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Rotations build on the didactic year, and the students’ clinical experience is organized in ambulatory, inpatient, emergency, and surgical settings. The focus in all clinical experiences is medical care across the lifespan and includes:

  • Pregnancy
  • Infants
  • Children
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • Elderly

During rotations, students learn the body of knowledge and clinical skills of each specialty within the framework of the healthcare team and PA role. Throughout the clinical year, students may be exposed to a variety of practice settings including rural, inner city, and medically underserved communities.

With the guidance and supervision of physicians, PAs, and other qualified preceptors, students gain higher levels of clinical skill and confidence. The PA program provides structured learning activities and timely feedback to students during the clinical year. Students assume increasing responsibilities for:

  • Their educations
  • Provision of patient care
  • Functioning as a team member
  • Adjusting to change in the healthcare system
  • Practice of evidence-based medicine
  • Becoming life-long learners

Purpose of Rotation Syllabus

The syllabus for each clinical rotation has goals that have been well defined for each specialty:

Course Objectives and Learning Outcomes are the responsibility of the Program and represent the educational foundations that have been established for each student.

Instructional Objectives and Rotation Expectations are guidelines for the Preceptor to follow in supervising each clinical practice experience.

The Problem List is a comprehensive list of specific specialty disease diagnoses and skills that are the responsibility of each student.  Our program goal is that there be familiarity with each, augmented by reading assignments, rotation experiences, and specific patient exposures.

The Clinical Phase

The clinical phase directly follows the didactic phase and is 12 months in length.  The clinical phase takes place at diverse training sites and consists of a wide range of clinical learning situations.

The mandatory clinical rotations include:

  • Family Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Internal Medicine (8 weeks)
  • Emergency Medicine (4 weeks)
  • General Surgery (4 weeks)
  • Pediatrics (4 weeks)
  • Women’s Health (4 weeks)
  • Behavioral Health (4 weeks)

General Objectives

Each required rotation has a set of defined learning objectives. General objectives are provided for the preceptors and for the students in a clinical year student handbook. Specific rotation expectations with minimum diagnoses exposures are spelled out in the rotation syllabus under Instructional Objectives. These expectations are not meant to be all-inclusive, but rather form a matrix of minimum exposure with which the student must be familiar or have completed during the clinical year.


The instructional objectives are written in a behavioral format wherever possible. The PA program seeks feedback from preceptors as well as students regarding the applicability of objectives to the actual learning situation. Information from the preceptors, the PA students, as well as graduate PAs, will be taken into account during the annual review of objectives.

Accreditation and Program Goals

The Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) has granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Bethel University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Bethel University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Accreditation remains in effect until the program closes or withdraws from the accreditation process or until accreditation is withdrawn for failure to comply with the Standards. The approximate date for the next validation review of the program by the ARC-PA will be September 2026. The review date is contingent upon continued compliance with the Accreditation Standards and ARC-PA policy.

Learn more about the PA program's accreditation, program goals, and Graduate Performance on Certification Exam.

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