PA Program Curriculum

Overview

The course of study is 25 continuous months in length.  Starting in January, the first year is dedicated almost exclusively to the foundations of medical science, pathophysiology of disease, and medical therapeutics.  Students are introduced to various medical disciplines as well as the principles of physical diagnosis and provided several skill workshops designed to prepare them for the subsequent twelve months in clinical rotations.

Students can expect to spend 6 to 8 hours a day in class the first year.  Classes are based at the Health Sciences campus in Boston (Chinatown area), where students have easy access to library and study resources as well as faculty and PA Program staff. Due to the demanding curriculum and full-time clinical rotations, it is strongly recommended that students do not work during their time in the PA program. 

During the second (clinical) year, a majority of students will travel within a 60 mile radius of Boston to clinical practice sites around eastern Massachusetts where they will have 4 ~ 5 week rotations in core clinical disciplines such as Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Women’s Health, Behavioral Medicine, Ambulatory Medicine and Orthopedics.  Students are also permitted to choose one elective in a discipline of their choice after consulting with clinical faculty.

All students must successfully complete the following to meet graduation requirements for the degree of Master of Medical Science.

  1. Pass all courses (77 credits) with a 3.0 GPA or better
  2. Successfully complete all Supervised Clinical Experiences
  3. Pass a comprehensive written examination
  4. Pass the Objective Standardized Clinical Examination
  5. Demonstrate professional conduct throughout the entire program

First Year

Didactic Course Sequence (View All Course Descriptions)
Every effort is made to provide an organized, progressive flow of information for our students. Anatomy and Physiology subjects are presented so that the course work parallels that which is presented in Internal Medicine and other subjects.

SEMESTER 1 SEMESTER 2 SEMESTER 3
Clinical Anatomy 1 Clinical Anatomy 2  Evidence-Based Medicine        
Internal Medicine 1 Internal Medicine 2 Internal Medicine 3
Pharmacology 1 Pharmacology 2 Orthopedics
Behavioral Medicine Surgery Emergency Medicine
Professional Practice Women's Health Critical Care/Physical and Occupational Medicine
Physical Diagnosis 1 Physical Diagnosis 2 Geriatrics
Medical Physiology Principles of Electrocardiography Procedural Workshop
Primary Care 1 Primary Care 2 Primary Care 3
Nutrition Neuroscience 1 Neuroscience 2
  Diagnostic Imaging Pediatrics

  Student Breaks: In addition to all university holidays, students will have one week break in April, two week break in August, and a two week break at the end of December.

Second Year

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (View All Rotations)
Students spend the second year rotating through assigned medical disciplines and 1 elective rotation. These rotations will take place at various clinical sites in the surrounding area. Students are under the direct supervision of their clinical preceptor and will follow the preceptor's work schedule (possible nights and/or weekends). The following table depicts the supervised clinical practice experiences in the second year of the curriculum: 

CLINICAL YEAR    
 Ambulatory Medicine (2 blocks) Inpatient Medicine (2 blocks) Surgery (1 block)
 Pediatrics (1 block) Women's Health (1 block) Behavioral Medicine (1 block)
 Emergency Medicine (1 block) Orthopedics (1 block) Elective (1 block)

Clinical Block= 4~5 weeks
There are three scheduled breaks in May, July, and December. All additional breaks and holidays during this year will correspond with the schedule of the student's clinical preceptor.

Coursework

In addition to clinical rotation responsibilities, students are "called-back" to campus once a month to complete End-of-Rotation Exams, as well as to review additional coursework needed to prepare them for clinical practice, national board examinations, and to prepare and present their Capstone projects. The Capstone project is an individual effort on a medical topic chosen by the student. This graded project requires considerable effort, including library research and clinical insight, culminating in a poster presentation to the all classes of PA students, faculty and staff.

The Final Month

The final month of the second year is a culmination of all the work students have completed throughout their second year. Students present their Capstone projects in a poster session, take a final Comprehensive Exam, and attend various lectures and workshops to help prepare them for their national board exams and job searches. Students also help in the facilitation of the incoming student orientation that takes place in January.