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Physician Assistant Science Student Opportunities

  • Explore the Possibilities

    Our students gain real world experience that equips them with the skill sets they need to land world class careers. Below are just a few of the opportunities waiting for you as a future physician assistant student. 

    • Karly Link Profile - Spotlight

      A day in the trauma unit

      "I can be seeing a new trauma and doing all sorts of procedures like chest tubes, central lines or suturing. Next I can be taking care of our inpatients or seeing how our discharged patients are doing in clinic. There’s never a dull moment," said Karly Link, PA-C '14.

      Read more about Karly

    • Elisha Fleig Profile Spotlight

      College to the Cleveland Clinic

      Elisha Fleig, Class of 2013, shares how her double major in Physician Assistant Science and Spanish prepared her to land her dream job as a PA-C at the Cleveland Clinic Bone Marrow Transplant Unit.

      Read Elisha's story

    • PA Jen Cyktor  Profile Spotlight

      A mother's inspiration

      Six years ago, Jen Cyktor’s mother passed away from Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Today, Jen works as a physician assistant in the Cancer Center at UPMC Shadyside in Pittsburgh.

      Read Jen's story

  • Clinical Rotations

    Our students complete eight 5-week rotations in the following specialties:

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

    They also are able to complete one 5-week elective in the specialty of their choosing. These rotations include private practices and hospitals; in a variety of locations-from rural family practices to inner-city clinics to major medical centers. The majority of clinical sites are in Pennsylvania and the surrounding states; however, rotations are available in various locations within the U.S. and abroad. There are some states in which we are not able to offer clinical rotations.  To see the most current list, please follow the link to the SFU State Authorization page.  

    In January of 2012, two of our clinical students completed a five-week rotation in South Africa. The students stayed with a host family in Vangaurd estate. Rosemarie Tyger was in the Ortho Clinic. She applied and removed casts, checked wounds, removed sutures, read x-rays, saw patients, got a history and did physicals. She also assisted during surgery. She saw about 60-70 patients per day in the clinic.

    Labs

    PA Casting and Splinting LabHistory and Physical Examination/Clinical Skills Lab

    This lab provides a clinical-type setting where students are taught the complete history and physical exam and have the opportunity to practice exam techniques on student lab partners. The lab contains:

    • eight examination tables, two of which provide accommodations for pelvic exams
    • two wall-mounted oto-ophthalmoscopes
    • various models to give the students practice on such modalities as suturing and the giving of injections
    • instruments for attaining clinical skills in casting and other orthopedic modalities
    • numerous boney and plastic skeletal models which provide acumen on anatomical knowledge.

    Cadaver Lab

    Pictures or drawings of the human body provided by books, CD-ROM presentations, and videos lack the ability to provide students with the 3-dimensional sensation working on the human body. The approach in our program is more hands-on, as PA faculty members teach students clinically-applied anatomy via the use of human cadavers, which have been prosected by a Ph.D. anatomist. We are fortunate to have cadavers to use from the Human Gift Registry in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The PA department procures two or three cadavers per year for teaching purposes.

    PA Student Society

    PA Society

    Purpose

    The Society is organized and shall be operated as the official organization of the Physician Assistant students at Saint Francis University. To represent Physician Assistant students so as to maximize the benefit of their services to the public, the Society shall:

    • Promote the concept of the Physician Assistant as a member of the professional health care team both in the university and medical community.
    • Promote professional attitudes, awareness, and high medical standards of education among Physician Assistant students at Saint Francis University.
    • Serve as the official liaison between the national and state levels of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
    • Serve as the liaison in establishing and continuing communication between other Physician Assistant student societies, medical societies and other healthcare organizations.
    • Provide or sponsor continuing medical or medically-related education programs for the Saint Francis University students.
    • Provide any information concerning national and state legislation and/or policies, which affect the individual Physician Assistant and/or student in the pursuit of his/her role on the healthcare team.

    Yearly Activities include

    • Hosting community PAs for Q&A nights
    • Sponsoring a table at the Activities fair and CLASS days
    • Organizing a medical equipment and PA clothing order
    • Miscellaneous campus and community events for health screening or PA awareness

    Community Service

    PA Community Service Flu Shots

    In addition to community service hours completed in the pre-PA curriculum, PA majors complete at a minimum 25 hours of service in the didactic year.  These hours may include volunteering to:

    • Administer flu shots
    • Assist with athletic physical exams
    • Help at the University's Dorothy Day Center or any outreach program such at Salvation Army and St. Vincent DePaul Society
    • Participate in the University's Reaching Every Door (RED) day
    • Raise money for non-profit organizations such as American Cancer Society and Make a Wish Foundation 
    Networking

    PSPA LogoAAPA Logo

    As a student you may participate in professional activities including attending and presenting in professional conferences as you learn new things and are ready to share your research. Membership in the Pennsylvania Society of Physician Assistants (PSPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) is enthusiastically supported and encouraged. Some of our students participate in "Challenge Bowl" that occurs each year at the PSPA annual conference. 

    PA Honor Society

    Pi Alpha is the national PA honor society organized for the promotion and recognition of both PA students and graduates. Membership signifies the inductees’ significant academic achievement and honors them for their leadership, research, community/professional service, and other related activities. The society also encourages a high standard of character and conduct among students and graduates. Each year, numerous SFU students are inducted into the honor society.

    Study Abroad

    Service Learning: Hugs Mission Trip

    Hondurous Spring PIC

    The Hugs United Spring Break Mission Trip is comprised of a dedicated group of volunteers of students, faculty, and alumni that heads to the Dominican Republic to work closely with an orphanage and provide much needed love and support. A team that includes students from Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant Science, Nursing, and Education departments help administer health services for patients and children.  It is exciting to see so many of our students dedicate their break to providing medical service in this truly blessed service-learning opportunity.