ARC-PA Accreditation Standard A3.14h requires that all programs “define, publish, and make readily available to enrolled and prospective students general program information to include policies about student employment while enrolled in the program.
It is the opinion of the faculty that being a PA student is of itself a full-time job and it is difficult to envision a justification for jeopardizing a student’s chances of successful program completion by being employed in any other capacity. It is also understood that no single solution can be expected to apply to all situations. For this reason, outside employment is not prohibited, but the PA Program’s “Student Work Policy” specifically discourages it and explains possible consequences.
Student Work Policy
- Students are discouraged from working in any form of employment while enrolled in the UF PA program.
- Outside activities and working are not considered to be valid excuses for poor academic performance or lack of attendance at required PA program activities.
- It is especially important during the clinical phase of the program that students be available to their preceptors on short notice for special learning opportunities outside of regular office hours.
- This requirement precludes the ability to work outside jobs.
- Failure to fully participate in all Supervised Clinical Practice (SCP)-related activities is considered abandonment of the SCP and will result in failure of the SCP unless it is an excused absence per program guidelines.
- Students enrolled in the MPA Program cannot substitute for practicing physician assistants or provide unsupervised services common to a certified PA while at any learning or employment site while enrolled in the program.
- Per ARC-PA standard A 3.04; "students (must) not be required to work for the PA program."
- PerARC-PA standard A 3.05; "students must not substitute for or function as instructional faculty. ANNOTATION: Students with specific prior knowledge, experience and skills may assist faculty in didactic laboratory sessions to share their knowledge and skills. Students are not to be the primary instructor or instructor of record for any component of the curriculum."
- Students failing to follow the above Student Work Policies will be subject to disciplinary action ranging from but not limited to Professional Probation to dismissal from the PA program.
If a student chooses to work despite these policies, he or she should be aware that there might come a time when they must choose between their goal of becoming a PA and the value of that employment.
We ask that all students be prepared to make that choice.