Written by Kim Cook, MS, PA-C
Director of Clinical Education
The Program is very pleased to have more than 10 new rural clinical partners in the 4-state area, in the disciplines of Family Medicine/Urgent Care, Women’s Health, and Psychiatry. We are very grateful for our ongoing partnerships with so many clinicians in the area, many of whom take multiple students for rotations year-after-year. Each year we are pleased that more and more of our alumni become active preceptors, and this year is no different.
It’s very exciting for us when our students are precepted by former students. One alumni who became a new preceptor this year was Kelley Menefee, PA-C, ATC. Kelley practices in orthopedic surgery with her collaborative physician, Dr. Dolce, in Ft. Worth, Texas. We were very pleased to have Kelley precept Rachel Peth for her Directed rotation.
We also love it when clinical students drop by to say hi during their clinical year. We miss them!
As has always been done in the past, the faculty continues to review and revise the clinical curriculum and work to enhance assessment processes. This is done with internal evaluations, as well as alumni feedback. A couple of changes that have been made this year are: several new presentations have been added to the return-to-campus days at the end of each rotation, and the students now have an OSCE at every EOR call-back experience. Another addition has been student presentations at EOR.
The Program partnered with Mercy again this year for the annual Sports Physicals clinic in Aurora, Missouri. This was a fun, successful event as it has been many years in the past. The students performed over 150 sports physicals for Aurora-area student athletes. Our students really enjoy the interaction with the athletes, and it’s a great opportunity for them to practice establishing rapport with adolescents. Depending on where the students are placed for their Clinical Practicum experience, it is sometimes the main experience our students have with children and adolescent patients. The Mercy clinicians that served as preceptors for this year’s event were all from the Emergency Department at Mercy Hospital in Aurora; they were: Dr. Jeffery Diehl, Dr. Travis Hawks, and Jared Pendergrass, PA-C and MSU alumni.
Clinical Practicum I, which is the 2-week rotation students do at the end of their summer semester, went very well this year. Students were placed with preceptors in various disciplines, primarily in the greater Springfield area. The majority of these preceptors are MSU Physician Assistant alumni. We are very grateful that we have so much support and willingness of our former students to want to help train their future colleagues.
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