Clinical Phase


Students complete 56 weeks of clinical training in more than 10 specialty areas. In addition, there are two didactic courses that occur during this phase of the program, Advanced Clinical Medicine (PS 801) and PA Professional Practice (PS 745). Students rotate through inpatient, outpatient, surgical, and emergent settings interacting with a variety of health care teams and providers.

PS 801 Advanced Clinical Medicine

The Advanced Clinical Medicine course (4 cr.) is comprised of lectures and practical sessions that prepare the PA student to address common medical conditions as they relate to special patient populations and unique clinical settings.

PS 745 PA Professional Practice

The PA Professional Practice course (2 cr.) is comprised of lectures and seminars on professional development topics ranging from Reading an ECG: A Review to Negotiating an Employment Contract. These sessions occur throughout the clinical year and coincide with the last day of certain rotations, so we refer to them as “call back” sessions.

Mandatory Clerkships

In general, each week of clinical education equals 1 credit hour of academic work.

Clerkship Credit Hours 
PS 800 Internal Medicine I & II 8 cr.
PS 803 Family Medicine 6 cr.
PS 805 Emergency Medicine 4 cr.
PS 806 Pediatrics 4 cr.
PS 807 Psychiatry 4 cr.
PS 808 Obstetrics and Gynecology 4 cr.
PS 809 General Surgery 4 cr.

To increase interprofessional education at the bedside, we are working with the BU medical school to integrate mandatory clerkships. As we accomplish this goal, some of the mandatory clerkships may be lengthened, which may result in 4 electives rather than 5. We do not have plans to change the credit hours or lengthen the program based on this initiative.

Elective Clerkships

Elective clerkships are offered in various sub-specialties of medicine and surgery including sub-internship opportunities in emergency medicine and internal medicine. Students complete 4 elective clerkships (16-20 credit hours). International clerkships are also available as electives.


While many of the mandatory clerkships will be at one of our three major affiliate academic medical centers, each student is expected to travel to rural and remote sites to balance the diversity of their clinical education. As a result, all students are required to have reliable means transportation during the clinical phase of the program. Transportation costs for the clinical phase of the program are reflected in the student financial aid budget for years 2 and 3.


Evaluation of the student’s clinical acumen is determined by the clinical site preceptor evaluation, logging of diagnoses and clinical procedures, assignments, presentations, and performance on the end-of-rotation knowledge-based examination for each rotation. Preparedness for clinical practice will be objectively established by a 7-station clinical skills examination prior to graduation (called OSCEs) and at the site visit that occurs within three months of graduation.