Health Requirements and Immunizations
The Charles R. Drew University Physician Assistant Program has several 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 & 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 in order to enter classes. Health care insurance is required for the entire 27 months of the program. 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.
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.
Students will receive an e-mail notification from CastleBranch.com with instructions to sign up and upload the required health documents prior to 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.
Students will be required to provide information on immunizations & titers as well as a health history and recent physical examination. These documents are available on www.CastleBranch.com once an account has been established. Uploaded documents will be reviewed by CastleBranch.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
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 CastleBranch.com.
Students should save their log-in and password information as it is needed during the clinical year when students will be required to release information to clinical sites that require it.
Any student not in compliance with the health requirements will not be allowed to attend class, labs or clinical rotations. Students will receive an unexcused absence from those classes they miss and will be subject to referral to the Academic Committee on Evaluation & 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 students who have not previously received certain immunizations, it may take up to 6 months to receive the full series and have titers drawn. Students should allow themselves enough time to complete this requirement.
- Federal and state laws allow students and employees to decline certain vaccinations. If a vaccination is declined, an Immunization Declination Form with CDU must be completed, and students must additionally comply with policies & procedures specific to each clinical site in regard to vaccine declination.
- If a student has 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), the student should contact their 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, including completion of full COVID-19 vaccine series and booster(s), and in some cases, proof of titer.
- 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.castlebranch.com
- 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-gloves 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.shea-online.org/images/guidelines/BBPathogen_GL.pdf