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The Pulse

  • NC PA Program Highlight | UNC-Chapel Hill

    by Joey McCracken, PA-S, UNC-Chapel Hill

    The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Physician Assistant Program is an intensive 24 month program located in the heart of North Carolina. From the very beginning, UNC-PA has had a mission to promote high-quality, accessible, patient-centered health care for the people of North Carolina and the nation through excellence in education, scholarship, and clinical service. Students at UNC-PA are proud of the mission and goals that their program upholds and are excited to fulfill these goals as future PAs.

    Education within UNC-PA utilizes an inter-professional approach to learning and practice. During their didactic and clinical years, UNC-PA students are mentored and guided by educators from 19 different departments and four professional schools at UNC-Chapel Hill. These include Medicine, Pharmacy, Nursing, and Public Health. By working with healthcare professionals from different backgrounds, students form a strong foundation for future practice on healthcare teams.

    The student body at UNC prides itself on being a diverse and community focused group. Each cohort of students boasts backgrounds ranging from paramedics and nurses to geologists and flight mechanics. The diversity of UNC’s student body brings unique perspectives to each topic discussed in the classroom and fosters a well-rounded learning environment. UNC-PA is honored to benefit from the diversity that each student brings to the classroom.

    UNC-PA is unique in its strong commitment to veterans of the U.S. Military. Since the first matriculating class, approximately 35% of students have had military affiliations with many others sharing family and friends who have served or currently serve in the U.S. Military. The student body at UNC-PA takes pride in their strong military heritage and is thankful for the service of their peers and colleagues.

    Outside of the classroom, UNC PA students enjoy spending their time volunteering, attending conferences, and giving back to their community.

    Student Health Action Coalition: Each week, UNC PA students partner with the Student Health Action Coalition to provide free healthcare services to uninsured and underinsured individuals in the Triangle community. Students love the opportunity to serve their community and use their knowledge to help others.

    Remote Access Medicine: In July, UNC PA students will travel to Wise, Virginia and volunteer through Remote Access Medicine to provide healthcare to underserved and uninsured populations. Students are excited to work alongside peers and seasoned professionals to fulfill UNC PA’s goal of providing care to the uninsured and underserved.

    Community Blood Drives: Students at UNC enjoy taking breaks from studying to donate blood at drives held throughout the semester.

    AAPA: In May 2019, UNC PA had two teams compete in the AAPA “Yes I Scan” Ultrasound Competition. This year, both of UNC PA’s participating teams finished in the top 50% with one team tying for 4th place overall! We are very proud of our peers who represented our program at the national level.

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