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Courses

PAS 620. INTRODUCTION TO THE PA PROFESSION
This course introduces students to the physician assistant profession. Topics of discussion include history of the profession, national and state organizations, federal and state laws affecting practice, education, integrity, developing a team approach to healthcare, diversity and cultural bias, and discussing the future of the profession. One credit

PAS 601. HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY / PATHOPHYSIOLOGY I
This course provides a comprehensive study of human gross anatomy. A regional approach is used to study the structures and organ systems of the extremities and trunk in order to differentiate between the normal and the abnormal. The clinical significance of topographical and radiological anatomical features is emphasized. Lectures are complemented by laboratory study of prosected cadavers, anatomic models, simulated and real dissection, and surface anatomy. Five credits

PAS 602. HUMAN ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY / PATHOPHYSIOLOGY II 
Study of the physiological function of the cell and organ systems and the basic pathological and pathophysiological concepts of disease conditions will be discussed in this course. Students will learn to identify signs and symptoms of various medical conditions using a systemic approach. Systems to be covered in this course include: cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, nervous, musculoskeletal, special senses, lymphatic, endocrine and integument. Course topics will integrate with the corresponding topics presented in Human Anatomy. Five credits

PAS 603. PUBLIC HEALTH 
Students explore relevant health-care policy issues that impact healthcare delivery systems and the Physician Assistant profession. Students will learn to promote a lifestyle of healthy choices and focus on prevention of disease. Areas of discussion address global health issues, identifying com- munity resources, community responses to acts of destruction and addressing barriers such as cultural bias that might affect public health access, and differences in health care. Two credits

PAS 604. MEDICAL ETHICS AND LAW
Contemporary professional medical issues are discussed and debated. Issues discussed include ethical theories and issues as they apply to the PA and PA/physician team, medical law, and developing a basic understanding of the current healthcare delivery system. One credit

PAS 605. RESEARCH METHODS 
Students receive instruction in research methods and application in the clinical setting. Students will locate, appraise and integrate evidence from scientific studies, develop skills to apply this knowledge to their patients, apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to determine diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness. Students are prepared to critically read published reports of clinical research and identify strengths and weaknesses and bring this to their practice in an efficient and cost-effective manner to ultimately benefit patient care. Two credits

PAS 606. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS I
This clinically oriented course provides students with knowledge required for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases through an understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Two credits

PAS 607. CLINICAL MEDICINE I
This course presents an organ-systems approach to the principles of acute and chronic disease processes in clinical medicine. Course involves a review of basic anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology. Emphasis is placed on etiology of disease, recognition of signs and symptoms, development of differential diagnosis, diagnosis, prognosis, management, patient education, indications for referral, and disease prevention. Course addresses medical conditions related to hematology, oncology, cardiology, pulmonology, and infectious disease. Nine credits

PAS 608. HISTORY & PHYSICAL I
Lecture and practical laboratory course covering theory and application of interviewing skills, history and physical examination skills, elicitation and documentation of patient data, and clinical procedures. Students demonstrate competence through practical evaluations, written documenta- tion, and oral presentations. Three credits

PAS 609. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS II
This is a continuation of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics I. This clinically oriented course provides students with knowledge required for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases through an understanding of pharmaco-kinetics and pharmacodynamics. Two credits

PAS 610. CLINICAL MEDICINE II
This is a continuation of Clinical Medicine I course. This course continues to present a systems approach to the principles of disease processes; a review of basic anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology; an emphasis on etiology of disease; recognition of signs and symptoms; development of a differential diagnosis, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, patient education, disease prevention. This course section covers medical conditions related to renal, endocrine, neurological, and gastrointestinal systems. Nine credits

PAS 611. HISTORY & PHYSICAL II
A continuation of Physical & History I. Lecture and practical laboratory course covering theory and application of interviewing skills, history and physical examination skills, elicitation and documentation of patient data, and clinical procedures. Students demonstrate competence through practical evaluations, written documentation, and oral presentations. Three credits

PAS 612. CLINICAL SKILLS I
This is the first of two courses that will focus on the development of a variety of clinical skills and procedures. Course covers indications, contra- indications, precautions, complications, techniques, cost effectiveness and patient preparation while addressing issues of promoting a safe environ- ment, addressing cultural sensitivity, practicing ethical and cost-effective medicine and providing and maintaining a sound relationship with the patient. Three credits

PAS 613. CLINICAL LABORATORY & MEDICAL GENETICS
This course identifies and describes common laboratory tests, demonstrates what types of laboratory tests to order for specific diseases and disorders, and reviews basic interpretation of laboratory test results. Ordering and interpreting genetic testing and application of genetic information and results in the primary care setting will be discussed. Two credits

PAS 614. CLINICAL PHARMACOLOGY AND THERAPEUTICS III
A continuation of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics II, this clinically oriented course provides students with knowledge required for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases through an understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. One credit

PAS 615. CLINICAL MEDICINE III
This is a continuation of Clinical Med I & II studying the etiology, presentation, evaluation and management of various diseases and disorders. Instructional emphasis is on the etiology of disease, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, patient education, disease prevention. The topics covered in this course include medical conditions of the eyes, ears, nose and throat (EENT); pediatrics, and der- matology disorders. There will be emphasis on pediatric nutrition, screening and prevention, adolescent medicine, special and acute issues in the pediatric population. In addition, the course will cover topics relevant to Geriatric medicine including, general principles of geriatric principles of hospice and palliative care, and death and dying. Five credits

PAS 616. INTRODUCTION TO EMERGENCY MEDICINE
This course is designed to provide the students with an introduction and an overview to the discipline of Emergency Medicine. Emphasis will also be placed on acute care and surgical conditions. All students are expected to complete ACLS and PALS training included within this course curriculum. Two credits

PAS 617. CLINICAL SKILLS II
This is a continuation of Clinical Skills I. Course covers indications, contraindications, precautions, complications, techniques, cost effectiveness and patient preparation while addressing issues of promoting a safe environment, addressing cultural sensitivity, practicing ethical and cost-effective medicine and providing and maintaining a sound relationship with the patient. Students will also be required to complete a Summative evalua- tion focusing on history taking and physical examination performance skills, as well as communication and clinical reasoning ability, the ability to summarize and document clinical encounter findings, and demonstration of psychomotor clinical and cognitive critical thinking skills, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), and clinical procedure performance skill laboratories. Students will participate in a cumulative overview of the NCCPA “blueprint” and will learn strategies to facilitate exam success. They will also participate in a standardized test known as the “Packrat” used as a predictor for success on the PANCE certification exam. Three credits

PAS 618. BEHAVIORAL MEDICINE
This course is designed to provide the student with tools to evaluate, diagnose, and manage psychiatric conditions. Students will gain an appreciation for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) classifications of mental illness as well as the importance of timely referrals to other healthcare professionals. Information will be provided on behavioral issues that impact health, the genetic and environmental aspects of behavioral disorders, etiology and treatment of substance abuse, responses and coping mechanisms for stress, growth and development, life cycle development, personality development, human sexuality, death and dying and bereavement. Two credits

PAS 625. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. One to nine credits

PAS 626. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. One to nine credits

Three courses — PAS 730 GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS I, PAS 740 GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS II, and PAS 750 GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS III — are offered sequentially over three semesters beginning in the 5th Semester of the MSPAS program. The 5th Semester coincides with the Summer Term of the University Schedule. Students are assigned into clinical experiences from three main categories: Required, Selective, and Elective. In addition, students will participate in scheduled workshops and other program-initiated activities that support the clinical experience. Assessments on clinical components include but are not limited to:

  • Case Submissions and presentations
  • Individual research and reports
  • Serial objective examinations
  • End-of-rotation examination and evaluation
  • Preceptor assessment and evaluation

Each clinical experience component must be completed with a passing score of 70 or above. A student failing to achieve a passing score on a clinical component of any Grand Clinical Rotation will be required to enroll in a Physician Assistant Studies Special Topics Course. Enrollment in a Special Topics Course must be departmentally approved and is designed to allow the student to undergo additional instruction and clinical experience in the component. Enrollment cannot occur until completion of PAS 750 Grand Clinical Rotation III. Students must demonstrate at the completion of the Special Topics Course the acquisition of knowledge and clinical ability that is sufficient to facilitate entry into a primary care clinical practice.

PAS 725. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. Eight credits

PAS 726. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. Four credits

PAS 735. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. Eight credits

PAS 736. SPECIAL TOPICS
Special topics in Physician Assistant Studies. Four credits

FIFTH SEMESTER
PAS 730: GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS I
Prerequisite:  Completion of the Didactic Phase of program and Summative Assessment.
Students will begin this course by attending a series of workshops that will further prepare and orient them for the clinical education experience.  Students will be assigned to participate in clinical experiences facilitated by Program Clinical Preceptors and Clinical Adjunct Faculty. Rotation assignments (required or selective) will be scheduled by Clinical Staff of the program faculty.  Eight Credits

SIXTH SEMESTER
PAS 740: GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS II
Students will continue their clinical education experiences.  Rotations will begin in August and continue through November for this course.  Rotation assignments will typically include required or selective experiences however exceptional educational experiences of limited availability may be assigned as an elective by Program Clinical Staff.  Sixteen Credits

SEVENTH SEMESTER
PAS 750: GRAND CLINICAL ROTATIONS III
Students will conclude their clinical educational experiences upon completion of their remaining required, selective, and elective rotations within this course.  The clinical experiences continue to be facilitated by Program Clinical Preceptors and Clinical Adjunct Faculty.  Students will attend seminars to prepare them for topics including but not limited to the PANCE examination and procedure for attaining state licensure.  Twenty Credits

Descriptions of Clinical Practicums (Required, Selective, Elective):

701/726: CLINICAL ROTATION: FAMILY MEDICINE

This clinical practicum is an outpatient-based medical experience that focuses on the clinical aspects of family practice/ primary care. Students will build on the fundamental skills of history taking, performing physical exams, developing differential diagnoses, formulating diagnoses, designing prevention and treatment plans and documenting common medical conditions observed in the family practice setting. Students will participate in a variety of primary care procedures. Emphasis will be placed on caring for the entire family ranging from the newborn to the geriatric patient.

702: CLINICAL ROTATION: PRIMARY CARE/INTERNAL MEDICINE
This clinical practicum is an outpatient-based medical experience that focuses on the clinical aspects of primary care/internal medicine. Students will build on the fundamental skills of history taking, performing physical exams, developing differential diagnoses, formulating diagnoses, designing prevention and treatment plans and documenting common medical conditions observed in the primary care / internal medicine setting. Students will participate in a variety of primary care procedures. Emphasis will be placed on caring for the entire family ranging from the newborn to the geriatric patient.

703: CLINICAL ROTATION: INPATIENT CARE
This practicum focuses on the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of acute and chronic inpatient medical conditions. Students will perform inpatient complete history and physical exams, assist with consultations, evaluate and manage inpatients from admission to discharge when possible. Students will demonstrate how to order and interpret diagnostic tests commonly utilized in inpatient medicine and to perform clinical hospital procedures. Students will also be involved with inpatient hospital documentation to include the admission summary, history and physical examination, daily progress note, consultation note, and discharge summary.

704/736: CLINICAL ROTATION: BEHAVIORAL HEALTH
This practicum introduces students to a variety of behavioral medicine problems in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting. Students will perform psychiatric interviews and physical examinations, assist with individual and group psychological counseling, perform psycho- logical testing, and participate in management strategies for the psychiatric patient. This practicum is designed to train to students in recognizing psychiatric medical conditions through clinical presentation and the psychiatric interview.

705: CLINICAL ROTATION: SURGERY
This practicum introduces students to the clinical evaluation, diagnosis and surgical management of patients in the general surgery setting. Students will be trained in preoperative and post-operative patient care, outpatient evaluation of surgical candidates, surgical inpatient management, operating room protocol and surgical techniques, emergent surgical cases, and documentation specific to surgical patients. Students will learn common surgical procedures and the description, indications, contraindications, and complications of each. Additionally, students will gain experience in interpreting diagnostic tests utilized in the general surgical environment.

706: CLINICAL ROTATION: EMERGENCY MEDICINE

This practicum introduces students to the clinical evaluation, diagnosis and management of acute medical and trauma conditions that present to the emergency department. Students will observe and demonstrate the ability to triage patients, perform problem-focused history and physical examinations, develop differential diagnoses, formulate diagnoses, and design management plans for patients presenting to the emergency department. Students will also be trained in performing emergency procedures, recognizing life-threatening medical conditions, and assisting with resuscitation efforts. This practicum also focuses on utilizing diagnostic procedures essential to the emergency medicine setting.

707: CLINICAL ROTATION: PEDIATRICS
This practicum permits students to gain experience in an outpatient and/or inpatient pediatric setting. Students will be taught to care for patients ranging from neonates to adolescents through well-child and sick-child office visits. The goal of the practicum is for students to recognize the clinical presentation of common pediatric medical problems and then develop differential diagnoses, formulate diagnoses and design management plans for these patients. This practicum will reinforce the knowledge and clinical application of drug dosing, immunizations, growth and developmental milestones, common diagnostic procedures, nutritional assessment, documentation and communication with parents and pediatric patients.

708: CLINICAL ROTATION: OB/GYN
This practicum is designed to provide students with clinical experience in outpatient women’s healthcare. Focus will be on eliciting and performing the gynecological history and physical examination, screening techniques, diagnostic procedures, management plans, and contraceptive counseling and management. The practicum will enable students to strengthen their knowledge of pre-natal and post-natal care, menstrual abnormalities, infertility, sexuality issues, menopause and sexually transmitted diseases.  Curriculum may be enhanced by Workshop/Seminar experiences.

709: CLINICAL ROTATION: GERIATRICS
This practicum is designed to provide students with clinical experience in outpatient and inpatient geriatric healthcare. Students will have the opportunity to develop skills to care for geriatric patients and issues germane to geriatric care.

710: CLINICAL ROTATION: ORTHOPEDICS
This practicum is designed to provide students with clinical experience in orthopedics. This is a required 4 week rotation in orthopedics under the supervision of the site preceptor.  Students will have the opportunity to develop skills to care for patients with orthopedics problems that can be found in the primary care setting.  Students will have the opportunity to participate in pre-, intra-, and postoperative care.

711: CLINICAL ROTATION: ELECTIVE
For this practicum the student will be permitted to select an area of medicine in which he/she desires to gain additional clinical experience. A list of elective clinical rotation settings will be provided to the student including core general rotations and subspecialty areas of medicine. The student will be permitted to develop a new elective clinical rotation site only with the assistance and permission of the faculty Clinical Coordinator.