Physician Assistant Global Programs
Arcadia’s Physician Assistant (PA) program offers a variety of optional experiences that broaden the perspective of a traditional medical education, including service opportunities and international clinical experiences. Many of our students find the experience of service or international practice to be an illuminating piece of their medical education. These experiences can offer unique perspectives on how medical care differs in various communities, both domestically and internationally. The availability of these opportunities, particularly internationally, vary year by year and capacity may limit the number of students able to participate in these experiences.
International Clinical Rotations
These experiences enable participating students to spend four weeks internationally with a supervising physician providing health care in a variety of clinical settings. To-date, Arcadia PA students have studied in over twenty countries around the world, including South Africa, Bolivia, England, Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Peru, and Italy,
Student costs for international clinical rotation opportunities typically range from $2,500 to $5,000, depending on the location of the experience. We offer limited scholarships of $1,500 to eligible students toward the cost of international rotations.
2023 Medical Service Trip – Lima Peru
This upcoming May, the Arcadia PA Program will provide a medical service trip to Lima, Peru through MedLife, a non-profit organization that partners with low-income communities in Latin America and Africa to improve their access to medicine, education and community development projects. Arcadia PA students had been participating in an annual medical service trip since 2013, with the exception 2021 and 2022 due to the pandemic. This year, we are very excited that the medical service trip will be open to current students and our alumni again.
We were able to speak with Professor Michael Huber to learn more about the trip. Professor Huber set up the service trip program in 2013 in an effort to give back to underserved communities and to help students get out of the classroom and out practicing medicine. He has a background in medical service and has been awarded multiple times for outstanding service and commitment to advancing global healthcare. He felt that Arcadia was a good place to start an international service trip as we have such a strong global footprint. He is very passionate about the PA medical service trip because students, faculty and alumni get to work together and there is a very special bond between everyone on the trip each year. This year is especially exciting because alumni will be welcomed back after the pandemic. Many alumni enjoy coming back, after they participated on the medical service trip as a student, to share their experience as certified PAs and help teach current PA students. “It is always a great full circle moment when students come back to participate again as alumni,” Professor Huber commented.
The trip will feature three mobile clinic days that will include providing medical and dental care, and a public health project. Professor Huber remembers past service trips treating upwards of 1,500 patients over the week-long service trip. He notes that this clinic is very impactful as people will walk several miles to be seen at these mobile clinics. On one past medical service trip, Professor Huber remembers treating a teenage girl who had walked barefooted for 15 miles to the clinic with severe abdominal pain. The clinical team quickly found that this patient was in labor, and they helped deliver a healthy baby boy that day. He says to “be prepared for anything and everything.” The trip also includes two days of sightseeing and excursions in Ica and Paracas. This year’s service trip will be May 6-13, 2023. Again, we would love to have our alumni join this trip. Please reach out directly to Professor Huber with any interest. There will be limited spots held for alumni. Registration and a deposit will be due by December 1st. We hope to see you all in Peru!
Service Opportunities: PA Olympics
The PA Olympics unites the leadership of local PA faculty and students and affords them the opportunity to work collectively in service for a designated charity. Founded in 2003 by Professor Michael Huber, MMS, PA-C, DFAAPA, Director of Outreach in the Department of Medical Science at Arcadia, the PA Olympics bring together PA students from surrounding PA programs. Arcadia University, DeSales University, Drexel University, Salus University, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, Temple University, University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, Jefferson University East Falls/New Jersey, and Jefferson University Center City have all been recent participants.
Each year the students choose a local charitable organization to support. They fundraise in teams for that organization, and then gather to compete in medical-themed sporting events to celebrate their combined, three month-long fundraising campaign. The school that raises the most funds receives a trophy as a symbolic gesture of their efforts.
To date, the annual event has provided more than $175,000 in support of local charities in the Philadelphia region. Recently supported charities include the IM ABLE Foundation, which works to remove barriers to physical activity for those affected by disability, the Mazzoni Center, which supports LGBTQ community health through multiple health and social services, and Miracle League, which provides high quality recreation facilities for individuals with special needs and their families.
Simon’s Heart is a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention of sudden cardiac death in youth. The mission is to save the life of one child… and then another, by raising awareness about conditions that lead to sudden cardiac arrest and death. This is accomplished by taking the DIRE approach (Detection, Innovation, Reaction, and Education).
Former PA Program Director Renee Langstaff, MSPAS, PA-C is the Carole Gottlieb Screening Coordinator for Simon’s Heart. Students may become involved by volunteering at free cardiac screenings that are offered to the community throughout the year. They participate by reviewing medical histories, running EKGs, and observing the medical team read echocardiograms and EKGs.