Course Descriptions

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Clinical Anatomy 1 [PA 201] 1 credit
This course teaches the structure and function of the human body. Utilizing lectures, discussion, models, and cadavers, students will have a structural introduction to the organ systems of the thorax, abdomen, and pelvis. Upon completion of the course, students will be able to identify normal anatomical structures, recognize abnormal anatomy, and determine the clinical implications of pathologic anatomy.

Clinical Anatomy 2 [PA 202] 1 credit
Continuing Part 1, this course will focus upon the musculoskeletal and head and neck structure of the human body utilizing lectures, discussion, and cadavers. Clinical correlation through case studies will be emphasized.

Internal Medicine 1 [PA 203] 1 credit
This course will emphasize the pathophysiology of human disease.  Focusing upon cardiovascular, pulmonary, hematology, and immunology systems, the natural history of diseases of these systems will be covered.  The diagnostic, therapeutic, and preventative measures employed in the management of these disease states will be addressed.

Internal Medicine 2 [PA 204] 1 credit
This course will focus upon diseases of the renal, endocrine, and rheumatologic systems.  Infectious disease and oncology will also be discussed.  Disease diagnosis, treatment and prevention will be addressed.

Internal Medicine 3 [PA 205] 1 credit
Focusing upon the management of disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, this course will also use clinical cases to highlight the natural history of common disease states, their diagnosis, treatment and prevention.

Pharmacology 1 [PA 206] 1 credit
Focusing upon the principles of pharmacologic action, classification, and drug uses, this will be an introduction into clinical use of medications for various disease states.  Emphasis will be placed upon indications, contraindications, bioavailability, drug interactions, dose response, side effects and adverse reactions.

Pharmacology 2 [PA 207] 1 credit
Continuation of Pharmacology 1

Medical Physiology [PA 208] 1 credit
This course will review basic principles of normal physiology including central nervous, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, endocrines, renal, and reproductive systems of the human body. Tracking anatomy, pharmacologic, and internal medicine topics in other courses, these lectures are meant to serve as a foundation of information. 

Behavioral Medicine [PA 210] 1 credit
This course offers students an introduction to psychiatric disease, its classification of disease states, an in depth look at common psychiatric illnesses seen in general medical practice and emergency practice settings.  Topics such as psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, pharmacological intervention, substance abuse and addiction, domestic and child abuse will be discussed also.

Women’s Health [PA 212] 1 credit
The spectrum of female reproduction, conception, fetal growth and development, prenatal and antenatal care, and reproductive endocrinology will be covered.  Students will be given an introduction to the anatomy of the female genitourinary tract as well as gynecologic oncology, its natural course, diagnosis, and treatment.  Cardiovascular disease in women will be addressed as will gynecologic infections and sexual assault diagnosis and management.  Emphasis will be placed upon history taking, gynecologic examination, counseling, testing, and disease prevention.

Professional Practice [PA 213] 1 credit
The history of the Physician Assistant profession will be discussed.  Topics such as the role of the PA in the US health care system, scope of practice, professional and legal restrictions, national board certification, and state licensure will be addressed.  Interdisciplinary dynamics, PA-supervisor relationships, practice management and ownership, federal and private insurers, billing, public policy trends, medical ethics, hospital credentialing, continuing medical education, and medical malpractice will be covered.

Physical Diagnosis 1 [PA 215] 1 credit
Using traditional lectures, simulated and standardized patients, and small student group interactions, students will be introduced to the basics of history taking and complete physical examination.  Development of interviewing techniques and examination skills will be emphasized.

Physical Diagnosis 2 [PA 216] 1 credit
Students will continue to learn interview and examination techniques and build upon Physical Diagnosis I.  Instructors will assist students in honing their interviewing and examination skills through focused examinations and varying interviewing techniques.  Compilation of patent data in written form and oral presentation of patients’ medical history and examination results will be emphasized. Some instruction may take place in external clinical sites.

Surgery [PA 217] 1 credit
The course focuses on the basic surgical concepts needed for the PA to function in primary care settings as well as major surgical areas.  The course emphasizes surgical concepts, topics and surgical technique as well as attention to examination of the acute abdomen, surgical diagnosis and treatment of common surgical conditions including obstructive, infective, and neoplastic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, cardiothoracic diseases, trauma, and the vascular system.  Risk assessment, wound healing, pre and postoperative care will also be addressed.

Nutrition [PA 218] 0.5 credit
Students will be taught the basics of human nutritional needs as well as alterations of these demands during various clinical scenarios and disease states.

Evidence-based Medicine [PA 220] 1 credit
This course introduces the core concepts of evidence-based medicine and life-long learning, and clinical decision-making. These concepts include the process of evidence-based medicine, the interpretation of research results, and clinical reasoning based on an understanding of clinical epidemiology concepts, and the need for self-management of one's clinical knowledge.

Neuroscience 1 [PA 221] 0.5 credit
This course will present neuroanatomy and neurophysiology as they relate to clinical assessment and management of various disease states.  History taking, physical examination and diagnostic imaging techniques will be discussed as they apply to neurological disease and trauma.  In addition to lectures, small student group sessions will allow students to practice neurological examination techniques.

Neuroscience 2 [PA 224] 0.5 credit
This course reinforces the physical examination skills previously learned with specific emphasis on the neurological examination. Both the complete neurological examination as well as problem-focused neurological examinations will be discussed.  The signs, symptoms and pathophysiology of neurologic diseases commonly encountered in Primary Care and Emergency Medicine will be covered as well as diagnostic testing modalities, radiographic imaging and laboratory tests utilized for diagnostic purposes.

Pediatrics [PA 222] 1 credit
Normal child growth and development will be emphasized as well as diagnosis and management of common childhood diseases and infections.  Also discussed will be immunizations and medications used in pediatric practice, their indications, contraindications, and dosage in relation to specific disorders.  Pediatric respiratory emergencies, injuries, cancer and hematologic disorders, and child abuse will be covered.

Orthopedics [PA 223] 1 credit
This course explores all aspects of diseases and conditions of bones and joints.  Emphasis will be placed on the orthopedic examination in conditions such as fracture, dislocation, ligament, tendon, and muscular conditions.  Joint aspiration, immobilization, splinting, and casting will be addressed in supplementary workshops.

Emergency Medicine [PA 225] 1 credit
This course provides fundamental instruction in the diagnosis and management of both common and life-threatening patient presentations to the emergency department.

Critical Care Medicine [PA 227] 0.5 credit
Students will be introduced to hemodynamic derangements in multiorgan system failure patients, including shock, trauma, cardiac arrest, acid-base and electrolyte management, and nutritional support.  Other topics covered include ventilator management, invasive procedures, and diagnostic methods used in ICU care.

Diagnostic Imaging [PA 229] 1 credit
Radiologic safety, imaging modalities, indications, contraindications, benefits and risks of use of X-ray diagnosis will be covered.  Assessment of common X-rays used in primary care and emergency medicine will be addressed.  Students will be taught to recognize common radiologic abnormalities.  Other diagnostic tools such as ultrasonography, MRI, CT scanning, and nuclear medicine scans will be introduced.

Geriatrics [PA 230] 0.5 credit
Students will be introduced to process of aging as it affects the human body and mind.  Atypical presentations of common acute and chronic diseases as they are seen in older populations will be addressed as will the challenges of managing various and concomitant disease states.  Pharmacologic therapy in older patients, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, patient compliance issues, and end-of-life care will be discussed as well.

Physical and Occupational Medicine [PA 231] 0.5 credit
Acute and chronic recovery from disease and injury will be covered as it applies to physician assistant practice.  Implications of and indications for rehabilitative services, levels of care required, specific interventions and therapies will be discussed.

Primary Care 1 [PA 235] 1 credit
This course offers first year physician assistant students in-depth training in a wide variety of clinically related subjects, including Medical Genetics, Dermatology, Otolaryngology, Ophthalmology and ECG interpretation.  Topics frequently addressed in other courses will be re-introduced in more depth and scope by experienced clinicians and experts.

Primary Care 2 [PA 236] 1 credit
This course is a continuation of Primary Care 2 and offers first year physician assistant students in-depth training in a wide variety of clinically related subjects, including continuing ECG interpretation workshops, Infectious Diseases, Basics of Microbiology & Clinical Laboratory Testing, Pathology, and Public Health Issues..  Topics frequently addressed in other courses will be re-introduced in more depth and scope by experienced clinicians and experts.

Primary Care 3 [PA 237] 1 credit
Using clinical cases to illustrate management issues with common disease states and varied patient populations this course will cover a wide range of scenarios encountered in primary care.  Clinician-patient relationships, managed care, patient compliance, health maintenance, chronic illness, cultural barriers, family health, alternative therapies, and palliative care are just a few of the topics to be discussed.

Senior Seminars [PA 238] 1.5 credits
This course offers second year PA students information on a wide variety of clinical and practice-related subjects.  These seminars are offered on “call-back” days during their clinical training in an effort to prepare them for future clinical practice. Students will also receive instruction in preparing for entering the “business” of medicine and preparing for initial NCCPA certification and ongoing recertification.

Principles of Electrocardiography [PA 239] 1 credit
This course is an elementary introduction into electrocardiography.  Students will learn the basics of electrical impulses generated by the heart's electrical conduction system and the manifestation of these impulses on paper charts and ECG monitors.  Students will learn to identify conduction abnormalities, heart blocks, ischemic and infarction changes as generated on ECGs.  They will learn to calculate heart rates, axis deviations, and chamber hypertrophy.

Procedural Workshops [PA 240] 1 credit
This course for physician assistants focuses upon common bedside procedure performed in clinical situations.  Procedures taught range from vital sign taking and phlebotomy to invasive procedures such as thoracentesis and central line placement.  Using peer practicums (phlebotomy and venipuncture) and simulation models for more invasive procedures, key concepts and techniques will be taught.