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Clinical Education: Master of Physician Assistant Studies

The MGH Institute is the only degree-granting affiliate of Partners HealthCare, New England’s largest health network. As such, PA students have unparalleled access to Harvard Medical School teaching hospitals: Brigham and Woman’s, Massachusetts General, and Spaulding Rehabilitation, along with Dana Farber Cancer Institute, and Boston Children’s Hospital, and more than 200 other locations.

Early in their first year, students begin participating in clinical practice, ensuring real-world application of classroom lessons that allow them to continually connect theory with practice. During these five-week clerkships, students apply and reinforce their clinical and patient management skills, giving them the ability to acquire skills and competencies in a variety of settings, with particular emphasis on primary care for urban, underserved populations.

Clerkship experiences include family and internal medicine, women’s health, pediatrics, general surgery, emergency medicine, and psychiatry, along with two additional elective clerkships. The order of participation in each required discipline and elective assignments will depend on site availability and student needs. In some instances students may need a car to access clinical placements.

The PA program’s focus on experiential learning, in addition to the Institute’s interprofessional IMPACT Practice curriculum, facilitates critical thinking, communication skills, ethical reasoning, and team-based problem-solving. Participating in these and other learning opportunities produces graduates who are prepared to succeed in today’s increasingly complex health care environment.