LMU Physician Assistant Students Set Out on Clinical Rotations


Eighty-five physician assistant (PA) students at Lincoln Memorial University-School of Medical Sciences (LMU-SMS) are entering hospitals to begin their clinical rotations on Monday, July 26. The PA Class of 2022 received their white coats at a ceremony earlier this month signifying they have demonstrated the qualities and abilities to provide competent care and can move on to the clinical phase of training.

Pangela H. Dawson, PhD, MSPAS, PA-C, assistant dean and founding program director for Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, served as the keynote speaker reflecting on the last year in her speech titled, “Lessons Learned from 2020: The Weight of the White Coat.”

As the students prepared to put on their new white coats, Dr. Stephen Noe, assistant dean and program director for the LMU Harrogate PA Program, reminded the students of their responsibility and their purpose in health care.

“This white coat is a reminder of the responsibility you are about to accept for your patients over the next 13 months as you pursue your clinical experiences,” said Noe. “While wearing these coats you will serve your patients, practice your skills, and learn from your preceptors. I encourage you to take time to reflect on what it means to become a PA.”

 These 85 students will complete 1,020 four-week rotations in 13 states for a total of 159,800 clinical hours among the class. Each student will complete core rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, behavioral medicine, women’s health, orthopedics, emergency medicine and an elective/selective rotation of the students’ choice.

“Class of 2021, it is my pleasure to congratulate you on the completion of a rigorous didactic year, while in the midst of a global pandemic,” Noe said. “Your white coats are tangible proof of how far you have already come toward completing your physician assistant degree. We will miss seeing you on campus but are excited for what is ahead for you in the coming year. We wish you luck in this next step of your PA education.”

Dr. POangela Dawson PA White Coat Ceremony Dr. Stephen Noe

LMU’s PA program was established in 2009 on the main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, and is one of the largest PA programs in the United States. In 2016, LMU launched a unique postgraduate training program for PAs with the Doctor of Medical Science (DMS) program, and in 2020 the University opened its second PA program with an expanded surgical sciences curriculum at LMU-Knoxville. For more information about the LMU-SMS PA programs, visit www.LMUnet.edu/SMS.

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