A.T. Still University P.A. students get hands-on experience giving routine checkups

Physician assistant students at A.T. Still University work one-on-one with residents at Crossroads Red Mountain, a substance abuse treatment center, by giving weekly health checkups.

"We do history and physical exams. We also do T.B. tests and just basically build a rapport with our patients every time that we come," Kenya Baker said.

P.A. student Kenya Baker says stepping out of the classroom not only benefit these residents, but the checkups also help the students.

"It's really easy to get bogged down with classwork, so to get that experience like once a week, to come and talk to the patients and stuff, is really good because when we go on clinical years it already helps us to know how to talk to my patients," Baker said.

The experience is also a huge benefit for Crossroads residents, who come from different backgrounds like addiction, childhood trauma addicts, or those who may be diagnosed with other physical, chronic, or mental health illnesses.

"We love having them come in. The clients love having them come in and it gives a dual rule for both of us to learn and do some things with clients and do their rotations," said Dustin Dire, a mentor at Crossroads Red Mountain.

Crossroads says the new partnership with the university's P.A. students is something the residents now look forward to, as they continue their journey towards a healthier lifestyle.