Practical Details for Entering Students
1. What kind of housing is available to PA students?
For the academic year in Gainesville, a variety of moderately priced housing is available within comfortable walking or biking distance from the Health Center as well as in other areas of Gainesville and the surrounding countryside and towns. Students in the School of PAS are eligible for on-campus housing (single or married housing); however, space is very limited so early application for housing is recommended. Information about on-campus or off-campus housing can be obtained by contacting the UF Division of Housing, PO Box 112100, Gainesville FL 32611-2100, phone 352-392-2161, or by email at www.housing.ufl.edu/housing. The Gainesville Chamber of Commerce also has a useful web site: www.gainesvillechamber.com. See also www.visitgainesville.net and www.apartmenthunters.com.
2. What forms must be submitted for health history and immunizations, when, and to whom?
After acceptance into the School and before registration can be successfully completed, all students must complete the University of Florida School of Physician Assistant Studies Mandatory Immunization Health History Form. The UF Student Health Care Center will document immunity by titer or immunization for measles (rubeola), mumps, German measles (rubella), chicken pox (varicella), and tetanus/diphtheria. Students are required to be immunized against the hepatitis B virus. A tuberculin skin test (PPD by Mantoux) is required, as well as a chest x-ray if the PPD proves positive; this screening must also be done before beginning the PA clinical year. In addition, UF now requires menomune/menactra immunization for all students, though this may be waived. Additional immunizations may be required by individual clinical training sites, e.g. hepatitis A.
3. What kind of health insurance is required?
Each student is required to have some form of hospitalization insurance. Students are eligible for the health insurance plans sponsored by Student Government, which may be purchased at the time of registration. This policy provides 12-month coverage. In addition, each student is strongly encouraged to carry disability insurance. Currently, the College of Medicine does not have a group policy available; therefore, students are encouraged to explore this option through their own insurance carrier or through the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ insurance provider.
4. Is there a “buddy system” that will pair me up with a current PA student, for mentoring?
Students in a new entering class will be assigned a student mentor from the previous academic year class. The role of the student mentor is to serve as a support for the new student and to answer questions, provide helpful information, and share insights about the School and student life. Applicants who are invited to join the entering class will receive the name of their student mentor in adequate time before matriculation to contact the mentor and establish a relationship with him/her.
5. Will I have an academic advisor?
Each student is assigned an academic advisor from the School of Physician Assistant Studies faculty, who will monitor the student’s academic progress on an ongoing basis. Meetings with the advisor will occur on a regular basis. Faculty are also available between scheduled times, to discuss concerns that an advisee may have and to provide direction as needed.
6. What is the School’s policy about outside employment for students?
Outside employment, whether inside or outside the University, is strongly discouraged during enrollment in the School of PAS. Physician assistant education is definitely a full-time endeavor. However, while School approval is not required for a student to start work, it is essential that the work must not interfere with the student’s education. If, in the judgment of the faculty, outside employment is diminishing the student’s ability to be an effective learner, the student will be required to reduce or eliminate his/her work.
7. How are class officers selected?
Students in an entering class spend the first (Summer B) semester getting to know and working with their classmates. Early in the second semester (Fall) the class elects class officers whose terms extend until graduation.