Miami PA Program Policies

All program policies apply to faculty, staff and students equally (where appropriate). Full student policies and expectations are provided to students accepted to the program, prior to matriculation through the university CANVAS system.

Graduation Requirements:

Students must successfully complete each semester to matriculate to the next semester. Similarly, students must successfully complete ALL didactic year components to enter the clinical year. To successfully complete the course work in each semester, students must meet minimum curricular benchmarks, defined as "good academic standing". A student who fails to maintain "good academic standing" and matriculate through the program semesters may be dismissed from the program. Students who matriculate the final semester requirements and successfully complete the “post-week” assessments will be recommended for graduation from the Miami University Physician Associate Studies Program.

Course Remediation Policy:

Remediation is the process whereby students will be provided an opportunity to reassess the objective acquisition of knowledge defined by program and/or course benchmarks. This process is observed and applied differently in both the didactic and clinical year experiences.

Within the didactic year, students may have remediation opportunities within the assessment and/or a programs course.

For example, students identified as having deficiencies (grade below 75%) on any individual multiple-choice question exam or other high stakes assessment (OSCE, skills evaluation, written assignment) must remedy the deficiency to earn a passing grade in the course. Quizzes, formative assessments will not be remediated. Assessment that are high stakes and eligible for remediation will be clearly indicated on the syllabus. Students may have no more than eight assessments that can be remediated in the didactic year. However, students who do not attain a grade of B at the end of a course will need to remediate the course to progress in the program. A student may not remediate a course more than 3 times during the didactic phase of the program. Remediation of a course will count towards the final number of remediations (total max eight, as noted)

Successful course remediation will consist of:

  • If a student needs to remediate a course they will need to meet with the Academic Director and create a learning contract.
  • the student meeting with the course instructor/coordinator to discuss the matter and identify any specific issue(s) within 1 week of grades being posted. It is the responsibility of the student to arrange the remediation task. The student will be provided additional instruction and intervention plans will be developed for academic improvement.
  • Remediation for a course might involve more detailed repeat course work, oral boards, other more intensive assessment to ensure proper knowledge to proceed within the program to be determined by the course instructor/coordinator.
  • The student will need to remediate the course satisfactorily and achieve a minimum score of 80%.
  • Maximum grade that a student could attain with a course remediation is a B. Failure to satisfactorily complete the remediation of the course will lead to dismissal from the program
  • If a second course remediation is required the student will be placed on Program Academic Probation.
  • A Third course remediation will lead to Graduate Academic Probation.

Remediation processes in the clinical phase, recognizes that some remediation requirements may need to be considered for end-of-rotation examinations and for the clinical rotation itself. For the End-of-Rotation Examinations (EORE), students are permitted to remediate up to three End of Rotation Examination. Students who fail and EORE the should request an appointment with the Director of Clinical Education for review and direction on remediation steps and policy (including course outline, re-examination dates/deadlines, expectations and outcomes). Details of the program materials are also outlined in the student policy manual.

Students who fail a clinical rotation through Preceptor Evaluation will be required to forfeit their clinical elective to repeat the rotation, if available. If an elective is not available the student will have to delay graduation and repeat the failed rotation. A student may fail no more than one rotation during the clinical phase of education.

Further detailed Remediation and Academic progression policy is listed in the student handbook and available by request of the program.

Program Dismissal Policy:

There are several instances when a student may be dismissed from the program, examples (though not limited to):

  • Requiring a ninth remediation during the didactic phase of education
  • Failing Version C of an assessment remediation assignment during the didactic phase of the program
  • Failing Version B of an EOR Exam during the clinical phase of the program
  • Requiring a fourth course remediation during the didactic phase of education
  • Failure of a second clinical rotation
  • Failure of the fourth end of rotation exam
  • Unprofessionalism
  • Academic dishonesty

Good Standing Policy:

To remain in good standing in the program, students must maintain the following: 

  • Successfully complete remediation eligible high stakes exams with a grade of 75% or higher, if required.
  • Successfully complete a course or rotation with a grade of 80% or higher.
  • Per Miami University’s Graduate School, students must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher.
  • Students need to also adhere to the remediation policy
    • No more than 8 assessments remediations during the didactic phase
    • No more than 3 course remediations during the didactic phase
    • No more than 3 end of rotation examination remediations during the clinical year
    • No more than 1 clinical rotation failure during the clinical year
  • All courses MUST be complete, within good academic standing, to matriculate to the next semester. Requirements for course assignments are unique to the course being offered and are reflected in the syllabi for both didactic and clinical courses. Each student is encouraged to review each syllabus for each course, to ensure compliance with the expectations of the course and calendar (A3.15b)

Deceleration Policy:

ARC-PA A3.15c, defines deceleration as “the loss of a student from the entering cohort, who remains matriculated in the physician assistant program.” This is not required of an institution or program, but is offered by Miami University.

The Miami University PA program has a strict code of conduct and academic policy that every student MUST comply with to continue participating in the program. Failure to comply with the foundational academic, behavioral and/or professional requirements will render the student ineligible for deceleration within the Physician Associate Studies program (policies regarding student expectations and those addressing discipline are provided in full within the student policy manual).

Deceleration may be offered in only a few cases, but is not guaranteed as a result of being requested by a student. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis, by the PA program faculty, approved by the student success committee, and must be supported by the Dean of the Graduate School.

The program, committee and dean will frequently consider the students historical graduate academic performance (within the program), the conditions around the deceleration request and the likelihood of future program success should deceleration be granted.

Such cases, where deceleration is frequently applied, include (though not limited to):

  • A leave of absence for health or circumstance for which a reasonable time period would ensure completed resolution and/or recovery- that would allow for student continued success in the program. This must be endorsed by the faculty advisor before being awarded by the PA program faculty, approved by the student success committee, and supported by the Dean of the Graduate School.
  • A student is subject to administrative action that risks delay in matriculation, but is neither academic or behavioral in nature.
  • A student has failed a component of course work that requires a remediation process that cannot be fulfilled/completed in time to graduate with his/her cohort.

Deceleration in the didactic year will always require removal from the student’s current cohort, and placement into the following year's cohort. Success may only be realized with matriculation into that cohort's entry into the didactic year (This will be offered to students as an ‘audit’ and will not allow changes to grades or ‘reset’ of academic deficiencies reported as grade failures already reported within the student’s initial academic accomplishment. Financial responsibilities for auditing, defined within the University's established policies will apply). Yet, the program does not require full deceleration for every event that delays progression within the program. Those students decelerating in the clinical year, will neither be required to repeat the didactic year nor clinical rotations already accomplished, unless the removal from the didactic experience exceeds 6-months before beginning clinical rotations or removal from the clinical experience exceeds 4-months.

Miami University Withdrawal Policy, Medical And Non-Medical:

Student Employment Policy:

Students are STRONGLY DISCOURAGED from continuing employment while in the program. Instead, every student is encouraged to devote the maximum time possible to their studies while enrolled in the Physician Associate Studies Program. The curriculum is intense, demanding, time consuming, and requires long hours of both in-class attendance and devoted study time. Therefore, any activity that takes time away from a student’s efforts within the program is discouraged.

Should students continue employment while in the program, work schedules must NOT interfere with class performance or clinical rotation schedules and set the student up conflicts of interest in the overall education, for which no concessions can be offered.

In order to enhance student learning and assure student success in the Physician Associate Studies Program, it is highly recommended that students NOT WORK or minimize the hours worked outside of the program (to generally long breaks in program schedule- when offered).

At no time will the student represent himself or herself as a Physician Assistant/Associate or Physician Assistant/Associate student in the outside work setting.

Student liability insurance does not cover any outside work setting. Student liability insurance only covers a student who is on a program assigned rotation or activity and functioning in the student role during an enrollment period.

Employment For The Program:

The PA program does NOT employ students to work in ANY capacity for the program, as a student worker or instructional faculty ARC-PA, Fifth Edition Standard, A3.05a.

Additionally, no student is employed in a clinical setting, for either clinical or administrative purposes, while working supervised clinical practice tasks/rotations (SCPE’s) ARC-PA, Fifth Edition Standard, A3.05b.

To minimize this risk, students should be well identified as a Miami University PA student, consistent with the Standard A3.06

Student Identification

1.) Miami University Physician Associate Students will have an ID Badge: Students are required to wear the identification badge at all times on university property, beginning in the first year, and while on clinical rotations off site.

The badge must be professionally visible and should not be clipped to your waist, except where not able to wear around your neck from a Miami approved lanyard, shirt or on your white coat.

2.) Miami University, PA program embroidered logo: White lab coat – the logo properly displayed and in good, professional appearance, cleanliness and order.

3.) You may also be required to wear a hospital name badge/ID, but this is in addition to the required University badge and is NOT in place of PA program requirements.

Instances where this may not be observed: Plastic name tags are not worn in the OR, but you should attempt to find masking or sterilizer tape and write your name and Physician Associate Student (First and Last name, PA-S) on the tape and wear the tape on your left upper chest.

4.) Students should introduce themselves as a Physician Associate (PA) Student. In no situation may a student imply, infer or state that they are a licensed or practicing Physician Associate, medical student, physician or other health care professional. It is both unethical and illegal

Students Used As Substitutes For Employees:

Under NO circumstances should a student be used in lieu of, or as a substitute, for an employee in any didactic or clinical setting (A3.05) to which they are currently or previously assigned. Students should not allow themselves to be used in such a manner, and may not accept or assume duties that would normally fall to an employee of the clinical practice.

As such, Miami University policy requires that during the supervised clinical practice experiences, students may NOT substitute for clinical or administrative staff and must ensure all services provided to the patients are directly supervised-without exception. Student may NOT accept compensation for any services provided during supervised clinical practice experiences.

Students cannot be employed or paid for educational and training activities at their clinical rotation sites.

If students should find themselves in this situation, they should contact the Director of Clinical Education as soon as possible. Under no circumstances will students be required to perform faculty, staff, clerical or administrative work for the Physician Associate Studies Program or for the institution at any Supervised Clinical Practice Environment (clinical rotation) site.

Background Checks And Toxicology Screen:

Ohio law mandates criminal records checks for all prospective employees in positions where the individual will be caring for older adults or children. Additionally, a criminal record check and toxicology screening for all clinical students is a standard criterion in affiliation agreements with clinical training sites. Therefore, all students are required to obtain a criminal background check and toxicology screen prior to each academic year. This requirement will continue after matriculation, throughout the entire program.

Background Checks:

Background checks are required prior to matriculation to the academic AND clinical years of the program. Any events that occur after the initial background check that might affect the student’s status in the program must be reported to the department immediately. Students are also required to comply with additional requests for background checks at any time during their course of study, generally before beginning clinical rotations.

Drug Screening:

Some medical facilities require students that rotate in their facility to undergo drug screening prior to being awarded temporary privileges. It is the student’s responsibility to comply with this screening-without exception. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for the screening in a timely fashion so as not to negatively impact their rotation duties and/or the working, professional relationship between Miami University and the host clinical institution.

The student is responsible for any applicable fees associated with drug screening.

Students who are unable to participate in three or more days of a rotation because of incomplete drug screening will be required to reschedule the rotation. Rescheduled rotations will be scheduled at the end of the Supervised Clinical Practice phase and may result in a delay in graduation- which CANNOT be contested.

Students who refuse to undergo drug screening or who are prohibited from obtaining privileges as the result of a drug screen will face disciplinary action in the program, including potential removal from the program.

Students will be required to accomplish a medical screening examination, supporting readiness for program technical standards, with reasonable accommodations if necessary, prior to matriculation. Students are responsible for the cost of any/all required background check, drug screening and physical exam. See program page listing technical standards.

Immunization Policy:

Immunizations are extremely important to students during their tenure at Miami University’s PA Program and as future medical professionals. Students matriculating into the program are required to maintain current immunizations as stated by the CDC Recommended Vaccines for Healthcare Workers, whereas international travel, where necessary will be observed: Travel | CDC. Vaccination status will be verified (either with proof of vaccination vs titers drawn) by Exxat APPROVE compliance management system.

Immunizations:

Proof of immunization and titer for MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis B are required. Should the titer be negative, booster doses will be required without follow-up titer.

  • 2 doses of the Covid vaccine plus additional booster
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)- 2 doses administered after 1 year of age a minimum of 4 weeks apart AND positive Rubeola, Rubella, and Mumps titer
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis-must be within 10 years and be current until date of graduation
  • Hepatitis B-doses 1, 2, and 3 AND positive titer
  • 2 doses of the Varicella vaccine a minimum of 4 weeks apart AND positive titer
  • Tuberculosis Testing-Students must show proof of a recent negative “Two-Step” TB (tuberculosis) skin test (or negative chest x-ray) within two (2) months of entering the program. A new TB Test is required within two (2) months of the student beginning clinical rotations.
  • If proof of the primary series cannot be furnished then a titer will suffice. Proof of vaccination alone is not regarded as sufficient.

Influenza Vaccination Policy:

Although it is not required for matriculation, the program requires all students to obtain the influenza vaccine in the fall of their first year and again in the fall of their second year. If a student is unable to receive the influenza vaccine, they will need to follow the institution’s policy for influenza prevention (including but not limited to wearing a mask at all times while in the hospital or clinical site). The program’s declination form (available on Exxat APPROVE, the program’s online document storage site) must be completed and uploaded to the Exxat APPROVE site, as well as discussed with the Director of Clinical Education.

Note: By declining the influenza vaccination, as with declining any vaccination, a student’s clinical placement may be limited due to the requirements for influenza (or any vaccine) vaccination by clinical affiliates. Miami University PA Program cannot guarantee the student’s placement at a clinical site and may limit the student’s ability to successfully complete and graduate from the program, when any vaccination is contested/concerned.

The program will always respect a student’s conviction, question and concerns with regard to vaccinations, just as the program considers health concerns and risks expressed with these immunization requirements. However, students should also be aware that completion of all clinical rotations is required for successful completion of the program.

Immunizations and Medical Screenings

Physician Associate Studies, Program Level Grievances:

Every student has a right to have their academic concerns heard. Naturally, this requires order and discipline not only in expressing these concerns (ie. Conduct and behavior), but also in the “echelon of leadership” or “chain of command”.

The following covers matters of general concern regarding the Didactic Curriculum. If there are concerns for which the student is unsure how to address, they should begin with their faculty advisor.

For concerns about a lecture:

The student should seek clarity from the individual professor teaching the material. However, if this teacher does not provide timely guidance, matters remain unresolved, or the professor is adjunct faculty and unavailable, the student should discuss the concern with the module coordinator.

For concerns about a course:

The student should express concerns to the module coordinator. Most commonly, these are matters pertaining to content or topic delivery style, timeliness, syllabi, and course schedule. If concerns are not addressed in a satisfactory manner (i.e. with courtesy and/or timeliness), then the student is encouraged to discuss his/her concerns with the Academic Director.

If the student does not have the concerns addressed in a “satisfactory manner” by the Academic Director, then the student should discuss the concern with the Faculty Advisor AND Program Director.

If the grievance persists and remains unaddressed, the student should then seek resolution through the Dean of the Graduate School

The following covers matters of general concern regarding the Clinical Curriculum.

Students should continue regular meetings/discussions with their faculty advisor throughout their clinical year. Should concerns related to the clinical curriculum arise, those concerns should be discussed as follows:

If the concerns are with disciplines assigned clinical schedule, discipline procedures, patient care content, charting, or institution resources the student should discuss those concerns with his/her preceptor.

If concerns arise that are related to safety, preceptor approachability, or institutional support or concern then this should be discussed with the Director of Clinical Education. If the matter continues, unaddressed, it should be taken to the Program Director, before the Dean of the Graduate School.

Note: Decisions on the examinations are approved by the Academic and Clinical Directors prior to release and cannot be changed by an individual professor or module coordinator. All Grievances and appeals for examination concerns begin with the academic director in the didactic year and the clinical director in the clinical year.

In like manner, if students wish to make an appeal for a decision made by a professor, director or program, the student should use the same “chain-of-command” approach.

Student education, safety and overall wellbeing are paramount concerns to the program and the student remains the highest priority of the Physician Associate Studies Program, College of Arts and Science, the Graduate School, and Miami University.

Students are reminded that “satisfactory response” is that the matter is addressed in a timely manner and a student was provided a proposed solution or conclusion. It does NOT imply that the matter was resolved in a way that MUST satisfy the students desired outcome. Faculty are not obligated to award credit or grades to examinations not otherwise earned.

Grievances:

Each academic department has a specific departmental grievance procedure meant to facilitate the adjudication of most student grievances at the departmental level. Divisional academic appeals boards have jurisdiction limited to classroom relations between individual students and instructors as specified in the Statement of Good Teaching Practices.

Academic Responsibilities and Academic Grievance