2022 NC PA Program Highlight | Campbell University
by Beth Ehlers, PA-S, Campbell University
The Physician Assistant Program at Campbell University began in 2011 with a program mission “built on the tenets of faith, learning and service, Campbell’s PA Program equips servant leaders to practice compassionate, competent, team-based health care.” The charter class had 34 students, with the current size having grown to 56 students in each class. The program is 24 months long, including one year of didactic learning and one year of clinical rotations. During the clinical year students have 9 core rotations including Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, Women’s Health, Primary Care, and Health Policy and Professional Practice. Students also have opportunities to focus on areas of personal interest, with two elective rotations. Campbell PA Program is focused on a patient-centered, clinically practical, evidence-based curriculum, preparing students to enter one of the fastest growing health care professions. Besides the traditional 24 month PA studies program, Campbell also offers two dual-degree programs. Students can complete a year of either Public Health or Clinical Research studies prior to starting the 24 months of the PA Program and leave with two master’s degrees.
Wallace Student Society
All students in Campbell’s PA program are a part of the Wallace Student Society. Wallace Student Society was named after the fourth President of Campbell University who was serving at the time of the PA program’s development. The society’s primary goal is to encourage prevention and health promotion in rural communities through patient education and charity fundraising while simultaneously becoming better health care providers. All WSS members are also active members with the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (NCAPA) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA).
Class of 2022
The class of 2022 made it through the ups and downs of online learning throughout the pandemic and are out and about on their clinical rotations. They are currently on their ninth rotation. This month, some students presented their case studies at our annual Interprofessional Symposium. Students are prepping for their End of Course Exam in May and will be graduating in July.
Class of 2023
The Class of 2023 and NCAPA staff hosted a legislative visit with State Representative Howard Penny, Jr.
The class of 2023 is well into the didactic year. We had a brief online stint in January, but are now fully back in person. We are currently in block 4 out of 5 and have begun our clinical year meetings to start the plan for our clinical year. In March we celebrated our first ever CUPA Week to celebrate our time at Campbell and advocate for our future profession. We held a celebratory breakfast, a workout led by our retired delta army medic, hosted a blood drive with the American Red Cross, held a bake sale for Make–A-Wish, hosted a state representative on campus for a legislative visit, and held a silent auction. We raised over $1,000 during the week.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Our newly started Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion committee has been having a great year planning monthly celebrations of various religions and cultures including celebrations for Hanukkah, Chinese New Year, and Black History Month. Another initiative has been our involvement with Project Access in promoting the PA profession to underserved high school students. This allows us to expose high school students to the PA profession and answer questions they may have about the PA profession or college in general.
The class of 2023 has over 1,000 hours of community service. These hours come from various events including our regularly scheduled Adopt-A-Highway clean ups, Blood Drives, Vaccine Clinics, and our local Community Care Clinic. Through our local Community Care Care we have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience seeing real patients in both an in-office setting as well as a mobile clinic for migrant farm workers. During our time at the community care clinic we work together in interprofessional teams including members from our medical school and pharmacy school. These clinics are held weekly and give students an amazing opportunity to practice and hone our physical exam skills while allowing for interprofessional collaboration.
Faculty & Staff Spotlight
The Campbell PA family has gained some new faculty and staff members this year. We are welcoming back some familiar faces who also happen to be alumni of the Campbell PA program: Assistant Professor Ms. Jamie Harding, PA-C, and Associate Professor Dr. Matthew Kesic, PA-C. We have also welcomed Assistant Professor Mr. Ian Brown, PA-C, and Medical Education Specialist Karla Tirado.
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