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.

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 of beginning clinical rotations.


Proof of immunization AND titer for MMR, Varicella, and Hepatitis B are required. Should the titer be negative, booster doses will be required WITHOUT followup titer.

  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)- 2 doses administered after 1 year of age a minimum of 4 weeks apart AND positive Rubeola, Rubella, and Mumps titer
  • 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 negative chest x-ray) within two (2) months of entering the program. A new TB Test is required within two (2) months of the student beginning clinical rotations.
  • If proof of primary series cannot be furnished then a titer will suffice. Proof of vaccination alone is NOT sufficient.

For more information consult the Health Services website.

Drug Testing

Students must take and pass a drug test prior to entering the pre-clinical portion of the PA Program.

Health Care Provider and Health Insurance

The CWRU PA program faculty and the medical director may not serve as health care providers to students in the PA program. The Physician Assistant Program faculty can help to augment the referral process to a health care provider in the community, but cannot serve directly as the student’s health care agent. All students in the PA program must provide evidence of current, continuous health insurance valid for the entire 27-month course of training or until they complete the program. The student must be covered by Case Western Reserve University's student medical plan or demonstrate valid coverage through a comparable plan.

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 andreviews 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.

Reviewed and updated by David Shafran, MD, PA Program Medical Director 11/16/17