Health Requirements Policy


Each student entering Case Western Reserve University's (CWRU) Physician Assistant Program must be in good health and without communicable disease. While it is a time honored tradition for students receiving medical training to engage compassionately with patients with infectious diseases, policies are in place to both mitigate student exposure and protect students should exposure occur.

Student Health Information and Insurance

A student’s health record, immunization record, and health clearance forms are maintained through University Health services using the MyHealthConnect website. Program faculty do not have access to the student’s detailed health record. Faculty only verify compliance with requirements. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this information is updated as needed. Students are required to submit evidence of good health from a qualified provider pre-matriculation and yearly until graduation.

Medical Insurance

Students are required to have personal medical insurance throughout the duration of the Program. Students should carry their medical insurance cards with them at all times on clinical rotation since they may be required to demonstrate proof of insurance to their clinical site. Students will be expected to upload a copy of the front and back of their insurance card pre-matriculation and yearly until graduation.

Physical Examination

Prior to beginning the PA Program, students must show proof of a recent (within 6 months and within the calendar year of entering the Program) complete physical examination with vision testing for color blindness as well as documentation of updated immunization and titer status to be detailed below. All students are required to have a repeat complete physical examination within two (2) months but prior to beginning clinical rotations. Students are required to have their provider sign off on meeting the technical standards, as well.

Immunizations Requirements

Proof of immunization and titer for Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR), Varicella, and Hepatitis B are required. Should the titer be negative, booster doses will be required.

The below are required immunizations and screening:


  • 2 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine plus additional booster
  • MMR - 2 doses administered after 1 year of age a minimum of 4 weeks apart AND positive Rubeola, Rubella, and Mumps titers
  • Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis - must be within 10 years and be current until date of graduation
  • Hepatitis B - doses 1, 2, and 3 AND positive titer
  • 2 doses of the Varicella vaccine a minimum of 4 weeks apart AND positive titer
  • Tuberculosis Testing - Students must show proof of a recent negative “Two-Step” TB (tuberculosis) skin test, or a negative chest x-ray (in the event of a positive PPD), or a negative IGRA blood test within two (2) months of entering the Program. Yearly documentation of a TB symptom checklist is required until graduation.
  • Influenza – not required for matriculation, though the program requires all students to obtain yearly each fall while enrolled

If proof of the primary immunization series cannot be furnished, then a titer will suffice. Proof of vaccination alone is not sufficient. Please refer to the Health Services website for more information.


Influenza Vaccination Policy

Although it is not required for matriculation, the program requires all students to obtain the influenza vaccine in the fall of their first year and again in the fall of their second year.  If a student is unable to receive the influenza vaccine, they will need to follow the institution’s policy for influenza prevention (including but not limited to wearing a mask at all times while in the hospital or clinical site).  The program’s declination form (available on Exxat, the program’s online document storage site) must be completed and uploaded to the Exxat site, as well as discussed with the clinical coordinators.

Note:  By declining the influenza vaccination, a student’s clinical placement may be limited due to the requirements for influenza vaccination by clinical affiliates. The Case Western Reserve PA Program cannot guarantee the student’s placement at a clinical site and may limit the student’s ability to successfully complete and graduate from the program.  Completion of all clinical rotations is required for successful completion of the program.

Drug Screening

Students must take and pass a drug test prior to entering the Program and then again prior to the start of clinical rotations. Students may be required to undergo drug screening, at their expense, at other various times during the PA Program depending on clinical rotation placement. Drugs typically screened for are amphetamines (amphetamine and methamphetamine), barbiturates (amobarbital, secobarbital, butalbital, pentobarbital, phenobarbital), benzodiazepines (nordiazepam, oxazepam, OH-alprazolam), cannabinoids, cocaine, methaqualone, opiates (codeine, morphine, hydromorphone, hydrocodone, oxycodone, methadone, fentanyl), phencyclidine, and propoxyphene. Students who do not pass the initial drug screen may be at risk of the offer of admission being rescinded. Students who do not pass subsequent drug screens will be referred to the ASP Committee for a determination regarding progression in the Program versus dismissal. Those who progress in the Program may be required to undergo a formal drug treatment Program and periodic random screening.

Marijuana Use

While state and municipal laws (including Ohio law) may permit the use of marijuana under certain circumstances, Cannabis is still a Schedule I Controlled Substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. As a recipient of federal funding, Case Western Reserve University must comply with these current federal drug laws which still classify marijuana as a controlled substance. Non-compliance with this act could make Case Western Reserve University ineligible for any financial assistance, including federally funded or guaranteed student loan programs. For this reason, the University continued to prohibit the growth, manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession, sale, or use of marijuana on University property or in connection with University activities. As such, the CWRU PA Program strictly prohibits the use of marijuana. Furthermore, in accordance with clinical partner policies, CWRU PA Program prohibits the use of marijuana, including where the marijuana is prescribed or recommended by a medical provider.

Health Care Provider 

Faculty members cannot serve as students’ health care providers or give personal medical or mental health advice. 

Documentation of Health Information

All student physical examination forms and other health care related material is kept on file at the University Health Services. In addition, the student’s health information (including immunizations and titers) is also kept on file with a HIPAA-compliant electronic medical record (EMR) collection and storage service as contracted by the University and PA Program.

The EMR collection and storage service collects student health requirements and reviews them on a regular basis and students are notified of any deficiencies. It is the student’s responsibility to see that all health requirements including immunizations and titers are up to date. No student will be allowed to matriculate into the program, participate in a clinical experience or in any class where there is the potential for exposure to blood and airborne pathogens without proof of physical exam, immunizations and titers. No one will be permitted to begin clinical patient contact without documentation of physical exam, immunizations and immunity (including the requested titers).

Note: If the student is unable to confirm immunization status or unable to obtain immunizations due to personal, religious or medical reasons, Case Western Reserve University's PA Program cannot guarantee placement at a clinical site and may limit the student's ability to successfully complete and graduate from the program. Completion of all clinical rotations is required for successful completion of the program.