East Carolina University: Expecting the Unexpected in PA Education

“If I was giving advice to someone new to clinical education, I would say the more organized you can possibly be, the better – and to be prepared literally for anything to happen next. When you have a plan A, also have a plan B, and consider a plan C so that you’re always prepared.”

Kim Stokes, program director and chair at Elon University School of Health Sciences*  

In 2020, PA students across the country were abruptly displaced from clinical sites due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to help other PA programs pivot, Kim Stokes shared her program’s Clinical Contingency Plan in PAEA’s Professional Learning Community (PLC). The plan was originally designed to help students to self-direct their learning in the event that natural disasters restricted access to in-person clinical training. The plan, which uses virtual cases and case conferences with alumni, served as foundation for programs who were forced to quickly redesign clinical education. 

Learn more about the Clinical Contingency Plan and how the PA education community worked together throughout the pandemic in this video. 

*At the time of filming, Kim was the director of clinical education at the East Carolina University Department of PA Studies. We congratulate her on her new role as program director and chair at Elon University School of Health Sciences.