and gain experience working in team-based environments.
Students are required to attend three weeklong immersions on the Yale campus in New Haven, Connecticut.
Throughout the PA Online Program, students have access to an immersive, photorealistic virtual reality software. When teaching select organ systems, traditional lecture content is supplemented with faculty conducting interactive demonstrations. Students can continue studying on their own with the software, by manipulating, dissecting, and traveling inside the virtual organs. Organs are viewable in their healthy and diseased states, allowing for direct and detailed comparison.