Course Information

for Physician Assistant Department


Introduction to the PA Profession (PHAS501)

Credits:1

This course explores the history of the Physician Assistant (PA) profession and current trends affecting the profession. Students will gain insight into professional ethics and conduct as well as the role of a PA as a healthcare provider. Students also will be informed of professional organizations, program accreditation, employment considerations and professional liability issues.

History and Physical Examination Skills (PHAS502C)

Credits:4

This course is designed to provide the primary care physician assistant student with the essential skills needed to obtain a patient’s comprehensive medical history and perform a comprehensive physical examination. Additional emphasis will be placed on written and verbal communication skills. Weekly laboratory sessions will enable the student to practice physical assessment and communication skills on one another in a comfortable environment. Practice in the use of pertinent diagnostic equipment will be incorporated. Proper documentation of the adult comprehensive history and physical exam will be practiced.

Principles of Clinical Pharmacology (PHAS504)

Credits:1

This course introduces students to the concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics as the fundamental basis for understanding the role clinical pharmacology performs in the treatment of disease processes. The use of pharmacotherapeutics as it pertains to the enhancement of patient care in the clinical setting will be explored through lecture and interactive exercises. Focus will be placed in the interpretation of medical literature using evidence-based, best practices.

Patient Assessment I (PHAS505)

Credits:1

This is the first of a series of courses designed to provide hands-on experience that allows the physician assistant student the opportunity to practice history and physical exam skills and apply clinical decision making skills. Clinical laboratory sessions will be based on an ongoing patient case study. The labs will provide students with the opportunity to perform complete and focused history and physical evaluations, develop differential diagnosis and prepare treatment plans for a patients various illnesses, and expand clinical assessment skills, as based upon disease and conditions taught during PHAS512, Clinical Medicine I. Fall

Clinical Medicine I (PHAS511)

Credits:0

This course is designed to provide the primary care physician assistant student with the essentials of assessment, diagnosis, and management of the adult patient. Objectives of this course include dissemination and knowledge-building concerning pathology of disease by organ system and medical specialty. Proper selection, utilization, and interpretation of laboratory diagnostic studies and radiologic imaging studies will be stressed. Topics include diseases and conditions pertinent to dermatology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, pulmonology, cardiovascular systems, gastroenterology/nutrition, and genitourinary/renal systems.

Clinical Medicine I (PHAS512)

Credits:7

This course is designed to provide the primary care physician assistant student with the essentials of assessment, diagnosis, and management of the adult patient. Objectives of this course include dissemination and knowledge-building concerning pathology of disease by organ system and medical specialty. Proper selection, utilization, and interpretation of laboratory diagnostic studies and radiologic imaging studies will be stressed. Topics include diseases and conditions pertinent to dermatology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, pulmonology, cardiovascular systems, gastroenterology/nutrition, and genitourinary/renal systems.

Clinical Medicine II (PHAS513)

Credits:6

This course will comprise further system evaluation regarding disease processes and their manifestations. Through the use of lectures and interactive exercises, students will add to the fund of knowledge acquired in PHAS512 Clinical Medicine I. Topics will include studies of the gastrointestinal system, infectious disease, neurology, orthopedics and endocrinology.

Clinical Medicine III (PHAS514)

Credits:5

Students will continue their study of disease processes as it relates to specific organ systems. Utilizing principles of advanced anatomy and pathophysiology, students explore how disease processes can disrupt normal organ systems function while utilizing best practice to determine origin and treatment modalities. Students will study conditions and diseases of behavioral health/psychiatry, as well as discuss topics related to preventive and alternative medicine. In addition, this course will provide the student with the background knowledge to enter the field of surgery, including the essentials of assessment and management of the surgical patient.

Gross Anatomy (PHAS515C)

Credits:6

This course will broaden the student’s knowledge of human anatomy. Body system functions, interactions, and locations of specific structures will be explored in depth. Emphasis will be placed on these components as they enhance examination skills and clinical applications.

Patient-Centered Healthcare I (PHAS520)

Credits:2

In this course, students will explore healthcare delivery from a patient-centered perspective. Students will learn to account for social, ethnic, and religious sensitivities in the development, evaluation, and implementation of therapeutic goals. Strategies for patient education, counseling, and preventive measures will be weighed with regard to the areas of diversity and healthcare delivery to these populations.

Patient-Centered Health Care II (PHAS521)

Credits:2

Students will continue their study of concepts learned in PHAS 520 to deepen their understanding of ethical and moral imperatives in healthcare. Considerations of risk management, medico-legal issues, patient informed consent and confidentiality will be explored. Students will explore the impact of healthcare policy and socioeconomic status on decision-making and healthcare delivery.

Pathophysiology I (PHAS522)

Credits:2

Students will learn in-depth concepts of physiology as they relate to the etiology of disease. Students will learn principles of multisystem function and dysfunction at the cellular and molecular levels, especially as they relate to homeostatic function.

Clinical Pharmacology I (PHAS524)

Credits:2

Students will build on knowledge obtained in PHAS 504, Principles of Clinical Pharmacology, in deepening their understanding of the application of pharmacotherapeutics to disease processes. The use of pharmacological agents to treat a variety of conditions will be addressed, including mechanism of action, drug categories, drug classifications, drug-drug interactions, indications, and contraindications. Dermatology, ophthalmology, otorhinolaryngology, pulmonology, cardiovascular, gastroenterology, nutrition, and genitourinary/renal systems will be addressed. Focus will continue to be placed in the interpretation of medical literature using evidence-based, best practices.

Pathophysiology II (PHAS532)

Credits:2

In this course, students build on knowledge obtained in PHAS 524 Pharmacology I, in deepening their understanding, and continue their pursuit of acumen relevant to the application of pharmacology to disease process. Students will incorporate a review and evaluate current literature and evidence of pharmacologic uses to return patients to a state of wellness. The use of pharmacological agents on a variety of conditions including infectious processes, cardiopulmonary conditions, gastrointestinal issues, neurological disorders, pain management, and inflammatory processes, among others, will be addressed.

Clinical Pharmacology II (PHAS534)

Credits:3

As the last course in a three-course sequence, students will continue to build on knowledge and skills obtained in PHAS 504, Principles of Clinical Pharmacology, and PHAS 524, Clinical Pharmacology I, in deepening their understanding of the application of pharmacotherapeutics to disease processes. The use of pharmacological agents to treat a variety of conditions will continue to be addressed, including mechanism of action, drug categories, drug classifications, drug-drug interactions, indications, and contraindications. Issues concerning the specific patient populations of pediatric and geriatrics will be emphasized. Interpretation of medical literature will use evidence-based medicine and best practices. Spring

Clinical Research Methods (PHAS535)

Credits:2

Students will evaluate current medical literature to determine validity based on statistical and clinical outcomes. Emphasis will be placed on the use, appropriateness, and understanding of common biostatistic methods and epidemiologic approaches employed by the health care professions as a basis for clinical judgment. Empirical data regarding medicine and patient care, as well as those used in the surveillance and investigation of health-related states or events will be explored.

Clinical Pharmacology II (PHAS536)

Credits:2

As the last course in a three-course sequence, students will continue to build on knowledge and skills obtained in PHAS 504, Principles of Clinical Pharmacology, and PHAS 524, Clinical Pharmacology I, in deepening their understanding of the application of pharmacotherapeutics to disease processes. The use of pharmacological agents to treat a variety of conditions will continue to be addressed, including mechanism of action, drug categories, drug classifications, drug-drug interactions, indications, and contraindications. Obstetrics and gynecology, hematology, infectious diseases, rheumatology/immunology, neurology, and endocrinology systems will be addressed. Issues concerning the specific patient populations of pediatric and geriatrics will be emphasized. Interpretation of medical literature will use evidence-based medicine and best practices.

Clinical Correlations (PHAS540C)

Credits:4

Students will utilize the various concepts of patient evaluation and care.Analytical reasoning, system disease processes, and diagnostic methods in case-based scenarios combine to form differential diagnoses, final diagnosis, and therapeutic treatment plans. Discussion groups, patient simulation and various laboratory procedures will be employed to prepare students for real world experiences in medical practice.

Healthcare Disparities I (PHAS546)

Credits:2

This course gives the physician assistant student a foundational basis from which to study human genetics and to introduce developmental pediatrics. Students will explore the role of genetics in the etiology of disease, susceptibility to disease, and management of disease. Students will learn effective methods to uncover a patient’s genetic predisposition and increased risk for disease development. This course also includes normal and abnormal fetal and neonatal development, dysmorphology of motor and cognitive development, and conditions specific to the newborn.

Emergency Medicine (PHAS550)

Credits:2

Students will become familiar with cases which commonly present to emergency departments. Students will learn to identify illness, trauma, and best practice for stabilization of these presentations. Case-based scenarios and patient simulations will also be utilized. In this course, students will also become American Heart Association-certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS).

Healthcare Disparities II (PHAS560)

Credits:3

In this course, students will learn how to evaluate and care for the pediatric patient, gaining an understanding of diseases of this population with an emphasis on prevention, presentation, differential diagnosis, and treatment. This course includes illnesses specific to the newborn through the adolescent, including developmental milestones and immunization schedules. Students will also study evaluation and care issues specific to women’s health and the geriatric population. Diverse and unique issues affecting patients in rural and underserved populations will be explored.

Medical Procedures (PHAS570C)

Credits:3

In this lab intensive course, students will learn skills and techniques in the treatment of patients with a variety of settings. Suturing, splinting, wound care, intravenous and intraosseous insertions, nasogastric intubation and Foley catheter insertions will be demonstrated and practiced. Students will also be introduced to pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative care, and to minor surgical procedures.

Clinical Orientation (PHAS599)

Credits:1

Students will learn about professionalism in the clinical setting, patient confidentiality, and HIPAA and OSHA requirements. They will study issues regarding medical errors and their avoidance and the use of electronic medical record systems. The students will also examine the concept of interdisciplinary teams in healthcare delivery and the role it plays in patient outcomes.

Clinical Rotation I (PHAS600)

Credits:4

Clinical Rotation II (PHAS610)

Credits:4

This 5 week clinical rotation focuses on the practice of internal medicine. Students will have the opportunity to deal with a variety of complex adult acute and chronic diseases and discover best practice methods for diagnosis and treatment of these issues.

Clinical Rotation III (PHAS615)

Credits:4

Summative Evaluation (PHAS618)

Credits:1

The objective of this course is for the student to demonstrate his/her grasp of all the didactic and clinical knowledge learned throughout the program. This will be achieved through exercises in performing complete history and physical examinations, and the demonstration of interpersonal skills. The students will also complete an end of program written examination.

Clinical Rotation IV (PHAS620)

Credits:4

This 5 week clinical rotation exposes 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 which are specific to women.

Clinical Rotation V (PHAS625)

Credits:4

Clinical Rotation VI (PHAS630)

Credits:4

Clinical Rotation VII (PHAS635)

Credits:4

Clinical Rotation VIII (PHAS645)

Credits:4

Clincal Rotation IX (PHAS650)

Credits:4

PANCE Preparation (PHAS660)

Credits:2

This course is a review of program subject matter. Students will participate in practice examinations designed to prepare them for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). Attaining board certification is a post-graduate requirement for all PAs intending to obtain initial licensure in any of the 50 United States.

Clinical Seminar I (PHAS661)

Credits:4

Students will learn the basics of developing a scholarly research project and will identify a topic which they wish to investigate, formally document, and present during the Spring trimester. Students will be encouraged to explore topics that deal with applying classroom learning to clinical settings. These concepts will then culminate into a fully developed research project and presentation in PHAS680, Clinical Seminar II.

Summative Evaluation (PHAS680)

Credits:1

The objective of this course is for the student to demonstrate his/her grasp of all the didactic and clinical knowledge learned throughout the program. This will be achieved through exercises in performing complete history and physical examinations, and the demonstration of interpersonal skills. The students will also complete an end of program written examination.

Clinical Seminar II (PHAS681)

Credits:3

During this trimester, students will develop skills aimed toward a formal job search such that upon graduation, they will possess the skills necessary to successfully secure a job as a fully licensed and practicing Physician Assistant. A professional resume will be created while students explore topics ranging from employment strategies, medical malpractice, risk management, and reimbursement issues. This course also revisits and emphasizes the biblical perspective of servant leadership in the use of authority, which was first presented during RELP 510, Identity and Mission. Issues pursued include the recognition of boundaries in personal relations within the workplace and balancing role fidelity with personal integrity. This course signifies the culmination of the scholarly research project started in PHAS 660 Clinical Seminar I. By the completion of this course, students will have fully developed a graduate-level research endeavor that reflects the student’s knowledge and findings regarding his/her chosen topic. The findings will be presented in written as well as oral format.

Clinical Seminar III (PHAS691)

Credits:4

This course entails a focused review of program subject matter. Students will participate in board examination-directed modules complete with practice examinations, designed to prepare them for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The test is a post graduate requirement for all PAs intending to obtain initial licensure in any of the 50 United States. The student will also demonstrate his/her grasp of all didactic and clinical knowledge acquired throughout the program. This will be achieved through complex simulation exercises in performing complete history and physical examinations and the demonstration of interpersonal skills. The students must also take and successfully pass an end of program written examination at the termination of this course.