Skip to Content
Search

Curriculum

Delivered in on-campus laboratories as well as off-campus supervised clinical settings, the MSPAS curriculum is coordinated with relevant practice to provide students an integrated learning experience. The first (or didactic) year is comprised of basic medical and clinical sciences. The second (or clinical) year includes nine five-week clinical clerkships in a variety of professional settings and geographic locations, to ensure that students amass a wide range of learning experiences. 

CURRICULUM TOTAL: 101 SEMESTER HOURS

Curriculum Outline - Year I
 
Fall Semester
                       
PA 526  Introduction to the Profession        1 credits
PA 530  Clinical Medicine I                            5 credits
PA 538  Patient Assessment                        4 credits
PA 544  Gross Clinical Anatomy                  3 credits
PA 541  Pharmacology I                                 2 credits
PA 546  Physiology / Pathophysiology I      2 credits
      
                                                                      Total               17 credits
 
Spring Semester
 
PA 527  Health Care Issues I                         2 credits
PA 531  Clinical Medicine II                             6 credits
PA 539  Patient Assessment II                       4 credits
PA 542  Pharmacology II                                  3 credits
PA 547  Physiology / Pathophysiology II       2 credits
PA 560  Clinical Genetics                                1 credit
                                                                     Total               18 credits
 
Summer Semester
 
PA 528  Health Care Issues II                                  1 credit
PA 532  Clinical Medicine III                                      3 credits
PA 543  Pharmacology III                                           2 credits
PA 550  Emergency Medicine                                    2 credits
PA 552  Medical Procedures & Surgery                   2 credits
PA 554  Special Populations                                     5 credits
PA 561  Research, Epidemiology and Statistics   2 credits
                                                             Total               17 credits
 
 
Curriculum Outline - Year II
 
Professional Year II clinical rotations:
 
Ambulatory Medicine
Internal Medicine
Pediatrics
Psychiatry
Surgery
Women’s Health
Emergency Medicine
General Elective Rotation x 2
Clinical Research Rotation
 
 
                   Professional Development                                                                 
                   PANCE Preparation
                   Summative Evaluation
                   Total                    49 credits
 
 
YEAR I: DIDACTIC YEAR
 
SEMESTER I (18 semester hours)
 
PA 526 Introduction to the Profession (1 Semester Hour) This course provides an historical perspective of the physician assistant profession, as well as an investigation of current trends and issues. The course stresses the importance of biomedical ethics and professional responsibilities in relation to the physician assistant’s role as a health care provider. Content relating to physician assistant professional organizations, program accreditation, graduate certification and re-certification, employment considerations, and professional liability is included.
 
PA 530 Clinical Medicine I (5 Semester Hours) This course teaches the pathology of disease by system and specialty. Topics for the course include nutrition, clinical laboratory medicine, ophthalmology and otolaryngology (EENT), dermatology, pulmonary, cardiology (including ECG), and hematology. Also incorporated into these topics are correlated reviews of relevant pathology and radiology.
 
PA 538 Patient Assessment I (4 Semester Hours) This course teaches foundational skills and techniques required to gather a complete medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. The course introduces the student to the practice of history taking and physical examinations of the skin, head and neck, lymphatics, lungs, heart, and abdomen. During the course, integration of the student’s knowledge of the structure and function of the human body is coupled with laboratory sessions emphasizing the proper use of diagnostic equipment and techniques for performing a comprehensive physical examination.
 
PA 541 Pharmacology I (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students are introduced to pharmacodynamic, pharmacokinetic and pharmacotherapeutic principles that provide a foundation for the study of pharmacology and therapeutics. Combined lecture and active learning exercises help students to demonstrate skills that a physician assistant needs to enhance patient care in clinical practice, focusing on antibiotics, pulmonary and cardiac drugs, anemia, and leukemia.
 
PA 544 Gross Clinical Anatomy (3 Semester Hours) This course provides students with a working knowledge of the major anatomical regions and structures of the body. Emphasis is placed upon the relationships of components within a specific region, as well as topographical and functional anatomy as they relate to physical examination skills and clinical applications.
 
PA 546 Pathophysiology I (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students learn integrative human physiology and pathophysiology involving concepts of cell biology, and the integumentary, cardiovascular, pulmonary, and hematologic systems, with an emphasis upon homeostatic mechanisms and etiologies of disease. Students learn the interrelationships of function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and systemic levels.
 
PA 560 Clinical Genetics (1 Semester Hour) The successful practice of modern medicine includes the recognition of the role of genetic factors in health and disease. In this course, students will learn to explain the genetic basis of disease and to obtain an accurate genetic pedigree and convey information to patients. Students learn an effective approach to health maintenance, disease prevention, disease diagnosis, and treatment based on patients’ genetic predispositions.
 
SEMESTER II (17 semester hours)
 
PA 527 Health Care Issues I (2 Semester Hours) In this course, physician assistant students will gain a greater appreciation for and comprehension of the socio-behavioral aspects of medical practice. Students learn effective counseling and preventive education strategies for enhancing treatment compliance, promoting positive health patterns, and enhancing positive response to illness.
 
PA 531 Clinical Medicine II (6 Semester Hours) This course builds on pathology of disease presented in Physician Assistant 530 Clinical Medicine I and continues with the presentation of the following systems: gastroenterology, infectious disease, neurology, orthopedics/rheumatology, and endocrinology. Disorders are presented by system and specialty, augmented with clinical therapeutics.
 
PA 539 Patient Assessment II (4 Semester Hours) In this course, students will build on the knowledge and foundational skills and techniques learned in PA 538 Patient Assessment I in the performance of a thorough physical examination and medical history. Students will integrate the knowledge obtained in PA 5XX Clinical Medicine I with laboratory sessions emphasizing the proper use of diagnostic equipment and technique for performing a comprehensive physical examination. The course topics will include the musculoskeletal, neurological, male and female systems.
 
PA 542 Pharmacology II (3 Semester Hours) In this course, students build upon the knowledge and skills obtained in PA 541 Pharmacology I. Combined lecture and active learning exercises are designed to demonstrate the pharmacologic and therapeutic skills that a physician assistant will need to enhance patient care in clinical practice, focusing on inflammatory conditions, infectious diseases, gastrointestinal, neurological and endocrine diseases. Students use clinical literature and evaluate patient cases as they relate to pharmacology.
 
PA 547 Pathophysiology II (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students will learn integrative human physiology and pathophysiology involving the neurological, gastrointestinal, endocrine and reproductive systems, with an emphasis upon homeostatic mechanisms and the etiologies of disease states. Students will learn the interrelationship of function and dysfunction at the molecular, cellular, tissue, organ and systemic levels.
 
SEMESTER III (17 semester hours)
 
PA 528 Health Care Issues II (1 Semester Hour) In this course, students build upon concepts in patient care discussed in Physician Assistant 527 Health Care Issues I by learning ethical concepts as they relate to practical decision-making and problem-solving. Students study risk management strategies and the legal definitions of, and their responsibilities toward, informed consent and confidentiality. Students examine health care policy, nationally and locally, as it impacts health care delivery, the practice of medicine as a physician assistant, and the socioeconomic factors pertaining to relevant health care decision making.
 
PA 532 Clinical Medicine III (3 Semester Hours) In this course, students study the disorders and diseases of the following: genitourinary system (GU), psychiatric disorders, preventive medicine and complementary and alternative medicine. Disorders are presented by system and specialty-augmented with clinical therapeutics.
 
PA 543 Pharmacology III (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students learn the pharmacologic and therapeutic skills that a physician assistant needs to enhance patient care in clinical practice focusing on renal disease, genitourinary and psychiatric disorders, and alternative/complimentary medicines and dietary supplements. Students use clinical literature and to evaluate patient cases as they related to pharmacology.
 
PA 550 Emergency Medicine (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students learn treatment of trauma and medical disorders commonly presenting to the emergency department. Taught in a case-based format, the emphasis is on the priority of stabilizing patients with life-threatening trauma or illness and selecting appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic measures. Students are required to become ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) certified or recertified in anticipation of clinical rotations.
 
PA 552 Medical Procedures (2 Semester Hours) In this course, students employ knowledge, skills, and techniques learned in PA 539 Patient Assessment II to evaluate surgical patients. Students learn to perform procedures such as suturing, splinting, wound care, intravenous insertions, nasogastric intubations and Foley catheter insertion. Students learn principles of surgery, including pre-operative, intra-operative and post-operative care, and minor surgical procedures.
 
PA 554 Special Populations (5 Semester Hours) In this course, students learn the special needs of patients within three primary care subspecialties: women’s health, pediatrics, and geriatrics.
 
PA 570 Research, Epidemiology, and Statistics for the Physician Assistant (2 Semester Hours). In this course, students receive instruction in research methods and application in the clinical setting. They integrate basic concepts of epidemiology and statistics as these concepts relate to medical practice. Students critically read published reports of clinical research and identify strengths and weaknesses in the structure and presentation of data and conclusions in those reports. They interpret and search evidence-based literature related to clinical problems encountered in physician assistant practice.
 
YEAR II: CLINICAL YEAR
 
 
PA 601 Ambulatory Medicine (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical experience in general primary care through outpatient medicine. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 602 Long-Term Care (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in long-term care facilities. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 603 Internal Medicine (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in internal medicine. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 604 Pediatrics (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in pediatric medicine. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 605 Psychiatry (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in psychiatric medicine. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 606 General Surgery (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in general surgery. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 607 Women’s Health (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in women’s health. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 608 Emergency Medicine (5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation provides practical clinical experience in emergency medicine. Students engage in all aspects of patient care, including history, physical examination, and treatment plan design and evaluation. Students’ application of patient and family education to treatment and preventive measures is emphasized.
 
PA 609 Elective Clinical Rotation I (2.5 Semester Hours) This five-week rotation will provide clinical experience in a medical or surgical specialty of the student’s choice.
 
PA 610 Clinical Research Rotation I (2.5 Semester Hours) This four-week rotation will provide clinical experience in a clinical research setting.  Students will develop a poster presentation based upon the research to be submitted for the AAPA National Conference.
 
PA 631 Professional Development (1 Semester Hour) Course topics include résumé development, employment strategies, completing of state applications for practice, medical malpractice, reimbursement issues, and financial planning.
 
 PA 632 PANCE Preparation (2 Semester Hours) This course prepares students for successful completion of the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE), necessary for entering medical practice. Students learn strategies for successful study and successful completion of board-style exams. This course integrates study on clerkships and comprehensive review of all topics on the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistant (NCCPA) blueprint.
 
PA 633 Summative Evaluation (1 Semester Hour) This course provides a summative evaluation tool to measure cognitive, motor, and affective domains at a point near students’ completion of the program. Students perform an objective standardized clinical examination (OSCE) in order to demonstrate competency in interpersonal skills, comprehensive physical examination skills, and professional bearing. Students complete an end-of-course written examination providing proof of medical knowledge and clinical competence.