Health Requirements and Immunizations
The Charles R. Drew University Physician Assistant Program has a number of health requirements that students must comply with prior to starting class each year. All required health and immunization documents must be completed by the designated deadline. Students failing to provide required health and immunization information or failing to meet designated deadlines will not be allowed to start the program.
All incoming physician assistant students must obtain health/medical insurance through the University. At the start of class, students must show proof of health care coverage (you are required to have health insurance for the entire 27 months of the program) in order to enter classes. Students must purchase health insurance through the university insurance agent unless they can show proof of other adequate coverage. A student may opt out of the University health care coverage only if they can provide documentation of valid medical insurance that will cover them for the duration of the PA program. The policy regarding health insurance is located online and in the University Catalog.
The university policy states: “Based on CDU student input in December 2011 and effective fall 2013, CDU requires all full-time undergraduate and graduate students to maintain adequate health insurance that covers them every day of their higher education career while enrolled at CDU. CDU’s health insurance plan is underwritten by United Insurance Company and serviced by Gallagher Koster”.
For further information on Health Insurance visit the University website at: https://www.cdrewu.edu/students/Insurance. Additional information is also available in the most current University Catalog.
You will soon receive an e-mail notification from CertifiedBackground.com instructing you to sign up and upload the required health documents prior to your entry into the PA program. Please DO NOT send any health information to the PA program. Student health records are confidential and must NOT be accessible to, or reviewed by faculty or staff except for immunization and tuberculosis screening results, which may be maintained at the PA Program and confidentially released to clinical sites with written permission from the student. Needle stick/sharp reports, results of drug screening, or criminal background checks are NOT considered part of the student health record.
You will be required to provide information on Immunization and Titers as well as Health History and Physical Examination. These documents are available on www.certifiedprofile.com, once you have established your account. Uploaded documents will be reviewed by CertifiedBackground.com to verify compliance with PA Program requirements. These documents will either be accepted or rejected. Once accepted, you are considered in compliance for that specific requirement.
Annual Requirements: Tuberculosis screening, physical examination and influenza vaccination requirements are annual.
The following immunizations REQUIRE proof of titer:
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)
- Hepatitis B
All titers will require the upload of laboratory results; documentation from a medical provider is not accepted as proof of immunity. The deadline for health information submission is between June – August of the admission year. The program will send specific deadline requirements to accepted students. If there are any problems or questions with uploading information, please contact CertifiedBackground.com. Please save your log-in and password information as you will need this during the clinical year when you will be required to release your information to clinical sites that require it.
Any student failing to be in compliance with the health requirements will not be allowed to attend class, labs or clinical placement sites. Students will receive an unexcused absence from those classes they miss and will be subject to referral to the Academic Committee on Evaluation and Support (ACES). It is the responsibility of each student to make sure his or her health forms are complete and up to date. Students are notified if there are any deficiencies in required documentation, it is then up to the student to correct any deficiencies and provide proof of the corrections.
- For those who do not have certain immunizations, it may take up to 6 months to receive the full series and have titers drawn, so make sure you allow yourself enough time to complete this requirement.
- Federal and state laws allow students and employees to decline certain vaccinations. If you decline vaccination, you MUST sign an Immunization Declination Form with CDU and comply with policies and procedures specific to each clinical site in regards to vaccine declination.
- If you have a nonresponse to the Hepatitis B vaccine series (i.e. you have had the vaccine but your titers do not show immunity to Hepatitis B), please contact your medical provider for CDC recommendations regarding immunization status.
As required by the State of California, Charles R. Drew University, Clinical Affiliation Agreements and the PA Program, ALL students entering the PA program must document proof of immunizations and in some cases, proof of titer (see below for details).
- Current Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap within 10 years)
- Polio: dates of primary series and booster
- Hepatitis A: dates of primary series
- Hepatitis B: positive lab titers confirming immunity. Vaccination dates if known. *
- Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR): positive lab titers confirming immunity. Vaccination dates if known.
- Varicella: positive lab titers confirming immunity. Vaccination dates if known.
- Tuberculosis Testing. Complete ONE of the following:
- PPD: Two-Step method performed 1-3 weeks apart (per CDC guidelines)
- Interferon-gamma release assay (IGRA) testing: QuantiFERON® TB Gold blood test: Must be completed in the USA within 2 months of entering the program. Submit copy of lab report.
- Chest Radiograph: if IGRA or PPD positive. Submit chest radiograph performed in the USA within 2 months of starting the program.
Please note: dates of disease and dates of immunizations are NOT acceptable when proof of titer is required. Students must provide the program with PROOF OF TITER by uploading results to www.certifiedprofile.com
*Hepatitis B Vaccine and Titer Information:
All incoming physician assistant students must have either started or completed the Hepatitis B vaccine series and show proof of titer. The Hepatitis B titer must be provided no more than 6 months prior to entering the PA program. If a student is in the process of receiving the Hepatitis B series (3 immunizations), they must provide the program with the date(s) of immunizations received. These students will be allowed to start the program but must complete the series at the designated times, including providing the titer.
If you are Hepatitis B positive: Incoming students who have tested positive for Hepatitis B (for which immunization would otherwise be required) are strongly recommended to consult with an Infectious Disease specialist for management of Hepatitis B. Viral load and other testing, as well as recommended treatments, allow for appropriate infection control procedures to minimize exposure of others (patients, health care colleagues, etc.). Appropriate infection control procedures may include, for example, use of double-glove and/or use of “hands-free” technique. Each clinical site has its own institution-specific infection control policies and procedures to which the student must adhere.
Due to privacy restrictions, the University is unable to share information about positive test results with the student’s clinical rotation sites or otherwise intervene for a student who may have Hepatitis B or another bloodborne pathogen. Thus, any student who may have a communicable disease is strongly recommended to be proactive and obtain the support needed to ensure their educational experience and enrichment, as well as the safety of patients and colleagues.
For more information, please see the recommendations set forth in the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (“SHEA”) Guideline for Management of Healthcare Workers Who Are Infected with HBV, HCV, and/or HIV: https://www.cpso.on.ca/uploadedFiles/members/membership/shea-guideline.pdf
Clinical Site Requirements:
You will be required to sign an authorization permitting the University to share your immunization status with third parties, including clinical rotation sites, as necessary to address classroom, lab and clinical site rotation requirements and any safety issues and occupational exposure risks.
Each clinical site has its own institution-specific infection control policies and procedures to which the student must adhere. The information shared will be based upon the compliance and records the student has uploaded to www.certifiedprofile.com. It is imperative that the students remain current with uploading information to the website. If a student does not maintain compliance with the requirements they may be removed from the clinical rotations until they are in compliance.
If you are unable to confirm immunization status or unable to obtain immunizations due to personal, religious or medical reasons, the Charles R. Drew PA Program cannot guarantee your placement at a clinical site. Completion of all clinical rotations is required for successful completion of the program.
PA Program Technical Standards:
The Physician Assistant Program’s Master of Health Science degree signifies that the holder is prepared for entry into the practice of medicine. It follows that the graduate PA student must have skills and knowledge to function in a broad variety of clinical situations and to render a wide spectrum of patient care. It is essential for good patient care to require minimum standards for the education of the physician assistant. In the educational process, the university must judge not only the scholastic accomplishments and potential of the student, but also considers the student's current physical and emotional status, cumulative and progressive disability, and drug-induced impairments that may pose obstacles to the safe application of the student's knowledge and skills or prevent effective interaction with patients.
All students entering the graduate physician assistant program must be able to fulfill the PA Program Technical Standards. Students are required to thoroughly review the Technical Standards with their medical provider. Both the student and medical provider must sign the document and return it to the PA program prior to the start of class.
Background Check and CPR/ACLS:
The background check is also done through CertifiedBackground.com. Instructions will be provided in accompanying attachments as well as on www.certifiedprofile.com
The university as well as our clinical sites requires a background check. The deadline for completion of the background check is June 13, 2016 there are no exceptions. Please save your log in and password information as you will need this in the clinical year when you will be required to release your information to clinical sites that require it.
The PA program will waive the CPR, and ACLS requirements until entry into the program.
Important Note: The Charles R. Drew University PA Program Principal Faculty, Program Director and Medical Director may NOT participate as health care providers for students in the program.