Course Descriptions

SUMMER ONE
PA-504 Medical Physiology & Genetics
An overview of physiological processes that influence the human organism at the cellular, organ and systemic levels. Includes a discussion of normal function and focuses on how normal physiology impacts upon a patient’s health and well-being. A case study approach is used to assist students in the application of fundamental principles to clinical situations and to begin the process of understanding dysfunction and pathology likely to be encountered in the clinical setting. Includes an introduction to the scientific concepts related to genetics and molecular basis of disease. Three credits.

PA-507 Neuroscience
This course provides an introduction to how the nervous system functions to control behavior. It addresses the structure of the nervous system and how it functions under normal and pathological conditions organized by functional system with focus on diagnosis of neurological disorders. Particular attention is paid to the central pathway for each functional system and the clinical aspects of damage to the system. One credit.

FALL ONE
PA-508 Anatomy for Physician Assistants I
This first course provides an in‐depth study of human anatomy, including an introduction to anatomical and medical terminology and foundational information on human development and structure fundamental to considerations of function, physical diagnosis, trauma and disease. Using a regional approach, this course places emphasis on obtaining functional knowledge of normal human gross anatomy of the thorax and upper extremities as a basis for solving clinical problems related to these body regions. Pre-requisite: PA 504. Four credits

PA-511 Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession
This course is an overview of the history and philosophy of the physician assistant profession and the role of PAs in the health care field; and includes a review of current professional issues and organizations relevant to the PA profession as well as issues that may impact the profession in the future. This course also includes a review of medical terminology to provide a foundation for further study. One credit.

PA-515 Medical Interviewing and Physical Assessment I
This course includes the development of the knowledge and skills required to competently take a medical history and perform a physical examination, recognize normal and abnormal findings, and record the findings in the medical record. It also includes introduction to the art of patient & family/practitioner communication and effective interviewing for the purpose of establishing a health database and follow-up care. This course will provide an overview of the medical record as well as development of writing and organizational skills for medical record keeping. Co-requisite: PAL 515. Two credits.

PAL-515 Medical Interviewing and Physical Assessment Lab I
This laboratory based course will focus on the development of the skills required to competently take a medical history and perform a physical examination, recognize normal and abnormal findings, and record the findings in the medical record. It includes introduction to the art of patient & family/practitioner communication and effective interviewing for the purpose of establishing a health database and follow-up care. This course will provide an overview of the medical record as well as development of writing and organizational skills for medical record keeping. Co-requisite: PA 515. One credit.

PA-521 Introduction to Clinical Medicine and Pharmacology
This course provides an intensive study of human diseases and disorders across the lifespan from the perspectives of pathophysiology, epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, progression, therapy (including emergency and surgical treatment when indicated), and prognosis. It will emphasize diseases common to primary care practices, and the development of a differential diagnosis and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. In addition, the course will include a study of the general principles of pharmacology including classification, mechanisms of action and the rational use of drugs for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease and includes appropriate selection, dosing and monitoring. The rational use of drugs for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease will be presented in lecture and case study format. Prerequisite: PA 504. Co-requisite: PA 530. Four credits.

PA-530 Diagnostic Tests and Procedures I
This course is an introduction to the use and interpretation of commonly used diagnostic tools including laboratory studies and radiologic procedures related to clinical disorders. Co-requisite: PA 521. One credit.

SPRING ONE
PA-509 Anatomy for Physician Assistants II
This course provides an in-depth study of human anatomy, including an introduction to anatomical and medical terminology and foundational information on human development and structure fundamental to considerations of function, physical diagnosis, trauma, and disease. Using a regional approach, this course places emphasis on obtaining functional knowledge of normal human gross anatomy of the abdomen, lower extremities and head and neck as a basis for solving clinical problems related to these body regions. Prerequisite: PA 508. Four credits.

PA-517 Medical Interviewing and Physical Assessment II
This course provides for the development of the knowledge and skills required to competently take a medical history and perform a physical examination, recognize normal and abnormal findings, and record the findings in the medical record. It also includes the art of medical interpretation and the delivery of information to patients and their family members. Prerequisite: PA 515. Co-requisite: PAL 517. Two credits.

PAL-517 Medical Interviewing and Physical Assessment Lab II
This laboratory based course will focus on the development of the skills required to competently take a medical history and perform a physical examination, recognize normal and abnormal findings, and record the findings in the medical record. Prerequisite: PAL 515. Co-requisite: PA 517. One credit.

PA-531 Diagnostic Tests and Procedures II
This course will develop the knowledge of, the proper use, and interpretation of commonly used diagnostic tools including laboratory studies and radiologic procedures related to clinical disorders. Prerequisite: PA 530. Co-requisite: PA 570. One credit.

PA-544 Pharmacotherapeutics I
A study of the general principles of pharmacology including classification, mechanisms of action and the rational use of medications for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. The appropriate selection, dosing and monitoring of medication is also reviewed. Prerequisite: PA 521. Co-requisite: PA 570. Four credits.

PA-570 Clinical Medicine I
This course is an intensive study of human diseases and disorders across the lifespan from the perspectives of pathophysiology, epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, progression, therapy (including emergency and surgical treatment when indicated), and prognosis. Emphasis will be on diseases common to primary care practices and the development of a differential diagnosis and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. Prerequisite: PA 521. Co-requisite: PA 544. Six credits.

SUMMER TWO
PA-513 Healthcare Systems and Issues in Healthcare
This course is an introduction to issues and systems related to the delivery of health care in the United States such as health care settings, health care costs and reimbursement issues, the evaluation of health care quality, an overview of health care provider roles, and a focus on the delivery of health care via a team approach. It will include an introduction to the common policies and legal issues encountered by physician assistants such as liability insurance, privacy rules, and informed consent. Public health principles (including epidemiology) and utilization of public health officials by a PA will also be discussed. Prerequisite: PA 511. One credit.

PA-519 PA Clinical Skills
This lecture based course focuses on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic skills including administration of medications, basic surgical skills and clinical procedures commonly performed in primary care physician assistant practice. Co-requisite: PAL-519. One credit.

PAL-519 PA Clinical Skills Laboratory
This laboratory based course focuses on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic skills including administration of medications, basic surgical skills and clinical procedures commonly performed in primary care physician assistant practice. Co-requisite: PA 519. One credit.

PA-579 Primary Care Clinical Practicum I
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering periodic well care including prenatal care, management of chronic disease and treatment of episodic illnesses across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. In this first clinical rotation, emphasis will be placed on developing student skills in eliciting a medical history and performing the appropriate physical exam. The student will also participate in the patient assessment and the development of the diagnostic, therapeutic, and management plans. These will be obtained through objective guided, patient contact experiences supervised by community health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 570. Two credits.

FALL TWO
PA-611 Humanities for the PA Profession
This course provides a review of sociologic and humanitarian issues related to the art of medicine including medical ethics, patient experiences of loss, and cultural issues. This course will include an emphasis on the personal development of the PA practitioner. Prerequisite: PA 513. Two credits.

PA-614 Epidemiology, Research and Interpreting Medical Literature
This course is a study of the principles of evidence based medicine including application of techniques for review, interpretation, and analysis of medical/scientific literature. It includes an introduction to epidemiology, and biostatistics. Prerequisite: PA 570. Three credits.

PA-532 Diagnostic Tests and Procedures III
This course develops the knowledge, the proper use and interpretation of commonly used diagnostic tools including laboratory studies and radiologic procedures related to clinical disorders. Prerequisite: PA 531. One credit.

PA-644 Pharmacotherapeutics II
This course is a study of the general principles of pharmacology including classification, mechanisms of action and the rational use of drugs for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of disease. The appropriate selection, dosing and monitoring of medication is also reviewed. Prerequisite: PA 544. Co-requisite: PA 670. Four credits.

PA-670 Clinical Medicine II
This course will be an intensive study of human diseases and disorders across the lifespan from the perspectives of pathophysiology, epidemiology, etiology, clinical manifestations, progression, therapy, (including emergency and surgical treatment when indicated), and prognosis. Emphasis will be on diseases common to primary care practices and the development of a differential diagnosis and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. Prerequisite: PA 570. Co-requisite: PA 644. Five credits.

PA-671 Women’s Health
This course provides an intensive study of the concepts related to the evaluation and care of women during the stages of pregnancy through the postpartum period. It includes preventive care principles and procedures related to women’s health and disorders specifically related to the female reproductive tract. Prerequisite: PA 521. Two credits.

SPRING TWO
PA-600 Clinical Rotation Seminar I
This course utilizes multiple modalities to expand the clinical year student’s knowledge of the business of medicine, advanced clinical procedure skills and knowledge of clinical medicine delivered via lecture, group work, and workshops. In addition coursework and examinations in this course will assess the student’s competence in the documentation of patient encounters, development of assessments, treatment plans, interpretation of diagnostic studies and knowledge of the clinical medicine topics outlined in the NCCPA blueprint and in the clinical rotation courses. Prerequisite PA 579. One credit.

SUMMER THREE
PA-601 Clinical Rotation Seminar II
This course utilizes multiple modalities to expand clinical year students’ knowledge of the business of medicine, advanced clinical procedure skills and knowledge of clinical medicine delivered via lecture, group work, and workshops. In addition coursework and examinations in this course will asses students competence in the documentation of patient encounters, development of assessments, treatment plans, interpretation of diagnostic studies and knowledge of the clinical medicine topics outlined in the NCCPA blueprint and in the clinical rotation courses. prerequisite PA 579. One-half credit.

FALL THREE
PA-603 Capstone Seminar
This course provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have achieved the goals and objectives of the physician assistant program and are prepared to enter the workforce as competent and caring health care providers. Co-requisite: PA 690. One credit.

PA-612 Health Promotion, Disease Prevention & Community Resources
An introduction to the basic concepts of health promotion and disease prevention and the development of strategies to affect healthy lifestyle changes in the individual and community. An investigation of community resources will also be included. Students will be required to develop and implement an individual health prescription or community service/education project. Course is offered via web-based/computer-assisted instruction and periodic seminars. Co-requisite: PA 690. Two credits.

Note: The following clinical courses will be offered in variable sequence over three semesters during clinical phase of the program depending on availability and student readiness.

PA-680 Primary Care Clinical Practicum II
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering periodic well care including prenatal care, management of chronic disease, and treatment of episodic illnesses across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. Increasing skill is expected in the delivery of patient care through eliciting a history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment, developing a differential diagnosis, ordering diagnostic studies, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-681 Primary Care Clinical Practicum III
This a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering periodic well care including prenatal care, management of chronic disease, and treatment of episodic illnesses across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. Increasing skill is expected in the delivery of patient care through eliciting a history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment, developing a differential diagnosis, ordering diagnostic studies, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-682 Primary Care Clinical Practicum IV
This a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering periodic well care including prenatal care, management of chronic disease, and treatment of episodic illnesses across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. Increasing skill is expected in the delivery of patient care through eliciting a history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment, developing a differential diagnosis, ordering diagnostic studies, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-683 Emergency Medicine Clinical Practicum
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering health care for all age groups in the emergent and urgent setting. Increasing skill is expected in the delivery of patient care through eliciting a history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment, developing a differential diagnosis, ordering diagnostic studies, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-685 Surgical Clinical Practicum
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering preoperative, intraoperative and postoperative health care in the inpatient out outpatient settings across the lifespan. The experience is designed to increase competence in delivery of patient care appropriate to the physician assistant profession. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-687 Inpatient Care Clinical Practicum
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering medicine in the inpatient setting. Focus will be management of acute and chronic disease across the lifespan in an inpatient setting. Increasing skill is expected in the delivery of patient care through eliciting a history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment, developing a differential diagnosis, ordering diagnostic studies, performing diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well as prescribing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. Student will be guided through patient contact experiences supervised by health care providers. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a-half credits.

PA-689 Elective Clinical Practicum
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering health care. Elective rotations will typically take place in a medical subspecialty in which the student has a particular interest. This experience can occur in outpatient and/or inpatient settings, and may occur in a setting which is not a typical health care clinic but impacts patient health. The student will develop increased competence in knowledge and skills related to the physician assistant profession. Objectives for the rotation will be developed by the student and preceptor in concert with the clinical coordinator. Prerequisite: PA 579. Two-and-a- half credits.

PA-690 Clinical Preceptorship Clinical Practicum
This is a community based practical learning experience designed to increase student competence at delivering periodic well care including prenatal care, management of chronic disease and treatment of episodic illnesses across the lifespan in outpatient and inpatient settings. This course will increase competence in delivery of care through eliciting appropriate history and physical exam, arriving at appropriate assessment and differential diagnoses, ordering appropriate diagnostic studies, performing appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic procedures as well designing and implementing pharmacotherapeutic and non-pharmacotherapeutic treatments plans that include appropriate follow up measures. These skills will be obtained through objective guided, patient contact experiences supervised by community health care providers. This clinical experience is longer in duration to focus on longitudinal care of the patient and integration of the student into the community. Prerequisite: PA 579. Four credits.

Offered as needed

PA-599 Independent Study
A course designed for students needing or desiring additional in-depth study on a topic or topics selected in conjunction with a faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Permission of Director. One to three credits (variable).