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Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation – Physician Assistant Student Elective Program

Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation – Physician Assistant Student Elective Program

Our mission is to provide the highest quality patient care in an academic community that fosters an outstanding educational experience for physician assistants, and supports the pursuit of new scientific knowledge that will ultimately improve our treatment of musculoskeletal disease.

Contact us

To learn more about the Physician Assistant Student Elective program, call


or email Sue Sarrafian

We provide a balanced educational exposure to all disciplines within the field of orthopaedics. You will spend one week on each of the core services to include: joint arthroplasty, sports medicine, trauma, shoulder and elbow, pediatric and ortho spine. The student will be required to take evening call one night a week and to attend morning conferences as assigned. Our primary goal is to allow the student the opportunity to obtain a diverse orthopaedic experience and to leave the rotation with a solid fundamental orthopaedic knowledge and physical exam.

We have a core group of six physician assistants who will oversee the student rotation. At the end of each week long rotation the staff will submit an evaluation for review. The final evaluation which will be submitted to the student/school will be a cumulative evaluation with input from each PA.

Regardless of your ultimate career aspirations, we are committed to your growth and development and helping you become an outstanding Physician Assistant. We appreciate your interest in our program and welcome the opportunity to share in your personal growth during your rotation. 


Please contact your University to see if they have an affiliation agreement with Penn State University. If so, proceed to "how to apply".

Goals and expectations

  1. Improve baseline orthopaedic physical exam by the end of the student rotation.
  2. Obtain and present a pertinent orthopaedic history.
  3. Become more familiar with reading diagnostic labs, tests, radiographic exams, perform procedures, etc.
  4. 80% of the students time will be spent in the clinic as assigned by the lead PA for the service. The remaining time will be spent in the operating room.
  5. Students will take call one night a week until 11 p.m. This can be any day of the week, but should be once a week. Students are expected to come to clinic or OR on time post call, which is why we do not require over night call.
  6. Students will attend daily fracture conference and educational lectures.
  7. Students will attend weekly educational conferences for the assigned service at the discretion of the service lead PA.
  8. Reading assignments will be provided prior to the start of the rotation. Anatomy should be reviewed prior to the start of each service.
  9. Student will be expected to know special tests/exams for each sub-specialty.

Students who are currently enrolled in a Physician Assistant Program who would like to do an elective rotation within our department should have their clinical rotation coordinator contact Sue Sarrafian, in the Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation at 717-531-4837 or by e-mail, We will first need to confirm that Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center has an affiliation agreement with your school.

We are willing to precept two PA students per rotation based on availability during the months of October thru May. We require a student name, time period, and the University you are attending. Positions are reserved on a first come first serve basis with the above mentioned information. We will contact you within 10-14 days after receipt of your application to confirm rotation availability.

Thank you and please feel free to contact our office with any questions or concerns.

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Penn State College of Medicine
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Penn State University