Section 1400.220  Clinical Rotations


a)         Applicants shall complete a full-time practicum including at least 14 months supervised clinical training of at least 36 credit hours, including a research project.  During the clinical rotation program, students shall complete rotations in the following areas:


1)         Emergency Medicine;


2)         Family Medicine;


3)         Geriatrics;


4)         Internal Medicine;


5)         Obstetrics and Gynecology;


6)         Pediatrics;


7)         Psychiatry;


8)         Surgery; and


9)         One elective of the program participant's choice.  (Section 4.2(a)(2)(C) of the Act)


b)         The clinical rotation training shall be completed either within the parameters of an American Psychological Association (APA) or equivalent approved doctoral program or pre-doctoral program, or during a post-doctoral master's program in clinical psychopharmacology.  The training program must be housed in an institution that is accredited by a regional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.  The clinical rotation program shall meet the following requirements:


1)         All program faculty and preceptors must hold an active physician and surgeon, advanced practice nurse, or prescribing psychologist license.  Program faculty and preceptors must be sufficient in number and be qualified through academic and clinical experience to provide enrolled participants with sufficient attention, instruction and supervised practice experiences necessary to acquire the knowledge and competencies required to meet the objectives of the program. 


2)         A program must have access to adequate labs and clinical medical rotation sites for participants.  A program must assure that clinical support services, including pharmacy, clinical laboratory and diagnostic imaging, are readily available to participants on clinical rotations.  Clinical support staff must be available in numbers sufficient that participants are not expected to serve as replacements for staff.


3)         In order to be considered a full-time practicum, the program must require a minimum of 20 clock-hours of rotations per week and require all 36 credits of rotations to be completed within a minimum of 14 months and maximum of 28 months after the participant begins his/her rotations.  To earn 36 hours of clinical rotation training credits, a participant must complete a minimum of 1,620 clock-hours of clinical rotation training. 


4)         The program must provide participants with experience in progressive responsibilities for patient management.  Participants must be provided the opportunity to observe and demonstrate competence in skills necessary for the pharmacological assessment and treatment of mental disorders within a medical setting under supervision of a physician, advanced practice nurse or prescribing psychologist. 


5)         The program must assure that the volume and variety of clinical experiences provides for a sufficient number and distribution of appropriate experiences/cases for each participant to meet defined program expectations.  Clinical rotations may be held in hospitals, hospital outpatient clinics, community mental health clinics and correctional facilities (Section 4.2(a)(2)(C) of the Act).  The program must coordinate clinical sites and preceptors for program required rotations.


6)         Program participants must be clearly identified as such to distinguish them from physicians, medical residents, APNs, prescribing psychologists, and other health care professionals and residents.


7)         The program must conduct periodic, objective and documented formative evaluations of participants to assess their acquisition of knowledge, problem-solving skills and clinical competencies.


8)         The program must define and maintain consistent and effective processes for the initial and ongoing evaluation of all sites and preceptors used for participants' clinical practice experiences. 


c)         The Department shall consider the standards set in the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA) (see Section 4.2(a)(2)(C) of the Act) in determining whether a program meets the requirements in subsection (b).


d)         The Division hereby incorporates by reference the ARC-PA Standards for Physician Assistant Education, 4th edition, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, 12000 Findley Road, Suite 275, Johns Creek GA 30097, March 2016, with no later amendments or editions.


e)         A program seeking pre-approval shall apply to the Department pursuant to Section 1400.230.