University of Florida School of PA Studies: Sunshine, Service, Simulation, and EPAs

University of Florida PA students during a simulation lab experience
  • Program: University of Florida
  • Institution Type: Public
  • URL:
  • Location: Gainesville, Florida

Unique Characteristics of University of Florida’s School of PA Studies

The University of Florida offers a vibrant and diverse PA student experience that prepares individuals to engage, transform into healthcare providers, and thrive in an evolving global community. Just like the sunshine in Florida, students approach their PA education with unstoppable optimism and energy.

Utilizing the AAMC Entrustable Professional Activity (EPA) protocol and ARC-PA Standards as our guide, we developed a competency assessment framework called EPAs for PAs. The entrustment concept verifies that we trust learners to work without assistance, and that they will respond appropriately when facing unexpected challenges. The curriculum prepares students through experiential learning and service-learning, beginning early in the curriculum. Our approach enables faculty to guide students using feedback from various assessments and observations at established intervals from matriculation through graduation.

Our Program’s Impact

University of Florida PA students hone their skills in the simulation labs, local clinics, and via the COVID-19 Student Service Corp and National Student Response Network. Our students are also active in the Equal Access Clinic Network, the largest student-run free clinic network in the state of Florida and one in which UF PA students, together with the support of faculty, take steps early on to develop their skills and significantly impact access to care for a community serving a diverse patient population.

Our Surrounding Community

Gainesville, Florida is located in north central Florida and is home to the University of Florida, the nation’s 9th largest campus — also home of the Florida Gators and the birthplace of Gatorade. Gainesville was ranked as one of the “best places to live and play” in the United States by National Geographic.

A Fun Fact About Gainesville

Gainesville is known primarily for the University of Florida, but the city also has a rich tradition of talented musicians whose fame has reached national as well as international stages. Gainesville musicians who have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame include Bo Diddley, Stephen Stills, The Eagles, and Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. Quite amazing for a city of its size!

This article is part of PAEA’s Program Showcases, which also includes webinars. Learn more about the series here.