PA Program Course Descriptions

Year I, Summer I (13 credits)

PHAS 500 Human Anatomy for PAs (6 credits)

This course addresses the anatomical organization of the human body including the cardiovascular, respiratory, digestive, urinary, reproductive, musculoskeletal, endocrine and nervous systems.  Students learn gross anatomy through lecture, discussion, and supervised dissection of human cadavers and pro-sections. 

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the PA program

PHAS 501 PA Seminar I (1 credit)

This course serves as an introduction to the role of the physician assistant in the health care system.  It will include lecture and discussion of professional roles, policies and regulations relevant for physician assistants, and professional and ethical behavior in health care. 

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the PA program

PHAS 510 Physical Assessment (4 credits)

This course is designed to introduce students to develop and apply basic skills and techniques necessary for patient history taking and communication skills.  Students will learn how to apply physical examination techniques in order to perform focused and full examinations and recognize normal and abnormal findings.  Students will be learning to present the information in oral and written formats.  This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the PA program

PHAS 515 Molecular Mechanisms for PAs (2 credits)

This course is an introduction to cellular and molecular mechanisms relevant for medical practice.  The course is offered in a modular format and addresses 3 primary topics: genetics and molecular biology, biochemistry and principles of pharmacology, and microbiology.  Each module focuses on basic principles to prepare students for clinical application in the pathophysiology/pharmacology and clinical medicine courses.

Prerequisites: Enrollment in the PA program

Year I, Fall I (18 credits)

PHAS 502 PA Seminar II (2 credit)

This course expands upon content from PA Seminar I related to the role of the physician assistant in the health care system, focusing on health care management and administration, as well as current trends and issues related to the profession. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Summer I

PHAS 525 Clinical Medicine I (6 credits)

Clinical Medicine I is the first of a two-course sequence addressing the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, and prevention and treatment of diseases using a systems-based approach.  Systems covered in this course include neurology, dermatology, otolaryngology, genetics, musculoskeletal/rheumatological disorders, endocrine, and ophthalmology.  Case studies will be used extensively to integrate pharmacology, radiology, nutrition and exercise, and laboratory diagnostics, as well as to develop clinical problem-solving skills.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Summer I

PHAS 526 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I (4 credits)

This lecture course is taught concurrently with Clinical Medicine I and covers the basic physiology, related pathophysiology, and pharmacology principles and therapeutics relevant to systems and diseases covered in Clinical Medicine I. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Summer I

PHAS 527 Medical Diagnostics I (2 credits)

This course is an introduction to medical imaging, ECG, and laboratory testing for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Medical Diagnostics I is taught concurrently with Clinical Medicine I and Pathophysiology and Pharmacology I, and focuses on diagnostics relevant to diseases and conditions covered in Clinical Medicine I.  The course is taught using lecture, laboratory and integrated case studies.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Summer I

PHAS 520 Neuroanatomy (2 credits)

This course covers basic principles of human nervous system structure and function. Both the central and peripheral portions of the nervous system will be addressed. The laboratory focuses on examination of the human brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Patient case examples and evidence from the neuroscience literature will be utilized to foster clinical decision-making skills related to common diseases and disorders of the nervous system.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Summer I

PHAS 540 Public Health & Epidemiology (2 credits)

This course addresses relevant aspects of public health and epidemiology including both individual and population-based preventive medicine, health promotion, and community-based practice.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Summer I

Year I, Winterim I (8 credits)

PHAS 535 Evidence-Based Medicine (2 credits)

This course addresses the use of research and evidence to inform clinical practice in medicine and will emphasize the responsibility of physician assistants to maintain a current knowledge base.  Students will read and analyze primary literature related to disease prevention and treatment and will learn to use medical databases to access literature relevant for clinical decision-making.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Fall I

PHAS 580 Introduction to Clinical Practice (3 credits)

Introduction to Clinical Practice provides students opportunity to practice patient care skills through the use of standardized patients and simulations.  Students will take patient histories, perform physical examinations, and document findings as preparation for clinical rotations in the second year of the curriculum. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Fall I

PHAS 560 Medical Ethics (3 credits)

Medical Ethics applies ethical theories to medical practice and emphasizes the moral dimensions of decision-making in health care from a Christian perspective.  The course focuses on professional and ethical behavior, human experimentation, beginning and end-of-life care, and the role of religion and the law in clinical practice.  Students will engage in discussions related to ethical and moral dilemmas in health care.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Fall I

Year I, Spring I (19 credits)

PHAS 530 Clinical Medicine II (6 credits)

Clinical Medicine II is the second in a two-course sequence addressing the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, differential diagnosis, and prevention and treatment of diseases using a systems-based approach.  Systems covered in this course include cardiology, pulmonology, gastroenterology, nephrology and urology, hematology, oncology, geriatrics, and infectious disease.  Case studies will be used extensively to integrate pharmacology, radiology, nutrition and exercise, and laboratory diagnostics, as well as to develop clinical problem-solving skills.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

PHAS 531 Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II (4 credits)

This lecture course is taught concurrently with Clinical Medicine II and covers the basic physiology, related pathophysiology, and pharmacology principles and therapeutics relevant to systems and diseases covered in Clinical Medicine I.  Topics including efficacy, toxicity, adherence, potential drug interactions, and cost will be addressed using lecture and case studies. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

PHAS 532 Medical Diagnostics II (2 credits)

This course builds upon content taught in Medical Diagnostics I and addresses the use of medical imaging, ECG, and laboratory testing for the diagnosis and treatment of disease.  Medical Diagnostics II is taught concurrently with Clinical Medicine II and Pathophysiology and Pharmacology II, and focuses on diagnostics relevant to diseases covered in these courses.  The course is taught using lecture, laboratory and integrated case studies.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

PHAS 560 Surgical Medicine (3 credits)

Surgical Medicine addresses the role of the physician assistant in surgery, commonly performed surgical procedures/skills and the evaluation and management of the surgical patient.  Topics covered include principles of pre-operative, peri-operative, and post-operative care, sterile technique, and common surgical complications.  This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

PHAS 575 Obstetrics and Gynecology (2 credits)

This course addresses all aspects of women’s health including prenatal care, labor and delivery, and post-natal care, as well as disorders and diseases unique to the female reproductive system that are commonly encountered in primary care practice.  This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

PHAS 503 PA Seminar III (2 credit)

This course expands upon content from PA Seminar II related to the role of the physician assistant in the health care system and will focus on legal; financial, billing, coding, and reimbursement issues, quality assessment and risk management. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

Year II, Summer II (11 credits)

PHAS 555 Clinical Skills Laboratory (3 credits)

Clinical Skills Laboratory is a laboratory course that focuses on development of the skills relevant for primary care practice.  The course will further contribute to the development of clinical reasoning related to case scenarios.  This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Spring I

PHAS 545 Emergency Medicine (4 credits)

Emergency Medicine provides an introduction to the diagnosis and treatment of common conditions encountered in an Emergency Department, and will include the management of life-threatening patient presentations.  Students will take ACLS during this course.  This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Spring I

PHAS 550 Pediatrics (2 credits)

Pediatrics is an introduction to pediatric diseases and disorders commonly encountered in primary care and includes well-child care and preventive pediatric medicine.  Students will be introduced to the unique developmental, anatomic, and physiologic aspects of the infant through adolescence. Students will have opportunity to develop clinical skills relevant to pediatric clinical practice. This is a mixed lecture/laboratory course.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Spring I

PHAS 565 Behavioral Medicine (2 credits)

This course provides an introduction to the pathophysiology, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders.  It prepares students for clinical rotations in behavioral medicine. 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Winterim I

Clinical Year

Year II, Fall II (16 credits)

Year II, Winterim II (4 credits)

Year II, Spring II (16 credits)

Year III, Summer III (10 credits)

Courses in year II are clinical rotations (clinical practica): 11 are required including two electives.  Rotations are required in family medicine (2), internal medicine (2), obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, emergency medicine, surgery, and behavioral medicine.  Rotations are 4 weeks in duration, and may be taken in any order except that Family Medicine I must precede Family Medicine II, and Internal Medicine I must precede Internal Medicine II.  In addition, a 2-credit course (PA Seminar IV) is required in the final summer of the program.

PHAS 610 Family Medicine Clinical Practicum I (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Family Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of family medicine.  Students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned during the didactic phase in order to interact with patients and families, provide patient education, and conduct appropriate evaluation and management.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week). 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 615 Family Medicine Clinical Practicum II (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Family Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of family medicine.  Students will have the opportunity to apply what they have learned during the didactic phase in order to interact with patients and families, provide patient education, and conduct appropriate evaluation and management.  This course expands upon knowledge gained in Family Medicine Clinical Practicum I. (Minimum of 40 hours a week). 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Family Medicine Clinical Practicum I and the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 620 Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum I (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Internal Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of general internal medicine.  Students will have the opportunity to manage acute and chronic care and participate in continual care for patients in this setting. (Minimum of 40 hours a week). 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 625 Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum II (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Internal Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of general internal medicine.  Students will have the opportunity to manage acute and chronic care and participate in continual care for patients in this setting. This course expands upon knowledge gained in Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum I. (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum I and the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 630 Women’s Health Clinical Practicum (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Obstetrics and Gynecology is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of obstetrics/gynecology and women’s health.  Students will further develop knowledge of preventive care, pregnancy, menopause, screening recommendations, and infertility.  Students will also be involved with prenatal care.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 635 Pediatric Clinical Practicum (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Pediatrics is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that occur in the practice of pediatrics.   Students will become more proficient at performing pediatric history and physical examinations, well checks, counseling patients and their families, as well as screening for developmental milestones.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 640 Emergency Medicine Clinical Practicum (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Emergency Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that present to hospital emergency departments.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week). 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 645 Surgery Clinical Practicum (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Surgery is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions that involve surgical treatment.  Students will participate in the care of pre-operative, peri-operative, and post-operative patients, learn about indications, contraindications, and complications related to the surgical patient and assist in surgery. (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 650 Behavioral Medicine Clinical Practicum (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation in Behavioral Medicine is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation addresses the pathophysiology, evaluation, differential diagnosis, and management of diseases and conditions in psychiatry and behavioral medicine.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of all courses in Spring I.

PHAS 655 Clinical Practicum Elective I (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation allows students, in consultation with their academic advisors, to select an area of medical practice that addresses their unique interests and goals.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 660 Clinical Practicum Elective II (4 credits)

This required 4 week rotation is under the supervision of a clinical preceptor.  The rotation allows students, in consultation with their academic advisors, to select an area of medical practice that addresses their unique interests and goals.  (Minimum of 40 hours a week).

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.

PHAS 600 PA Seminar IV (2 credits)

PA Seminar IV will be a culmination of the summative examinations (both written and practical) as well as the capstone project.  The seminar will also include a week long PANCE review prior to graduation.  Prerequisites: Successful completion of the PA Program didactic year.