The Inaugural PA Class of 2020 is Officially on Campus!


In recent decades, the increased need for accessible and quality healthcare has led to the rapid growth of the physician assistant profession. Qualified physician assistants are the result of a comprehensive education and an individual’s perseverance and passion for helping others. For RVU’s Inaugural PA Class of 2020, the journey to becoming physician assistants will be formative in shaping their confidence, skillset, and early career path.

_DSC7074To prepare for the next twenty-seven months and to gain a full understanding of the challenges that lie ahead, students participated in an extensive Orientation before the Labor Day holiday. Starting with a welcome from Clinton E. Adams, DO, FACHE, President and CEO of RVU, and Thomas N. Told, DO, FACOFP dist., Dean of RVUCOM, students took part in a wide-range of activities during the course of the three days. The ice breaker challenge, Missing Chair, required quick thinking on behalf of the students and gave them the opportunity to get to know one another. Other activities included their first reflection paper, an introduction to the curriculum, an institutional scavenger hunt, and a diagnostic equipment demo. Faculty commemorated the student’s achievement of matriculating into the PA program by gifting them with an RVU-branded stethoscope.

Orientation Week wrapped up with a family picnic during which students enjoyed a delicious barbecue surrounded by family and friends. The event was an opportunity for students to not only celebrate their incredible accomplishment with loved ones, but also to thank them for their unwavering support. As they have come to know, the commitment to becoming a practicing DSC_0009physician assistant is not without its sacrifices. For the past several years, students have spent time away from family and friends to study for exams, ace interviews, and exceed expectations. As they take the next step, the continued support of those closest to them will prove to be invaluable.

With a carefully designed curriculum, the inaugural Class of 2020 has entered a program consisting of a team that strives to prepare them to be competent, collaborative and compassionate physician assistants. Students will learn foundational concepts during the Didactic Phase (the first two semesters) before moving on to the Clinical Phase, which is made up of supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) and clinical seminars. Designed by Cathy M. Ruff, MS, PA-C, Director of the MPAS Program, this is the first PA curriculum in the nation to be based on competency using entrustable professional activities (EPAs).

Congratulations and Welcome, PA Class of 2020!

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