Cultivate a commitment of service to medically underserved populations.
A. Underserved Rotation Requirement
The Medically Underserved Supervised Clinical Practice Experience (SCPE) is performed at a site arranged and approved by the Director of Clinical Education or the Director of Clinical Placement and the Clinical Scheduling Manager. This four-week SCPE may include inpatient care, outpatient care, core rotation specialties, or other clinical experiences at a site designated to meet Program criteria.
Medically Underserved Area (MUA) sites are utilized for the Underserved SCPE. The Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) Data Warehouse website, which the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains, is utilized to determine if a site meets the MUA designation. However, due to the wide variability in defining underserved populations, other sites may be approved on a case-by case basis by the Director or Associate Director of Clinical Education.
B. International Medical Missions as an Elective SCPE
To further promote our programmatic commitment to offering medical care to the underserved, international medical supervised clinical practice experiences may be approved as an Elective SCPE if they meet the SCPE requirements and program accreditation standards. The Program performs continuous monitoring of patient logging encounters and the student’s ability to meet the required educational standards of our accrediting agency (ARC-PA Standard B3.02, B3.03, B3.04, B3.06, and B3.07). If deficiencies are noted, the Program reserves the right to assign Underserved and/or Elective SCPE to ensure students meet competency requirements.
C. At least one SCPE is within a medically underserved community for every PA student during their clinical year. However, many of the SCPE sites utilized for core rotations are within MUAs.
As well, members of our program faculty to continue to practice medicine one day each week, working in clinics within rural, underserved communities of Western North Carolina.
D. Graduate Job Placement by Medically Underserved Areas (MUA)
E. Programmatic Community Service
Since the inaugural 2016 cohort, the GWU PA Students hold monthly health screenings for the homeless and underserved population of Cleveland County at a local homeless ministry held at First Baptist Church of Shelby. This opportunity is available to non-clinical PA students during their didactic year of PA education. Faculty members serve as volunteers to oversee the health screenings.
In 2021, in conjunction with National PA Week, the Program established an annual service day to our community. On this day, students and faculty go into the community to serve needs across several organizations, including the Children’s Home of Cleveland County, Habitat for Humanity, the Pregnancy Resource Center, Calvary Baptist Church, Cleveland County Rescue Mission, and Crossroads Rescue Mission.