Didactic Curriculum

SCI 5100 Gross Anatomy 4-4-0-6

This course provides a comprehensive study of human gross anatomy.  A regional approach is used to study organ systems, extremities, and trunk.  The clinical significance of topographical and radiological anatomical features is emphasized.  Lectures are complemented by laboratory study of anatomic models, simulated dissection, surface anatomy, and critical thinking issues. Laboratory sessions will utilize Netter 3D dissection software to reinforce topics presented in lecture, with limited gross dissection.

SCI 5111 Neuroanatomy 3-0-0-3

This course consists of an in-depth study of neuroanatomy and physiology, neurological development, psychosocial aspects of neurological disability, and treatment principles. Discussions focus on common acute and chronic neurological disabilities and case studies, as well as recent medical advances in the prevention and treatment of neurological problems.

SCI 5120 Human Physiology 3-0-0-3

This course will provide the students with a detailed overview of medical physiology. Students will attain knowledge of the normal functions of the human body that is essential for clinical medicine. Emphasis is placed on homeostasis and the integration among organ systems. Pathophysiologic alterations in body function that occur with disease states are also discussed. Specific topics covered in the course include cellular structure, homeostasis, signal transduction mechanisms, neurophysiology and the nervous system, the cardiovascular system, and circulation and the respiratory systems.

PAS 5160 Health Assessment and Physical Examination 4-4-0-6

This course is designed to provide physician assistant students with the fundamental grounding and cognitive knowledge to prepare them for their professional clinical role. This course will provide students with skills for interviewing, patient communication skills, and general physical examination procedures necessary to conduct age-appropriate and thorough medical interviews and comprehensive physical examinations on culturally diverse populations.

SCI 5201 Medical Pathology and Genetics 4-0-0-4

This course is designed to provide Physician Assistant students with fundamental principles and cognitive knowledge in Medical Pathology and Genetics in preparation for their professional careers as clinicians. The course provides an understanding of the essential nature of a broad representation of human diseases, with a focus on the structural and functional changes in cells, tissues, and organs caused by each disease, as well as the molecular and genetic mechanisms underlying these diseases.

PAS 5230 Medical Nutrition 2-0-0-2

This course introduces PA students to the basics of nutrition science as it relates to clinical medicine. Topics include nutrition assessment, focusing on dietary history taking, and physical exam skills needed for the management of health and disease. The basic principles of vitamins and minerals, their absorption, function, structure, deficiency, and toxicity will be included. Nutritional requirements in health, illness, and prevention, as well as age- and culture-appropriate nutritional issues, will be highlighted for children, pregnant and lactating women, and older adults.

PAS 5241 Public Health 3-0-0-3

This course provides students with an overview of the basic concepts of public health and preventative medicine.  Public health concepts include distribution, prevalence, causation, mode of transmission, dissemination, control, and preventative countermeasures of infectious and non-communicable diseases, as well as environmental, occupational, behavioral, and chronic conditions.  PA students will be introduced to research methodologies related to the study of disease and investigate epidemiological trends across a variety of cultures. Attention will be paid to professional responsibility, confidentiality, informed patient consent, and issues of patient welfare.

PAS 5261 Clinical Assessment and Management I 4-4-0-6

This is the first course in a sequence of three courses designed to teach the essentials of medicine.  PA students learn an organ-system and problem-oriented approach to understanding the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, laboratory and diagnostic studies, and diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases encountered in general practice.  They will continue to develop and refine culturally appropriate patient communication, medical history taking, and physical exam skills.  Health care providers will discuss specific focused physical examinations of each organ system.  For each disease or problem, related health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education topics will be presented.  Competency with various medical instruments and procedures will be taught.  The specific specialty areas and organ system covered in the sequence include ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, neurology, dermatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, nephrology, hematology, oncology, orthopedics, and urology.

PAS 5270 Pharmacotherapeutics I 3-0-0-3

This is the first in a three-quarter course sequence designed to provide a solid foundation in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the physiology associated with drug action and interaction. Specific drug classes will be discussed, with attention given to individual drugs, their uses, side effects, similarities, and differences. Emphasis is placed on the most frequently prescribed agents for treatment of common diseases. Specific pharmacotherapeutic agents and/or disorders covered in this course include autonomic pharmacology, ophthalmologic medications, treatment of ear, nose and throat infections, neurologic disorders, skin/bone/eye disorders, respiratory disorders and the related antimicrobial agents, allergies, endocrine disorders, pain management, gastrointestinal disorder, cancer chemotherapy, hematopoietic disorders, psychiatric medications, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular and renal drugs, reproductive health and the related antimicrobial agents, and special populations.

PAS 5313 Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine 1-0-0-1

This course provides students with an overview of psychiatry and behavioral medicine, broadly defined as an interdisciplinary field that aims to integrate biological, cultural, and psychosocial perspectives on human behavior. The integration of mental disorders and behavioral problems into primary care medicine will be addressed. Topics covered will include normal psychological development in pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients, detection and treatment of substance abuse, human sexuality, end of life issues, response to illness, injury, and stress, and principles of violence identification and prevention.

PAS 5340 Women’s Health 3-0-0-3

This course provides an introduction to women’s health issues, including the diagnosis, management, and treatment of common acute and chronic medical problems commonly encountered in reproductive health care and gynecology.

PAS 5352 Evidence Based Medicine 2-0-0-2

This course will prepare students to search, interpret, and evaluate the medical literature in order to maintain a critical, current, and operational knowledge of new medical findings and provide a basis for future evidence-based clinical work. This will prepare students for the core competencies of the PA profession specifically medical knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, and practice-based learning. Topics include research methodologies, informed consent, scientific inquiry, reliability, validity, and statistics. PA students will begin the process of preparing for their capstone research project.

PAS 5360 Clinical Assessment and Management II 4-4-0-6

This is the second course in a sequence of three courses designed to teach the essentials of medicine.  PA students learn an organ-system and problem-oriented approach to understanding the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, laboratory and diagnostic studies, and diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases encountered in general practice.  They will continue to develop and refine culturally appropriate patient communication, medical history taking, and physical exam skills.  Health care providers will discuss specific focused physical examinations of each organ system.  For each disease or problem, related health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education topics will be presented.  Competency with various medical instruments and procedures will be taught.  The specific specialty areas and organ system covered in the sequence include ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, neurology, dermatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, nephrology, hematology, oncology, orthopedics, and urology.

PAS 5370 Pharmacotherapeutics II 3-0-0-3

This is the second in a three-quarter course sequence designed to provide a solid foundation in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the physiology associated with drug action and interaction. Specific drug classes will be discussed, with attention given to individual drugs, their uses, side effects, similarities, and differences. Emphasis is placed on the most frequently prescribed agents for treatment of common diseases. Specific pharmacotherapeutic agents and/or disorders covered in this course include autonomic pharmacology, ophthalmologic medications, treatment of ear, nose and throat infections, neurologic disorders, skin/bone/eye disorders, respiratory disorders and the related antimicrobial agents, allergies, endocrine disorders, pain management, gastrointestinal disorder, cancer chemotherapy, hematopoietic disorders, psychiatric medications, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular and renal drugs, reproductive health and the related antimicrobial agents, and special populations.

PAS 5382 Essentials of Cardiology 1-2-0-2

This course provides an organ-system and problem-oriented approach to understanding the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, laboratory and diagnostic studies, and diagnosis and treatment of specific cardiology diseases encountered in general practice. Students continue to develop and refine culturally appropriate patient communication, medical history taking, and physical exam skills in cardiology. For each cardiac-related problem, related health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education topics are presented.

RAD 5411 Essentials of Radiology 2-2-0-3

This case-based course provides students with a systematic method of interpreting common imaging studies seen in the primary care and emergency settings.  Students will learn to appropriately select and correctly interpret imaging modalities including radiography, computerized tomography, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging, and nuclear medicine imaging.

PAS 5420 Clinical Pediatrics 3-0-0-3

This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of pediatric medicine, covering the age span from neonate through adolescence. Topics covered include normal growth and development, preventive care and anticipatory guidance, common pediatric illnesses and disorders and their diagnosis and management, and less common but important disorders that are peculiar to the pediatric population.

PAS 5430 Clinical Laboratory Medicine 2-0-0-2

This course introduces the students to clinical laboratory diagnostic tests.  The basic theory, selection, and interpretation of procedures most commonly used in a primary care setting are studied.  Students study techniques used to obtain, preserve, and handle laboratory specimens as well as use clinical laboratory results to screen, diagnose, evaluate, and monitor patients.  Students are familiarized Occupational Safety & Health Administration OSHA requirements and Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) and their implications for laboratory medicine.

PAS 5440 Emergency Medicine 3-2-0-4

This course focuses on the specialty of emergency medicine including an understanding of pre-hospital care/emergency medicine system (EMS), and the interplay between prehospital responders, the hospital emergency department, inpatient hospital services, and community medical providers in the primary care setting, as well as appropriate interaction with other medical providers in a variety of disciplines, including administrative.  Emphasis is placed on the special skills and attitudes necessary and required to perform well in the emergency medical setting.  As part of this course students take the Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) course as well as the Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS) course.

PAS 5461 Clinical Assessment and Management III 2-2-0-4

This is the third course in a sequence of three courses designed to teach the essentials of medicine.  PA students learn an organ-system and problem-oriented approach to understanding the etiology, epidemiology, pathophysiology, manifestations, laboratory and diagnostic studies, and diagnosis and treatment of specific diseases encountered in general practice.  They will continue to develop and refine culturally appropriate patient communication, medical history taking, and physical exam skills.  Health care providers will discuss specific focused physical examinations of each organ system.  For each disease or problem, related health promotion, disease prevention, and patient education topics will be presented.  Competency with various medical instruments and procedures will be taught.  The specific specialty areas and organ system covered in the sequence include ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, neurology, dermatology, pulmonology, infectious disease, cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, endocrinology, nephrology, hematology, oncology, orthopedics, and urology.

PAS 5470 Pharmacotherapeutics III 2-0-0-2

This is the third in a three-quarter course sequence designed to provide a solid foundation in pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, and the physiology associated with drug action and interaction. Specific drug classes will be discussed, with attention given to individual drugs, their uses, side effects, similarities, and differences. Emphasis is placed on the most frequently prescribed agents for treatment of common diseases. Specific pharmacotherapeutic agents and/or disorders covered in this course include autonomic pharmacology, ophthalmologic medications, treatment of ear, nose and throat infections, neurologic disorders, skin/bone/eye disorders, respiratory disorders and the related antimicrobial agents, allergies, endocrine disorders, pain management, gastrointestinal disorder, cancer chemotherapy, hematopoietic disorders, psychiatric medications, hyperlipidemia, cardiovascular and renal drugs, reproductive health and the related antimicrobial agents, and special populations.

PAS 5512 Professional Issues and Health Policy 2-0-0-2

This course provides a basis for the future physician assistant to use as a reference for professional issues including professional responsibility, the impact of socioeconomic issues affecting health care, health care delivery systems and health policy, reimbursement, documentation, coding, billing, quality assurance and risk management in medical practice, legal issues in health care, patient safety, cultural issues related to health care and their impact on health care policy.

PAS 5521 Clinical Geriatrics 3-0-0-3

This course is designed to provide Physician Assistant students with an understanding of the medical problems of the elderly including the biological and psychological changes commonly associated with aging. The overall goal of this geriatric course is to provide all students with a foundation for competent, compassionate care of the older adult. This foundation includes attitudes, knowledge, and skills needed by those giving care to older people. In addition, this course focuses on developing an understanding of age-related disease, an increased incidence of undesirable drug interactions, multi-system organ failure, and limitations in mobility, communication, and other impairments. End of life issues and palliative care will be addressed.

PAS 5531 Fundamentals of Surgery 4-2-0-5

This course is designed to provide the students with an introduction and an overview to the discipline of surgery. The management of acute surgical problems, critical illness, solid organ malignancies, and elective surgical procedures will be discussed, as well as the pre- and post- operative care of surgical patients. Laboratory sessions will teach technical skills such as sterile technique, basic suturing, universal precautions, and minor surgical procedures.

HSC 5542 Health Care Ethics and Law 1-0-0-1

This course provides the future Physician Assistant a foundation to use as a reference to federal and state laws that impact PA practice. This course will review prescriptive authority, medical ethics, quality assurance and risk management in medical practice, as well as other legal issues of health care.

PAS 5551 Research Design and Methodology 1-0-0-1

This course provides a foundation in medical research and design for health care providers. The students will review how to search, interpret, and evaluate the medical literature, then focus on a step-by-step approach to the development and implementation of medical research. Students will gain an understanding of the principles of research as they apply it to the practical, educational, and societal aspects of the Physician Assistant profession.

PAS 5561 Didactic Summative Evaluation 4-0-0-4

This course provides a summative evaluation of the didactic year. It will focus on evaluating 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. The summative evaluation will include a variety of assessment tools including multiple choice question examinations, the PACKRAT examination, comprehensive oral case presentations, standardized patient encounters, Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) and/or Objective Structured Long Examination Records (OSLERs), and clinical procedure performance skill laboratories.

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