FAQs

The list below answers some of our most frequently asked questions. 

Graduation Information

How many students stay in the area upon graduation?

This statistic varies from year to year quite dramatically.  Factors that influence the percentage of graduates who choose to practice in Connecticut relate to local hospital hiring trends, specialty interest of graduates, and social considerations related to family and personal life.  Most of our graduates hail from other states so the decision to stay in Connecticut is often unexpected.

Curriculum

Does the program curriculum follow a problem-based learning pedagogy?

The School of Medicine and thus the PA Program utilize traditional lectures to introduce topics relevant to medical practice.  Seminar and laboratory sessions throughout the didactic phase enhance the comprehension and practical application of the basic and medical sciences.

Does the cadaver laboratory offer prosected cadavers?

PA students, in the state-of-the-art anatomy laboratory, dissect a full cadaver as a part of the anatomy course.  While this is time consuming, we find that the psychomotor skill development aids students during their surgery rotation.

What simulation opportunities exist for the PA student training at Yale?

Prior to rotations, students participate in several procedure labs that serve to prepare them for their clinical rotation experience.  New this year, students will learn surgical skills in the small animal laboratory.  In the clinical phase several of the rotations use simulation cases to improve student learning.

Can I do clinical rotations in any area of the country?

We believe the quality of the clinical rotation training is critically important for your development as a PA.  Additionally, the ARC-PA requires adequate monitoring of the clinical rotation sites.  We do have some rotations in states such as Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Kentucky and Texas but generally the students rotate in the State of Connecticut. 

What leadership opportunities exist at Yale?

For those interested in PA policy and legislation, we support student participation at the AAPA CORE Capitol Hill Day in Washington DC, the annual AAPA conference and the Connecticut Academy of Physician Assistants conference.

Is the training at Yale more surgical or medicine focused?

 The training emphasizes a generalist approach.  Students complete rotations in medicine as well as surgery. 

Are students required to complete a thesis project?

Yes, research is an integral part of our curriculum.  In order to facilitate the project, students choose a School of Medicine faculty mentor and have access to a scientific writing tutor.

Global Health

Do Yale students travel abroad for clinical rotations?

Yes, we have clinical rotation sites in Peru, Uganda, and Spain.  Students must apply and be selected for these rotation sites.

What is the global health elective?

A joint project between the PA and medical students, the global health elective meets every other week in the evening.  Experts in the field of health in resource challenged regions of the world provide the lecture content.

What is the Downs fellowship?

The Wilbur J. Downs Fellowship provides students at the medical center the opportunity to travel abroad to perform research.  More information can be found here.  In the past three years, six PA students have been selected as Downs Fellows. 

Other

Is financial aid available to PA students?

Yes, student financial aid is based on demonstrated financial need.

Are there mandatory community service requirements at Yale?

No, we encourage community volunteer opportunities but there is no specific requirement.  Many students choose to volunteer with the HAVEN Free Clinic or the Community Health van.