Didactic Year: During the first didactic year in the classroom, full-time coursework teaches the art of medicine by giving students experiences that transform them from their prior career to becoming PAs. Students are able to apply new skills to people across this time through practicing with retirement home volunteers, caring for standardized patients, interviewing complex patients, and exposure to various procedures. The year includes two weeks of observation experiences with practicing PAs, which reinforce the art and science of medicine that is taught during the didactic year.
Clinical Year: During their second, or clinical, year, MEDEX students have the opportunity to apply and further develop the knowledge and abilities they acquired during their first, didactic year. Future MEDEX PAs will hone their history taking and physical exam skills while increasing their understanding of diagnosis and treatment. They will also have the opportunity to work next to clinicians in primary care, emergency rooms, surgical suites, and inpatient wards. They can expect to travel throughout the northwest service region and connect with providers (physicians, PAs and nurse practitioners) working in all aspects of medical and surgical care.
MEDEX Historical Archive: For over 40 years MEDEX Northwest has been educating physician assistants to expand access in primary care, rural areas and medically underserved settings. In 1969, founder Richard Smith brought together a consortium of physicians who supported the idea of a new category of midlevel medical workers, which would become the physician assistant profession. The early candidates all came from various branches of the US military, where they received training as corpsmen and medics, many of them having served in the Vietnam War. By 1974, MEDEX dropped its restriction on admitting only ex-military medical personnel.