Sequence of Courses

The first-year curriculum is divided into three semesters. The following is a sequence of courses, with linked course descriptions.

First Semester Didactic Year

Course

PAMN 434/434.6 - Clinical Human Anatomy Lecture/ Lab (3/1 Credits)

An integrated lecture-laboratory course in gross anatomy designed to provide an understanding of the structural and functional anatomy of the human body essential to the practicing Physician Assistant. Clinical problems are used to highlight the importance of anatomy to the understanding of the clinical sciences. Regional sections to be covered include general anatomical concepts, central nervous system, upper extremities and back, head and neck, thorax and abdomen, perineum, pelvis and lower extremities. The laboratory component of the course entails a combination of pro-section virtual sessions on the computer as well as demonstrations on Anatomage (3-D imaging). When appropriate, clinical problems are reviewed to highlight the importance of anatomy as it pertains to clinical practice.

PAMN 411 - Physiology (4 Credits)

This is a comprehensive course which will provide an understanding of physiological mechanisms by which the human body functions in health and disease. Lectures analyze the physiological basis of fluid homeostasis, the role of excitable membranes, nerve and muscle function, the central nervous system, blood and hemostasis, the cardiovascular system, respiratory function, renal control of fluid and electrolyte balance, acid-base balance, endocrine and reproductive functions. In all topics, there is integration of physiological principles, pathophysiology, and clinical medicine.

PAMN 422 - Medical Microbiology/Immunology (3 Credits)

This course covers basic and clinical aspects of bacteriology, virology, mycology, parasitology, and immunology. Emphasis is placed on the application of microbiology concepts to clinical practice, including the systemic diseases caused by these organisms, control of microorganisms, antibiotics, the host-parasite relationship, and the establishment of disease. The immune system is discussed in detail, including topics on resistance to disease, immunity and serology, and immune disorders.

PAMN 432 - Clinical Molecular Mechanism of Disease (2 Credits)

This is a course in human biochemistry with relevant clinical correlations. Topics will include structure and function of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, and nucleic acids. In addition, the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, amino acids, and nucleotides will also be studied. It will also explore the effects of enzyme deficiencies, biochemical and genetic mechanisms of human disease (e.g. diabetes, hemoglobinopathies, and inborn errors of metabolism), nutrition, and vitamin deficiencies. This course also includes an introduction to the scientific concepts related to genetics and molecular basis of disease.

PAMN 431/431.6 - PA Physical Diagnosis I Lecture/ Lab (3/1 Credits)

This is the first part of a 2-semester course consisting of both lecture and lab. The lecture component introduces the student to the concepts and techniques of medical interviewing, obtaining an accurate history, and performing a complete and thorough physical examination. The course covers the practical terminology utilized to record a medical history and physical examination. The laboratory portion emphasized the hands-on skills necessary to perfect the techniques of the physical exam. These sessions are taught in a small group setting by the PA faculty. Emphasis is also placed on perfecting the written history and physical/SOAP note.

PAMN 423 - Psychosocial / Cultural Aspects of Health Care and the PA Role (3 Credits)

Students are introduced to concepts in health psychology and behavioral medicine, which identify the psychosocial factors contributing to health and physical and emotional well-being. Defenses and adaptations are discussed as related to the types of patients the student will work with. Other psychological responses to acute and chronic illness, end of life issues, and the psychology of the chronically ill, are discussed, as they relate to the patient and the medical practitioner. An integral part of this course focuses on the theory and method of the medical interview. Students are introduced to the techniques of modeling and role-playing and are required to participate in the roles of health care practitioner, patient, and family member. Emphasis is placed on establishing a relationship and understanding the effects of cultural diversity and personality types. Cultural competence is introduced and the students are asked to explore their own culture as well as discussion of other cultures that they will interact with.

PAMN 419 - Introduction to Pharmacology (1 Credits)

This introduction to pharmacology course introduces the basic principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, and their application to clinical medicine. It will also explore the influence and mechanisms of action of drugs upon the body. Students will begin to learn the mechanisms of action, therapeutic uses, major side effects, warnings, and precautions for drugs used to treat diseases covered in the clinical medicine courses. Clinical case studies and problem solving sessions are introduced. This course is intended to provide a basis for the preparation of PAM 421 - Pharmacology.

Total Credits = 21

 

Second Semester Didactic Year

COURSE

PAMN 428 - Clinical Procedures and Diagnostic Modalities (2 Credits)

This course will encompass laboratory medicine, diagnostic imaging, and the procedure-oriented skills that students will require on rotation. The student learns basic clinical laboratory determinations and values and their correlation with normal and disease states. The student is introduced to imaging modalities and their role in clinical medicine, with emphasis on conventional radiography with some discussion of ultrasound, CT, and MRI. Included are studies of the chest and abdomen, GI series, GU radiology, examination of extremities, and mammography. In the lab portion, the student learns the principles of sterile technique and universal precautions. There are also hands-on sessions in phlebotomy, starting IVs, administering injections, and placing urinary catheters and nasogastric tubes.

PAMN 427 - Pathophysiology (2 Credits)

This course explores the causes and mechanisms of disease and the associated alterations of structure and function of tissues. General concepts of disease are covered, including degeneration and necrosis, inflammation and repair, fluid and coagulation disturbances, and general aspects of neoplasia. Disease entities in each organ system are studied with regard to causation, evaluation, and morphology of pathological changes.

PAMN 429/429.6 - Advanced Physical Diagnosis II Lecture/ Lab (2/1 Credits)

This course consists of both lecture and laboratory sessions. The lecture component is a continuation of PA Physical Diagnosis I and will carry on teaching the student the concepts and techniques of medical interviewing, obtaining an accurate history, and performing a complete and thorough physical examination. The course covers the practical terminology utilized to record a medical history and physical examination. The laboratory portion emphasized the hands-on skills necessary to perfect the techniques of the physical exam. These sessions are taught in a small group setting by the PA faculty. Sessions focusing on the examinations of the breast, genitalia, rectum, and Pap smears are also included. During this course, the student will also be performing, under direct supervision, histories and physicals on patients in hospital settings.

PAMN 421 - Pharmacology (3 Credits)

This course is a continuation of PAM 419, in which students learn the clinical therapeutics essential in treating clinical conditions. It will provide the student with a detailed understanding of a drug category's mechanism of action, therapeutic uses, major side effects, warnings, and precautions. Classification of drugs is covered in depth. Clinical case studies and problem solving sessions are also utilized. Practical prescription writing and legalities of prescription writing as they pertain to PA's are also covered.

PAMN 430 - Obstetrics/Gynecology (2 Credits)

The normal anatomy and physiology of the female reproductive system is reviewed. The student is taught how to perform an obstetrical history and physical, the process and management of normal pregnancy, labor, and delivery, and their associated complications. Clinical manifestations and treatment of common gynecological problems such as venereal diseases, menstrual disorders, and neoplasms are also discussed. Patient education is stressed as a crucial part of the management plan.

*Offered in the third didactic semester for the Extension Campus

PAMN 610 - Pediatrics (2 Credits)

Students learn the physiological and psychological fundamentals of normal growth and development as they pertain to the pediatric and adolescent patient. Topics covered include neonatology and infant nutritional requirements, preventive immunization schedules, child abuse and childhood injuries. Students are also introduced to the embryology of specific organ systems, which illustrates normal developmental anatomy and the embryological basis for congenital anomalies of the systems. Via a systems approach, students study common childhood illnesses and their signs, symptoms, and treatment.

MPAN 670 - Clinical Medicine I (Cardiology, Pulmonary, Hematology) (4 Credits)

Clinical Medicine I is an intensive medicine course that covers the etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis,treatment, and prognosis of common diseases in Cardiology, Pulmonology and Hematology components. The pathophysiology of the organ systems in relation to the various disease processes is integrated with the clinical presentations, historical and physical findings, and laboratory and radiographic test results. Emphasis is placed on application of new medical knowledge to clinical situations, on diagnostic problem-solving and differential diagnosis, and on issues of patient education and preventive medicine. Students refine their ability to reason independently in developing treatment and management plans for various patient presentations.

MPAN 671 - Clinical Medicine II (Dermatology, Rheumatology, Ophthalmology) (3 Credits)

Clinical Medicine II is an intensive medicine course that covers the etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of common diseases in Dermatology, Rheumatology and Ophthalmology components. The pathophysiology of the organ systems in relation to the various disease processes is integrated with the clinical presentations, historical and physical findings, and laboratory and radiographic test results. Emphasis is placed on application of new medical knowledge to clinical situations, on diagnostic problem-solving and differential diagnosis, and on issues of patient education and preventive medicine. Students refine their ability to reason independently in developing treatment and management plans for various patient presentations.

PAMN 619 - Introduction to Surgery (1 Credit)

This course, together with the subsequent course in General Surgery, will provide the PA student with the academic preparation to evaluate and manage patients with surgical conditions. It will also provide students with a core understanding of mechanisms of wound healing, surgical techniques, and pre- and post-operative management of surgical problems. Additionally, illnesses that require surgical intervention, their signs and symptoms, diagnostic modalities, and outcomes are also discussed. This introduction will provide a foundation for further study in General Surgery and/or its subspecialties.

Total Credits = 22

 

Third Semester Didactic Year

COURSE

PAMN 630 - Geriatrics (1 Credit)

Geriatrics is the study of normal aging, health and disease in the elderly population. The students will study long term care and the social and societal aspects of aging in the United States. The students will be exposed to the complex issues arising in caring for the chronically ill elderly. The course emphasizes development of communication skills to enhance the humanistic practice of geriatric medicine and prepares the PA to provide quality health care to elderly individuals in the community, long term care settings and acute care settings. Many core geriatric problems, i.e. dementia, depression, decubitus ulcers and incontinence are covered. Students also explore the ethical/legal issues of geriatric care.

PAMN 634 - Emergency Medicine (1 Credit)

This course will explore the diagnostic and treatment options of severely injured and critically ill patients. Students are taught the key points of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical features and differential diagnosis of many disease entities, as they may present in the Emergency Department. Topics include but are not limited to acute respiratory, toxicology, environmental, pediatric, and endocrine emergencies. In addition, burn care as well as child and elder abuse are also discussed. Students are also required to complete Basic Life Support as well as Advanced Cardiac Life Support during this course in order to progress to the clinical year.

MPAN 672 - Clinical Medicine III (Gastroenterology, Neurology, Psychiatry, Nephrology) (4 Credits)

Clinical Medicine III is an intensive medicine course that covers the etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of common diseases found in Gastroenterology, Neurology, Psychiatry and Nephrology. The pathophysiology of the organ systems in relation to the various disease processes is integrated with the clinical presentations, historical and physical findings, and laboratory and radiographic test results. Emphasis is placed on application of new medical knowledge to clinical situations, on diagnostic problem-solving and differential diagnosis, and on issues of patient education and preventive medicine. Students refine their ability to reason independently in developing treatment and management plans for various patient presentations.

MPAN 673 - Clinical Medicine IV (Endocrinology, Infectious Disease, Correlative Medicine) (2 Credits)

Clinical Medicine IV is an intensive medicine course that covers the etiology, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis of common diseases found in endocrinology and infectious diseases. The pathophysiology of the organ systems in relation to the various disease processes is integrated with the clinical presentations, historical and physical findings, and laboratory and radiographic test results. Emphasis is placed on application of new medical knowledge to clinical situations, on diagnostic problem-solving and differential diagnosis, and on issues of patient education and preventive medicine. Students refine their ability to reason independently in developing treatment and management plans for various patient presentations. The correlative Medicine component will allow the students to fully assimilate and utilize their medical and basic science knowledge along with physical diagnosis skills to address the types of patient health care problems they may encounter in a clinical environment. It will utilize the Problem-Based Learning Method as an instructional model, wherein students work both in groups and individually to develop a logical methodology of assessment of disease processes.

PAMN 623 - General Surgery (Surgery, Orthopedics, Otolaryngology) (3 Credits)

General Surgery is a continuation of PAM 619 and covers components in Surgery, Otolaryngology and Orthopedics. The surgery component will provide the PA student with the academic preparation to evaluate and manage patients with surgical conditions. Surgical diseases of the esophagus, abdomen, stomach, intestines, circulatory system and urogenital system will be covered. Critical care management will also be discussed. Included is a practical session in suturing which is intended to give the student a basic skills needed to succeed in primary wound closure. During the Otolaryngology component the student will be acquainted with the structures, functions, and examination of the ear, nose, and throat; and diagnosis and treatment of common ENT disorders. The Orthopedics component instructs the student as to the diagnosis and treatment of sprains, fractures and dislocations, preparation and application of bandages, splints and casting. Common orthopedic problems of the hand, knee, shoulder and back are covered. In addition, it will include a practical session where the student will obtain hands on experience in casting and splinting.

MPAN 646 - Medical Research Methods and Literature Review (3 Credits)

Students will gain knowledge and skill in research methodology, experimental design, statistical analysis, and critical evaluation of the medical literature. Students will develop the skills to formulate research questions, develop research protocols, hypotheses, study designs, and their comparative strengths and limitations. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to effectively use and analyze bio-statistics in different research design and data analysis, to conduct computerized searches, and to understand, review and critically analyze medical literature and professional journal articles and its application to clinical practice. Topics include choosing correct statistical methods and study designs in research and practice, descriptive statistics, probability and probability distributions, estimation and hypothesis testing. Ethical issues in research will be discussed, including informed consent and the function of an IRB.

MPAN 645 - Health Science Epidemiology and Biostatistics (2 Credits)

Students will develop the knowledge and skills to understand and apply epidemiological methods and bio-statistical analysis in the medical and/or public health setting. Students are introduced to the distribution and determinants of health and disease in the human population and the application of this study to the control and prevention of disease. The student will develop basic conceptual and analytical skills in the design and conduct of epidemiologic studies and understand the process of epidemiologic surveillance.

In addition, this course will provide students with the basic concepts in biostatistics, such as measures of disease frequency, measures of effect, and statistical significance. Students will become familiar with standard techniques of data collection and analysis, and the content of vital statistics and mass data of the health field.

Total Credits = 16