Policy for Utilization of PA Students at SCPE sites

ARC-PA 5th ed Standard A3.04, A3.05, A3.06

  1. The GWU PA student is strictly prohibited from being utilized as a substitute for clinical or administrative staff.  Should a student be assigned clerical duties or duties outside of the direct practice of medicine, they should notify the program immediately for guidance to address the matter or reassignment, at the discretion of the DCE/ADCE
  2. Given the rural nature of the program, the student may be assigned to an SCPE site where a family member is employed. However, a GWU PA student’s family member is strictly prohibited from serving as the primary preceptor and assigning a grade to the student.

Policy for International SCPEs

Designated international sites may only be utilized for non-core SCPEs (electives I and II or underserved medicine), provided the site meets the SCPE requirements, university/program policies, and accreditation standards.

Information regarding international SCPEs can be found in Blackboard. The pursuit of a global SCPE opportunity is voluntary and not required of every GWU PA student. 

Due to the nature of scheduling and onboarding, PA students must expect to be required to apply for international sites early, even before the didactic year is completed.  Furthermore, acceptance by the international site does not guarantee placement.

GWU PA students are responsible for all expenses incurred with international travel to a global SCPE, including but not limited to:

  • Housing
  • Travel
  • Food
  • Passports / visas
  • Travel medicine consultation(s) to meet CDC-recommended immunizations/precautions/prophylaxis
  • Other incidental expenses related to international travel
  • MANDATORY traveler’s insurance with evacuation coverage covering all dates of travel from departure to return

Additional information specific to travel medicine, immunizations, and travel advisories can be found at the CDC website.

The GWU PA student must have a foundational understanding of what traveling to a third-world country entails. The following is an excerpt fromThe Borgen Project’s “What is Definition of a Third World Country?” by Simone Williams.

Third-world countries are all the other countries that did not pick a side. This includes most of Africa, Asia, and Latin America. However, this definition includes countries that are economically stable, which does not fit the currently accepted definition of a third-world country.

As a society, the term “third world country” refers to countries with high mortality rates, especially infant mortality rates. They also have an unstable and inconsistent economy. These are countries that contain massive amounts of poverty and, in some cases, have fewer natural resources than other nations throughout the world. These countries often have to rely on more industrialized countries to aid them and help stabilize their economy.

These countries usually lack economic stability because of the lack of a functioning class system. Usually, the country will have an upper class and a lower class. Without a middle class to fill the gap, there is almost no way for a person to escape poverty because there is no next step for them on the economic ladder. This also allows the wealthy to control all the money in the country. This is detrimental to the economy of the country, and both increases and helps to sustain the poverty running rampant throughout the country while allowing the upper class to keep their wealth to themselves.

These countries often accrue a copious amount of debt from foreign countries because of the constant aid they need from other countries to keep their economy afloat and provide some financial stability to the citizens of the country.

The department reserves the right to cancel any international SCPE should the international site become unstable, or a travel advisory is posted to discourage non-essential travel to the location by the CDC or US State Department.

See the following websites for travel advisories: both links are good