Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum

 

Semester

Didactic Curriculum

Credit Hours

Summer Semester
(Jun – Aug)

PAS 610 Medical Gross Anatomy

6

PAS 611 Scientific Foundations

3

PAS 612 Medical Interviewing

1

PAS 615 Introduction to Evidence Based Medicine

2

PAS 616 Medicine & Society I

2

 

Total: 14

 

Fall Semester
(Aug-Dec)

PAS 624 Pharmacology & Therapeutics I

2

PAS 626 Clinical Medicine I

6

PAS 613 Physical Diagnosis

3

PAS 629 Diagnostic Methods I

1

PAS 620 Physiology

3

PAS 617 Medicine & Society II

2

 

 

Total: 17

 

Spring Semester
(Jan-May)

 PAS 625 Pharmacology & Therapeutics II

2

PAS 627 Clinical Medicine II

10

PAS 630 Diagnostic Methods II

1

PAS 618 Medicine & Society III

2

 

Total:  15

 

Spring Semester
(May-Jul)

PAS 631 Special Populations

5

PAS 628 Clinical Medicine III

3

PAS 619 Medicine & Society IV

2

PAS 614 Behavioral Medicine & Counseling

2

 

Total: 12

 Preclinical Year Total

58

 

Clinical Year Curriculum
Supervised clinical practice experiences in the following specialties:  Internal Medicine, Family Medicine, Pediatrics, Women’s Health, Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, and Elective

 

PAS 740 Family Medicine Clerkship I

4

PAS 741 Family Medicine Clerkship II

4

PAS 742 Internal Medicine Clerkship I

4

PAS 743 Internal Medicine Clerkship II

4

PAS 744 Pediatrics Clerkship

4

PAS 745 Emergency Medicine Clerkship

4

PAS 746 Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry Clerkship

4

PAS 747 General Surgery Clerkship

4

 

PAS 748 Women’s Health Clerkship

4

PAS 749 Elective Clerkship

4

PAS 750 Professional Seminar I

1

PAS 751 Professional Seminar II

1

PAS 752 Professional Seminar III

1

 

PAS 753 Capstone Project

2

 

Total: 45

 

Program Total:  103

 *The clinical clerkship sequence will be based on preceptor availability and will vary among PA students.

Pre-Clinical Course Descriptions

PAS 610 Medical Gross Anatomy     6 credit hours
This course is designed to develop an understanding of normal clinical anatomy through an integrated anatomical approach to the study of human body structure. Students will develop their psychomotor skills with full-anatomy cadaver dissections performed in small groups.  These labs are complemented with lectures covering the systematic and developmental anatomy of the human body with faculty utilizing medical case studies to teach anatomy within a clinical context. Throughout this course, instructional emphasis is placed on structure/function relationships and the clinical application of such knowledge. Students will have the opportunity to participate in independent and group study activities with the goal of enhancing life-long learning.

PAS 611 Scientific Foundations     3 credit hours
The course will provide instruction in the basic sciences of medicine integral to understanding human disease. The course will cover topics in pathophysiology, biochemistry, immunology, microbiology, and genetics. 

PAS 616 Medicine and Society I     2 credit hours
Medicine and Society (M&S) consists of 4 consecutive, integrated courses in which students explore the intersection of the individual in society and health care. The first semester will focus on interprofessional education, an introduction to the PA profession, medical ethics, academic integrity and professional conduct.  The course will also consist of learning communities which will facilitate critical thinking and clinical problem solving.  

PAS 624 &625 Pharmacology & Therapeutics I & II     2 credit hours (ea)
This two-course series provides students with a fundamental knowledge of the application of pharmacologic agents to the maintenance of health, prevention of illness, and the treatment of common acute and chronic medical conditions or related symptoms. The course focuses on the deliverance of the fundamental principles of pharmacology needed for an understanding of rational and effective prescribing of various drug classes. The pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, potential advantages and disadvantages of specific therapeutic regimens, indications, contraindications, adverse reactions and the relative cost of commonly prescribed medications will be addressed.

PAS 620 Physiology     3 credit hours
This course offered early in the physician assistant program curriculum will review concepts of human physiology to strengthen the students’ core foundation of physiology knowledge.  Major themes regarding commonly occurring pathophysiologic processes will be introduced to prepare students for more in-depth learning about specific disease states and patient presentations in subsequent courses.  

PAS 626 Clinical Medicine I     6 credit hours
This is the first of a three-part series designed to deliver a comprehensive study of human diseases and disorders by organ system.  This semester will contain modules covering Hematology, Dermatology, Otorhinolaryngology/Ophthalmology, Cardiology and Gastroenterology/Nutrition. Disease processes common to primary care practice, and the development of differential diagnoses and treatment plans based upon clinical presentation will be highlighted. Course content will be integrated with the content material being taught in Pharmacology, Physical Diagnosis and Diagnostic Methods. 

PAS 627 Clinical Medicine II      10 credit hours
This is the second of a three-part series designed to deliver a comprehensive study of human diseases and disorders by organ system.  This semester will contain modules covering Pulmonology, Genitourinary/Nephrology, and Neurology.  Disease processes common to primary care practices, and the development of differential diagnoses and treatment plans based on clinical presentation will be highlighted. Course content will be integrated with the content being taught in Pharmacology and Diagnostic Methods. 

PAS 628 Clinical Medicine III      3 credit hours
This is the third of a three-part series designed to deliver a comprehensive study of human diseases and disorders by organ system.  This semester will contain modules covering Endocrinology an Infectious Disease. Disease processes common to primary care practices, and the development of differential diagnoses and treatment plans based on clinical presentation will be highlighted. 

PAS 613 Physical Diagnosis     2 credit hours
This course is designed to instruct the student in the competencies necessary for the performance of a physical examination, as well as the communication and medical documentation skills necessary for patient assessment.  Learning objectives are met through reading assignments, small group encounters, practicum sessions, oral presentations and various methods of evaluation.  Students will perform system-based and problem-focused physical examinations for both primary care and specialty complaints. In addition, students will have the opportunity to practice their skills with assigned lab partners, simulated patients and standardized patients. 

PAS 612 Medical Interviewing     1 credit hour
This course is designed to instruct students to perform thorough medical interviews that include establishing rapport, collecting pertinent histories and attending to patient-centered concerns. The learning objectives will be met through small group activities using standardized clinical cases and OSCE. 

PAS 629 &630 Diagnostic Methods I and II     2 credit hours (ea)
The essentials of ordering, interpreting, and performing diagnostic studies used in the screening, diagnosis, management, and monitoring of common diseases. Topics for this course are sequenced with Clinical Medicine.   Lectures, small group discussions, and hands-on laboratory sessions are the teaching strategies utilized in this course. 

PAS 615 Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine     2 credit hours
This course is designed to help develop critical thinking regarding interpretation of research literature.  It provides a general introduction to research design, statistical reasoning, and interpretation of the medical literature.  Topics include protection of human subjects, the scientific method, the research question, issues of measurement, models of experimental and non-experimental designs, and an overview of parametric and non-parametric statistical techniques.  All topics are presented to facilitate understanding and interpreting research literature and utilizing evidence for clinical decision making.  The learner will be able to critique medical research at the completion of this course and begin the process of formulating a clinically relevant research question. 

PAS 617 Medicine and Society II     2 credit hours
Medicine and Society (M&S) consists of 4 consecutive, integrated courses in which students explore the intersection of the individual in society and health care. The second semester will focus on diverse populations, public health, patient safety, quality improvement, billing, reimbursement and risk management. The course will also consist of learning communities including the design of a community health engagement project which will facilitate critical thinking and clinical problem solving.   

PAS 618 Medicine and Society III     2 credit hours
Medicine and Society (M&S) consists of 4 consecutive, integrated courses in which students explore the intersection of the individual in society and health care. The third semester will focus on health promotion, disease prevention, culture competence, and social determents of health. The course will also consist of learning communities wherein students will continue to design a community health engagement project which will facilitate critical thinking and clinical problem solving. 

PAS 619 Medicine and Society IV     2 credit hours
Medicine and Society (M&S) consists of 4 consecutive, integrated courses in which students explore the intersection of the individual in society and health care. The fourth semester will focus on health care delivery systems including costs, quality, access and health care provider roles. The course will also consist of learning communities wherein students will implement a community health  engagement project which will facilitate critical thinking and clinical problem solving.   

PAS 631 Special Populations     5 credit hours
This course is designed to deliver a comprehensive study of human diseases and disorders.  Emphasis will be on the epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine, and prognosis of disease process common in Women’s Health, Pediatrics, and Geriatrics, and Emergency Medicine.  The course will also provide instruction on basic surgical principles, techniques, and technical skills necessary for Physician Assistants to function in primary care and surgical settings.  This class is taught in a modular format using a variety of learning methods including lectures, group discussion, demonstrations, and laboratory sessions. 

 

Clinical Course Descriptions

PAS 740 Family Medicine I     4 credit hours
This required clinical rotation takes place primarily in a community-based outpatient setting. The purpose of this rotation is to educate the physician assistant student in the diagnosis, management, and treatment of primary care patients across the life span. Emphasis is placed on the primary care needs of patients in rural and urban communities. During this rotation, the PA Student will also be exposed to the geriatric patient population. (B3.02), (B3.03), (B3.04) 

PAS 741 Family Medicine II     4 credit hours
This course is a continuation of Family Medicine I. (B3.02), (B3.03), (B3.04)

PAS 742 Internal Medicine I     4 credit hours
This clinical rotation focuses on the practice of internal medicine. Students will gain valuable hands-on exposure to a variety of complex adult acute and chronic diseases and discover best practice methods for diagnosis and treatment of these issues. (B3.02) (B3.04)  

PAS 743 Internal Medicine II     4 credit hours
This course is a continuation of Internal Medicine I. (B3.02) (B3.04) 

PAS 744 Pediatric Medicine    4 credit hours
This rotation will center on pediatric patients. Students will learn about this specialty of medical practice and how to differentiate presentations in the pediatric population from those in an adult population. (B3.02) (B3.04) 

PAS 745 Emergency Medicine     4 credit hours
During this fast-paced rotation, students will experience a wide variety of clinical presentations common in emergency medicine. Students will learn methods for determining critical versus non-critical presentations and methods of patient stabilization. Students will evaluate and treat acute illnesses and injuries as well as exacerbations of chronic illness. Students will have the opportunity to apply procedural skills techniques learned throughout the course of the MSM PA program. (B3.02) (B3.04) 

PAS 746 Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry     4 credit hours
During this clinical rotation, students will have the opportunity to participate in the evaluation and treatment of patients with a variety of behavioral and psychiatric conditions. Students will develop knowledge about the complex nature of psychiatric illness though active involvement in the diagnosis and management of patients. (B3.02), (B3.03), (B3.04) 

PAS 747 General Surgery     4 credit hours
This rotation introduces students to practical concepts and principles of surgery, including pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative evaluation and management of the surgical patient. The students will have the opportunity to interact with surgeons in a variety of surgical cases and to explore a wide range of surgical therapeutics. (B3.02), (B3.03), (B3.04)

PAS 748 Women’s Health     4 credit hours
This clinical rotation exposes the students to the practice of women’s health. Students will learn about evaluation and treatment of a variety of gynecologic and obstetrical problems as well as other issues specific to women’s health. (B3.02), (B3.03), (B3.04) 

PAS 749 Elective Clerkship     4 credit hours
This elective clinical rotation provides the student with an opportunity to pursue an academic, medical, or surgical area of interest. 

PAS 750 Professional Seminar I in Physician Assistant Studies     1 credit hour
A study of selected topics and contemporary issues regarding Physician Assistant practice. Emphasis will be placed on review of selected clinical medicine topics, job searches, resume and CV writing, contract negotiations, and interviewing skills. 

PAS 751 Professional Seminar II in Physician Assistant Studies     1 credit hour
This course is a continuation of PAS 750. 

PAS 752 Professional Seminar III in Physician Assistant Studies     1 crredit hour
This course is a continuation of PAS 750. 

PAS 753 Capstone Project     2 credit hours

This course is designed to allow PA students to complete a Capstone Project while under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students will identify a health care issue topic while enrolled in the Introduction to Evidence-Based Medicine course and build on this topic to conduct a literature review.  The final research paper will conclude with an oral presentation.  Students will also submit their work for publication in the annual Curtis L. Parker Student Research Symposium.

 

 

Click for the 2019-2020 Physician Assistant Academic Calendar

 

Click for the 2019-2020 MSM Physician Assistant Program Student Handbook