Clinical Mentors

A clinical mentor is a clinician currently working in the medical field who has agreed to mentor a CMU PA student once a week during his/her didactic year.

Goals and Objectives

As the student progresses through the didactic year, allow students to perform H&P's on patients appropriate for student's level of skill and ability (refer to Mentor Guidelines).

  • Allow student to present selected cases to Mentor for critique.
  • Improve patient evaluation skills.
  • Develop clinical decision-making skills.
  • Practice effective communication skills in establishing a productive provider-patient relationship.
  • Establish a professional relationship between the student and mentor and provide the opportunity to interact with their future colleagues.
  • Develop an appreciation of the complexities of the medical profession.
  • Observe administrative activities and aspects of office practice.


For a Mentor Evaluation of Physician Assistant Student form, click Evaluation Form​


The following describes the classroom experience of our students to help you know what their knowledge base should be now and as the year progresses:

Summer I

  • Regional Human Anatomy with cadaver lab
  • Preventive MedicineIssues in Practice
  • Ethics
  • History and Physical Exam I - primary focus on patient history, Integument

The remaining semesters, in which the first year mentoring experience occurs, covers the following subjects:

Fall (late August through December)

  • Clinical Medicine I
  • Clinical Pharmacology I
  • Clinical Problem Solving I (CPS)
  • Diagnostic Tests I
  • History and Physical Exam II - covers HEENT, Pulmonary, & Cardiovascular exams

Spring (January through early May)

  • Continued: Clinical Medicine, Pharmacology, CPS and Diagnostic Tests
  • Clinical Procedures I
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • History and Physical Exam III - remaining body system exams

Summer II (early May through end of July)

  • Continued: Clinical Medicine, CPS, Clinical Procedures, Diagnostic Tests
  • OB/GYN
  • Surgery
  • Emergency Medicine

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand very well that your practices are busy. One of the major concerns that potential preceptors have is getting behind on their schedules while mentoring a student. This is indeed sometimes difficult, but often a student can help by spending some extra time with people while you see several other patients. As they learn charting skills they can aide in the paper work as well.

What is my role as mentor?
For the first few days in your clinic the student should spend some time learning how your clinic operates and shadowing you as you see and examine your patients. Fairly quickly though we expect the student to transition into a more active learning role. They are in their first year of their studies so medical knowledge will initially be limited; however, they know enough to begin taking focused medical histories.

After assessing your student's skills, we encourage you:

  • To assign a few patients each day for students to obtain a focused history and perform any portion of the physical exam (that they have learned and is appropriate to the case).
  • Ask the students to present the case to you.

Of course, any patient the student sees also needs to be seen and evaluated by you. All chart notes need to be thoroughly reviewed and co-signed by you. A student may not perform any procedures independently. Should you choose to physically supervise, the students may attempt procedures you have taught them or they have learned in class; however you must be present and actively supervising. We invite you to quiz students and give them reading assignments as you teach.

Is the student covered by liability insurance?
Students are covered by liability insurance through Central Michigan University as stated in the signed affiliation agreement. Students can work with any licensed provider in your practice as long as this agreement is in place.

Do I earn CME credits?
If using hours for obtaining CME credits, you should verify the acceptability and applicability with your own licensing authorities and boards and should use actual hours performed.

Who do I call with questions, problems, or concerns?  Please feel free to contact the faculty director for this course or the coordinator for this experience. ​

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