http://www.marquette.edu/chs/pa

Mission

Our mission is to develop physician assistants in the Jesuit tradition who realize their full potential as excellent clinicians and national leaders. We pursue this for ad majorem Dei gloriam, the greater glory of God, and the benefit of the human community.

An ideal graduate of our program is well-rounded, clinically and intellectually competent, committed to professional growth, spiritually centered, compassionate and dedicated to doing justice in generous service to others.  Our graduates will be leaders in promoting health, wellness and preventing disease in diverse healthcare settings and in their communities.

Educational Goals and Learning Outcomes

Goal 1: Program Responsibilities

The program supports students academically during their physician assistant training in order for them to achieve their academic and professional goals.

  • Students are challenged with a rigorous medical curriculum while being supported by the faculty and administration through a high faculty to student ratio, academic advising and support.
  • Through the support provided to students and a thoughtful admission process, the program maintains a low attrition and deceleration rate.
  • The PA program fosters a culture of leadership and service to others by crafting unique experiences and by the example of our faculty.
  • The program recognizes students learn from a variety of teaching methods and employs these methods including: lectures, problem-based learning, small group experiences, standardized patient experiences, clinical rotations and self-reflection exercises.
  • Graduates of the program strive for 100% employment rate by six months in each graduating class.

Goal 2: Medical Knowledge

Prepare competent PAs using a rigorous curriculum that provides a strong biomedical sciences knowledge foundation.

  • Graduates maintain first-time passing rates of 100% on the PANCE exam.
  • Graduates maintain scores above the national average in each of the organ system subcategories of the PANCE exam.
  • Students apply knowledge from didactic training across clinical disciplines with competent performance in the core clinical areas of Family Practice, Emergency Medicine, General Surgery, Women’s Health, Behavioral Medicine and Internal Medicine.

Goal 3:  Interpersonal & Communication skills 

Prepare students to effectively communicate interpersonally in a professional manner.

  • Students demonstrate that they can communicate effectively and work collaboratively with all members of the healthcare team.
  • Students establish clear communication and appropriate language when eliciting a history and providing education to patients.
  • Students formulate appropriate written communication for medical documentation and scientific writing.

Goal 4: Patient Care

Prepare patient-focused PAs who provide high quality care of patients within the scope of their practice.

  • Students provide compassionate care for patients and respond sensitively to patients and the communities in which they live.
  • Students acquire and refine patient evaluation skills.
  • Students accurately interpret signs, symptoms, and relevant diagnostic studies to make sound patient management decisions.

Goal 5: Professionalism

Prepare our graduates to promote the PA profession through their leadership, ethical practice, scholarship, and service.

  • Graduates are leaders of the profession at the local, state, and national level.
  • Provide compassionate, patient-centered care to a diverse population of patients.
  • Foster integrity through accountability to patients, society, and the PA Profession.
  • Graduates meet all regulatory requirements for licensure and maintain their professional certification through completion of ongoing professional development.
  • Graduates function as effective and efficient members of the healthcare team by working up to their full potential.

Goal 6: Practice-based learning

Prepare our graduates to work effectively both independently and with other members of the healthcare team to assess and improve patient care outcomes.

  • Graduates recognize their personal biases, cognitive and physical limitations, and initiate steps required to make improvements in these areas.
  • Graduates demonstrate oral and written proficiency in the presentation, synthesis, and critique of the latest evidenced based medical and scientific data using information technology for the purpose of practice-based improvements.
  • Graduates partner with physicians and other professional colleagues to measure, critique and revise their practice outcomes.

Goal 7: Systems based practice

Prepare our graduates to be advocates for quality patient care, promote safe medical practice, assist patients in dealing with system complexities, and address biases that contribute to health care disparities.

  • Students recognize and address disparities in socioeconomic status and resources in rendering care to the disadvantaged.
  • Students use evidenced based practice to provide patient centered care that honors individual characteristics and maximizes their scope of practice.
  • Partner with their patients to navigate the intricacies of complex healthcare systems, cost-effective health care, and the ever-changing world of health insurance and reimbursement.
  • Show accountability and initiative by promoting patient safety and taking steps to improve the healthcare system when deficiencies are identified.

Undergraduate Admission Requirements

Students can apply for admission into the Physician Assistant Studies program as early as the fall term of their sophomore year. They are required to complete the two-year, pre-PA phase of the Physician Assistant Studies program and must complete the appropriate prerequisite courses that will make them eligible for a degree in biomedical sciences within the PA program (see BISC/pre-PA curriculum in the Biomedical Sciences Department).  Following acceptance into the PA program, students follow the curriculum as outlined for the three-year Physician Assistant Program.

The intensity of the program and the skills necessary for practice as a physician assistant require the program to seek applicants with an excellent academic background, along with strong interpersonal skills and maturity. Prior health care experience is also an indicator of a career commitment to clinical practice. The program’s admission process will consider each applicant’s strengths and select for competitive candidates best qualified to meet the program’s mission.

Selection factors considered in the admission process include the following:

  1. Minimum cumulative GPA of 3.000 or greater, science GPA, and Science Quality Points (an assessment of quantity and performance in science coursework), as calculated by the centralized application system (CASPA).
  2. Motivation, maturity, ability to work with people and suitability for clinical practice.
  3. Minimum of two hundred patient contact hours or other health related experience. All hours must be submitted and documented on the CASPA application. Additional hours after submission will not be counted toward the total. (Note: healthcare shadowing does not count toward this requirement)
  4. Knowledge of the PA profession and the profession’s role in the health care system.
  5. Graduate Record Exam scores for applicants who would enter the PA program with a completed bachelor's degree; SAT or ACT scores for applicants who would enter the program without a completed bachelor’s degree.
  6. Three letters of recommendation.
  7. Personal interviews.

Academic Regulations

Academic Progress

To achieve satisfactory academic progress leading to promotion in the Physician Assistant Program, the student must achieve a GPA of 2.800 in each term (summer, fall, spring). In addition, the student may receive no single final grade in any course of less than a C. The PA program considers a grade below C to represent unsatisfactory academic progress. Unsatisfactory academic progress may result in conditional promotion, student-initiated withdrawal from the program, or dismissal from the program. Students who earn grades of CD, D, F or UNC in any course in the PA program may be dismissed.  This may also lead to withdrawal of financial aid.

In the clinical portion of the program (third year) the semester GPA is compiled from an aggregate of clinical rotation grades completed in that semester (summer, fall, spring).

Students may not participate in Physician Assistant clinical rotations until they have successfully completed all the required courses in the didactic curriculum.

In addition, at intervals during each semester and at its conclusion, the Progress and Promotion Committee will review the progress of each student. The committee determines whether the student shall be promoted, conditionally promoted, (as described below); or be subject to other action as described earlier in this section. See the PA Program Didactic and Clinical Student Handbooks for the PA program's Policies and Procedures.

If remediation is required, students must satisfy all requirements of any remediation protocols in the defined timeframe.  These protocols are defined in the PA Program Didactic and Clinical Student Handbooks.  If a student does not meet the remediation requirements, s/he may be subject to dismissal with College Academic Alert (CAA).

Counseling

Directing a student to seek appropriate counseling is within the purview of the Progress and Promotion Committee (P&P Committee). In such cases, referrals will be made to the PA Program's Academic Counseling Subcommittee.  While it is advisable for students to seek assistance from instructors and faculty as a course proceeds, there may be circumstances where support is needed to understand certain concepts and to make up work lost for extraordinary reasons such as illness. The Academic Counseling Subcommittee can recommend the student establish a collaborative plan with the faculty to complete selected course objectives and incomplete work. Students will be notified of this recommendation by letter from the program director or the Academic Counseling Subcommittee. This letter will remain a part of the student’s permanent file.

In specific situations involving financial or personal elements, the Progress and Promotion Committee may recommend outside resources be utilized to satisfy this category of promotion. When medical or psychiatric consultation is required or recommended, the P&P Committee will respect patient/provider confidentiality. However, documentation of enrollment and/or completion may be required by the committee.

Warning Letter

A warning is a written letter to a student for non-acceptable academic progress during the semester (usually at mid-semester). A warning may come from the course instructor or the program director on behalf of the course instructor.  The purpose of the warning letter is to make the student aware of impending academic jeopardy. Warnings are reported to the Progress and Promotion Committee and program director for informational purposes. Students may also be placed on College Academic Alert (CAA) upon receipt of the warning letter.

Academic Censure (Dismissal/Probation/Academic Alert)

Overview

There are certain categories of student performance problems that can lead to some form of censure. These problems may be identified at any point during the academic year, though a systematic review of all students' course grades is also conducted at the end of each academic term. The review of other, non-course grade problems is typically conducted on an individual basis as issues arise.  A finding of significant problems in any of these areas can result in probation, suspension, or dismissal, depending on the nature and severity of the problems identified.  All of these statuses are maintained permanently on the student’s academic record; only dismissal, however, appears permanently on Marquette University’s official transcript.  If a student is reinstated following a dismissal, that notation will also permanently appear on the student’s official transcript.  The statuses that will appear permanently on a student’s official transcript include those listed (in bold type) below:

Required to Withdraw for Academic Reasons (RWAR) – dismissal for deficient academic performance as described below.

Reinstated on Probation - following successful appeal of academic dismissal.

Required to Withdraw for Professional Integrity Reasons (RWPI) – dismissal for violation of Professional Integrity standards as described below.

Required to Withdraw for Academic Misconduct (RWAM) –dismissal for violation of the academic honesty policy as outlined in the Academic Regulation section of this bulletin.

1.  Academic Dismissal – Required to Withdraw for Academic Reasons (RWAR):

Health Science Professional Students (HESP) in the Master of Physician Assistant Studies program must achieve a cumulative GPA of 2.800 by the end of the second semester in the program, and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.800 each semester thereafter.  In addition, students will be RWAR’d for any course attempted with a final grade below a C (CD, D or F) or an unsatisfactory grade (U/UNC).  The Office of the Registrar (OTR) and the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA) will monitor the program academic requirements at the end of each term (fall, spring and summer).  A student who does not meet these academic requirements will be academically dismissed by the college (coded as RWAR by OTR) and his/her record coded as failure to maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) by the Office of Student Financial Aid (OSFA).

The college office will communicate the RWAR and OSFA will communicate the SAP via Marquette email.  As per university email policy, it is the student’s responsibility to monitor his/her email at all times.  A RWAR/SAP student will be dropped from any classes in which he/she is subsequently registered.

An Undergraduate student in the Physician Assistant Studies must meet requirements listed above to continue in the Physician Assistant Studies Program.  A student that is not allowed to continue in the Physician Assistant studies program, but remains in good standing at the University as an undergraduate student, may be allowed to continue with his/her undergraduate degree course of study.

Satisfactory Academic Progress: there are other SAP conditions for which the student is responsible and will be applied to all students in this program, both professional and undergraduate. Refer to the complete SAP policy on the OSFA website.

RWAR/SAP Appeal Process

A RWAR/SAP student must appeal both RWAR/SAP by sending one form, which addresses both RWAR and SAP issues.  The Academic Censure Appeal form is located on the Marquette Central academic forms website. The form includes all of the required information the student must submit in order to have his/her appeal reviewed.

  • The form is submitted to the College of Health Science main office for initial review for completeness of forms.  Completed appeal forms are then forwarded to the chair of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies.  The department chair, in consultation with the Progress and Promotion Committee, has the final decision on all RWAR/SAP appeals.
  • If the appeal is approved by the Progress and Promotion Committee, the student may be decelerated or 'Reinstated on Probation' and the Progress and Promotion Committee will establish an academic probation plan for the student to regain his/her satisfactory academic and degree progress standing, and the student’s eligibility for financial aid will be restored.
  • The plan must be measurable and ensure that the student is able to meet Marquette's SAP standards by a specific point in time. Plans should include courses to be taken, expected grades and a timeframe to complete the outlined objectives.
  • The plan will be monitored by the department (Progress and Promotion Committee).
  • Should the student not fulfill all of his/her academic obligations as outline in the academic probation plan, the student’s performance will be evaluated by the committee and a determination will be made as to whether the College Academic Alert (see below) process will be instituted; however, the student will again be coded with SAP for that term.

2.    Physician Assistant Studies Probation and College Academic Alert (CAA)

Physician Assistant Studies College Academic Alert (CAA)

Academic performance is monitored carefully by the Progress and Promotion Committee of the Department of Physician Assistant Studies program, and students either not maintaining steady progress or not demonstrating adequate academic progress at midterm as defined earlier in the bulletin will be barred from future registration in the program and placed on College Academic Alert (CAA).

Within a semester where remediation is required, students who fail to comply with the remediation standards outlined in the PA Didactic and Clinical Student Handbooks will be placed on College Academic Alert (CAA).  All students where conditions of probation have been established will be subject to Progress and Promotion Committee review and possible CAA action should they fail to fulfill the conditions.  It is possible that a student be barred from registration for academic reasons even though the student’s cumulative GPA exceeds 2.800.  Students concerned about their academic progress should consult the remediation protocol and academic progress section defined in the PA student handbook.

A student placed on College Academic Alert cannot register for subsequent courses in the Physician Assistant Studies program and will be removed from any such classes for future terms in which he/she is registered.  Students will be notified by CAA letter via email of the Progress and Promotion Committee’s decision and of the appeal process.  Undergraduate students that are not allowed to continue in the Physician Assistant Studies program, but remain in good standing at the university, may be allowed to continue in their undergraduate degree course of study.

3.    Academic Dismissal – Professional Integrity

Students may be dismissed from the Physician Assistant Studies program for failure to maintain professional integrity standards, which may include, but are not limited to:

A.    Failure to comply with the Physician Assistant Studies Program Honor Code and Professional Code of Conduct.

B.    Failure to comply with learning objectives set forth in a professional behavior learning contract between the student and the program.

C.    Professional misconduct, including, but not limited to:

a. Conduct that constitutes harassment, threats or abuse of, or discrimination against peers, faculty, patients or others.

b. Provision of services at any point in the Physician Assistant Studies program while under the influence of an illegal substance and/or alcohol.

c. Breach of patient/client confidentiality.

d. Failure, during a clinical experience, to comply with the policies and procedures of the clinical facility.

e. Failure to comply with the Physician Assistant Studies program departmental Policies and Procedures outlined in the student handbook.

f. Failure to comply with the Physician Assistant Ethical Guidelines to Professional Conduct (www.nccpa.net and www.aapa.org).

Violations of the professional integrity requirements will result in a hearing with the Progress and Promotion Committee.  Findings of misconduct to self, faculty, the program, the university clinical placements and/or patient may result in failure in the assignment, failure in the course or dismissal from the program.  For instances of dismissal from the program, a notation of “Required to Withdraw for Professional Integrity Reasons” will be placed on the student’s permanent academic record and transcript.

4.      Academic Dismissal - Academic Misconduct:

Dismissal for academic misconduct (RWAM) is determined per the Academic Honesty policy found in the Academic Regulation section of this bulletin. Once this determination has been made, the student will be dismissed from the university. This action results in ineligibility to register at Marquette. Reinstatement criteria for the student who is dismissed, if applicable, will be outlined in the dismissal notice. If the student is allowed to return to the university, a permanent notation of ‘Reinstated to the University’ will appear on the student’s academic record and Marquette’s official transcript.

Temporary Withdrawal from Program

Students who find it necessary to request a temporary withdrawal from the PA program must submit a written request to the program director.

The Progress and Promotion Committee may recommend, and must approve, the temporary withdrawal. The temporary withdrawal may be indicated under circumstances unique to specific problems of a given student, however, the temporary withdrawal shall extend no longer than a single calendar year.

Normally, a student will be readmitted to the program at the end of his/her leave if the Progress and Promotion Committee believes the purpose of the temporary withdrawal has been successfully achieved. The committee may require the student to repeat course work before reentry after a prolonged absence.

The Physician Assistant program must be completed in no more than four years. Therefore, if a second temporary withdrawal is requested, the student may be dismissed from the program or required to reapply to the program.

Re-entry Policy

Students who find it necessary to withdraw from the Physician Assistant program may reenter at that level only with concurrence of the P&P Committee and the program director and on a space-available and case-by-case basis.

Tuition/Financial Aid for Physician Assistant Studies program

Students enrolled in the Physician Assistant Studies program upon completion of their baccalaureate degree will be moved into the professional division of Health Sciences and will no longer be eligible for undergraduate financial aid.

Physician Assistant Studies

Typical Three-Year Professional Phase - Master's of Physician Assistant Studies

First Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
BISC 43403BISC 31503PHAS 70852
BISC 41454PHTH 75584PHAS 70913
BISC 74104PHAS 70504PHAS 70923
BISC 71305PHAS 70952PHAS 71153
PHAS 70802PHAS 72452PHAS 72002
PHAS 71172PHAS 72704PHAS 72651
 20 19 14
Second Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
BISC 71204PHAS 71182PHAS 79970
PHAS 70934PHAS 72204PHAS 7986 Internships8
PHAS 70944PHAS 72302 
PHAS 71164PHAS 72354 
PHAS 72603PHAS 72504 
 PHAS 72553 
 19 19 8
Third Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
PHAS 7997 Master's Capstone3PHAS 7997 Master's Capstone3 
PHAS 7986 Internships12PHAS 7986 Internships12 
 15 15
Total credit hours: 129

A master’s degree in physician assistant studies requires successful completion of minimum total credits of 129. This includes 32 credits of clinical clerkship experiences, in addition to a 6 credit master’s capstone project. Required clinical clerkship experiences include family practice, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, women's health, behavioral medicine and electives. PHAS 7986 Internship in Physician Assistant Studies: may be offered for letter grade or S/U grading, as determined by the program.

Physician Assistant Studies

Typical Three-Year Professional Phase - Master's of Physician Assistant Studies

First Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
BISC 43403BISC 31503PHAS 70852
BISC 41454PHTH 75584PHAS 70913
BISC 74104PHAS 70504PHAS 70923
BISC 71305PHAS 70952PHAS 71153
PHAS 70802PHAS 72452PHAS 72002
PHAS 71172PHAS 72704PHAS 72651
 20 19 14
Second Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHoursSummer TermHours
BISC 71204PHAS 71182PHAS 79970
PHAS 70934PHAS 72204PHAS 7986 Internships8
PHAS 70944PHAS 72302 
PHAS 71164PHAS 72354 
PHAS 72603PHAS 72504 
 PHAS 72553 
 19 19 8
Third Year
First TermHoursSecond TermHours 
PHAS 7997 Master's Capstone3PHAS 7997 Master's Capstone3 
PHAS 7986 Internships12PHAS 7986 Internships12 
 15 15
Total credit hours: 129

A master’s degree in physician assistant studies requires successful completion of minimum total credits of 129. This includes 32 credits of clinical clerkship experiences, in addition to a 6 credit master’s capstone project. Required clinical clerkship experiences include family practice, internal medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, women's health, behavioral medicine and electives. PHAS 7986 Internship in Physician Assistant Studies: may be offered for letter grade or S/U grading, as determined by the program.

Courses

PHAS 7050. Introduction to Medical History and Physical Examination. 4 cr. hrs.

Consists of two phases. The first portion of the course develops the student's interviewing skills eliciting a complete medical history. The second portion of the course instructs the student in the methods and modalities to complete an entire adult wellness exam. At the conclusion of the course, the student is expected to be competent in eliciting a complete medical history and physical exam, appropriately documenting the exam including all positive and negative findings. Medical terminology is reviewed throughout the course. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7080. Evidence-Based Medicine. 2 cr. hrs.

Provides a practical approach to making sound medical decisions based on current evidence in medical literature. Using a series of didactic presentations, group exercises, independent inquiry and reading, students learn the basic principles of evidence-based medicine. Basic skills in accessing MEDLINE and other medical databases will be emphasized and practiced. Research principles, research ethics, and basic statistical analysis are introduced. Students use their foundation in EBM throughout their didactic and clinical education. Skills learned will be essential in formulating and completing the capstone project in the 3rd year of the physician assistant program. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7085. Science Writing. 2 cr. hrs.

A study of the writing process and the fundamentals of effective scientific writing for physician assistants. Instruction will focus on the process of writing and publishing scientific manuscripts while expanding on knowledge and skills from PHAS 7080. Prereq: Admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7091. Clinical Medicine 1. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides a comprehensive presentation of the disease processes commonly encountered in clinical medicine, specifically the specialties of Cardiology and Dermatology. Organized by systems, clinical information is presented by core faculty and guest lecturers who work in a particular specialty, and are presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures and classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition and patient education. Whenever possible the course is coordinated with the concurrent Clinical Decision-Making courses. Prereq: Admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7092. Clinical Medicine 2. 3 cr. hrs.

Provides a comprehensive presentation of the disease processes commonly encountered in clinical medicine, specifically the specialties of Pulmonology, EENT, Immunology, Oncology, and Medical Genetics. Organized by systems, clinical information is presented by core faculty and guest lecturers who work in a particular specialty, and are presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures and classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition and patient education. Whenever possible the course is coordinated with the concurrent Clinical Decision-Making course. Prereq: PHAS 7091 and admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7093. Clinical Medicine 3. 4 cr. hrs.

Provides a comprehensive presentation of the disease processes commonly encountered in clinical medicine, specifically the specialties of Hematology/Oncology, Gastroenterology, Neurology, and Psychiatry. Organized by systems, clinical information is presented by core faculty and guest lecturers who work in a particular specialty, and are presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures and classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition and patient education. Whenever possible the course is coordinated with the concurrent Pharmacology and Clinical Decision-Making courses. Prereq: PHAS 7092 and admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7094. Clinical Medicine 4. 4 cr. hrs.

Provides a comprehensive presentation of the disease processes commonly encountered in clinical medicine, specifically the specialties of Nephrology, Urology, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, and Endocrinology. Organized by systems, clinical information is presented by core faculty and guest lecturers who work in a particular specialty, and are presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures and classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition and patient education. Whenever possible the course is coordinated with the concurrent Pharmacology and Clinical Decision-Making courses. Prereq: PHAS 7093 and admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7095. Public Health. 2 cr. hrs.

Studies the overview of public health and commonly encountered chronic diseases that have public health implications. Topics include an overview of noncommunicable disease, violence, chronic stress, obesity/food-related health disorders, preventive medicine, food safety, antibiotic stewardship, exercise prescription, principles of addiction and environmental health. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7110. Clinical Medicine I. 4 cr. hrs.

The first course in a 3-course Clinical Medicine series that provides a comprehensive presentation of the various disease processes commonly encountered in primary care across the spectrum of clinical medicine. Employs a system-oriented, problem based approach and clinical information is presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures or labs in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, and nutrition. Students acquire basic life support certification (CPR). Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7111. Clinical Medicine II. 3 cr. hrs.

The second course in a 3-course Clinical Medicine series that provides a comprehensive presentation of the various disease processes commonly encountered in primary care across the spectrum of clinical medicine. Employs a system-oriented, problem based approach and clinical information is presented in conjunction with appropriated, correlative lectures or labs in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition, and preventative approaches. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7112. Clinical Medicine III. 3 cr. hrs.

The final course in the three-course clinical medicine series, provides a comprehensive presentation of the disease processes commonly encountered in Clinical Medicine in specialties of Neurology, Psychiatry, Endocrinology, Dermatology, and Infectious Disease. The course is organized by systems. Clinical information is presented by core faculty and guest lecturers who work in a particular specialty, and are presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures and classes in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, nutrition and patient education. Whenever possible the course is coordinated with the concurrent Emergency Medicine, Geriatrics, and Clinical Therapeutics courses. Prereq: PHAS major.

PHAS 7115. Clinical Decision Making 1. 3-4 cr. hrs.

Focuses on developing a systematic approach to the process of solving clinical problems with emphasis on: 1) gaining familiarity with the differential diagnosis of commonly-encountered clinical problems, and 2) exercising the thought process used in clinical practice to work from a broad differential diagnosis to a single working diagnosis and treatment plan. This is accomplished largely by working through mock cases in small groups, individualized assignments and standardized patient encounters. The interpretation of historical, physical exam and diagnostic test data are addressed within the context of clinical case studies. The intent is to apply and integrate skills and competencies that have been introduced in previous and concurrent coursework: the basic sciences, pathophysiology, history taking, interviewing & physical examination skills, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, giving oral case presentations and documenting medical data in a written format. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7116. Clinical Decision Making 2. 2-4 cr. hrs.

This 4-credit course focuses on continuing to develop a systematic approach to the process of solving clinical problems. Emphasizes: 1) gaining familiarity with the differential diagnosis of commonly-encountered clinical problems, and 2) exercising the thought process used in clinical practice to work from a broad differential diagnosis to a single working diagnosis and treatment plan. Accomplished largely by working through mock cases in small groups, individualized assignments and standardized patient encounters. Also focuses on practical experience with commonly-encountered clinical problems in a community setting (Repairer's of the Breach Clinic) and developing skills for clinical practice. Intended to apply and integrate skills and competencies that students have been introduced to in previous and concurrent coursework: the basic sciences, pathophysiology, history taking, interviewing & physical examination skills, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, giving oral case presentations and documenting medical data in a written format. Course cases are linked with concurrent clinical medicine sections including Neurology, Psychiatry, Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Gastroenterology, Hematology, Endocrinology, Nephrology, and Urology. The interpretation of historical, physical exam and diagnostic test data are addressed within the context of clinical case studies. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to the PA program.

PHAS 7117. Cultural Diversity in Health Care. 2 cr. hrs.

Introduction to healthcare delivery to diverse patient populations. Explores various culturally influenced perspectives on health and illness as well as identifying health disparities among certain cultural groups and minority populations. Students work toward becoming culturally competent practitioners by exploring their personal reactions to culturally based medical scenarios. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to professional phase of Physician Assistant Studies.

PHAS 7118. Clinical Decision Making 3. 2 cr. hrs.

A 2-credit continuation of PHAS 7115 that focuses on application and further development of the student’s approach to working–up and solving medical problems, as well as providing patient education and counseling. Intended to build upon, refine and integrate basic clinical skills, interpersonal skills and competencies that students have acquired in previous course work. Involves one practical experience in an acute-care clinical setting where students perform problem-focused histories and physical examinations, give oral case presentations, select appropriate diagnostic tests, and document medical data in a written format and case presentation. The pathophysiology of the disease, approach to developing a treatment plan, and discussion of specific pharmacological and other medical therapies are an added emphasis during the case presentation. Exercise builds upon the students’ knowledge of primary medicine and the basic medical sciences, using a problem-oriented, case-based approach, to integrate information that has clinical relevance from these areas of study and to present this information to their peers in a structured format. Further develops a student’s ability to provide patient counseling and effective patient education. In particular, addresses motivational interviewing and counseling as it relates to smoking cessation and weight loss. Reviews common causes of non-compliance and identifies strategies students can utilize to reduce non-compliance in their patient population. Students have the opportunity to practice these skills during hands-on classroom activities and with other IPE activities. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7200. Interpersonal Communication. 2 cr. hrs.

A 2-credit semester course intended to build upon basic interviewing skills that were introduced in PHAS 7050. Consists of a series of patient-encounters, classroom discussions and readings relevant to working constructively with problems in clinician/patient communications. Common types of difficult patient interactions will be addressed. Self-awareness is emphasized as the basis upon which clinicians develop an enhanced capacity for empathic listening and responsiveness. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7220. Clinical Pharmacotherapeutics. 3-4 cr. hrs.

A 4-credit clinical course that focuses on clinical pharmacotherapeutics designed specifically to develop an extensive understanding of the medications routinely used in inpatient and outpatient medical care. Presented in both lecture and case study format using patient scenarios to develop clinical pharmacology knowledge. Prereq: PHAS major, BISC 7120, and admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7230. Geriatric Medicine. 2 cr. hrs.

An introduction into the biological aspects of aging, latency of disease, clinical geriatric syndromes, atypical disease presentations, drug prescribing and long term care of the elderly. Students develop an understanding of the special considerations and knowledge needed for clinical assessment and management of this special patient population. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7235. Emergency Medicine. 4 cr. hrs.

A comprehensive introduction to diagnosis and treatment of common and life-threatening adult and pediatric problems in the Emergency Department. Information and skills are delivered and developed in a series of lectures, skills labs and small group case discussions led by an emergency medicine physician and EM PAs. Integrates prior and current developing knowledge of clinical medicine, history and physical exam taking, pediatrics, pharmacology, public health, surgery, and women's health. Students obtain certification in ACLS: Advanced Cardiac Life Support. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to Physician Assistant Studies.

PHAS 7245. Professional and Ethical Issues. 2 cr. hrs.

Emphasizes current issues facing the profession, including legal and ethical problems, and the unique place of PAs within the health care system. Familiarizes students with the history and traditions of the PA profession. Complemented by information about certification, licensure, employment, professional organizations and political/legislative topics. A significant portion of the course confronts ethical issues facing today's Physician Assistants. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7250. Surgical Principles and Procedures. 4 cr. hrs.

An introduction to the role of the physician assistant in surgery and surgical procedures commonly performed in post-operative care. Employs a system-oriented, problem based approach and clinical information is presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures or labs in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, and nutrition. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7255. Women's Health. 2-3 cr. hrs.

Provides practical information on routine gynecologic and obstetric care for women. It explores various gynecological diseases, obstetric complications, and preventative care for women of all ages. Employs a system-oriented, problem based approach in which clinical information is presented to include basic anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, and laboratory diagnostics. Includes a physical exam lab practicum. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7260. Pediatric Medicine. 3 cr. hrs.

An introduction to pediatric medicine. Covers the well child exam from birth through adolescence, and common medical problems encountered in the pediatric setting. Employs a system-oriented, problem based approach and clinical information is presented in conjunction with appropriate, correlative lectures or labs in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology, laboratory diagnostics, and nutrition. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to Physician Assistant Studies.

PHAS 7265. Medical Coding and Health Care Systems. 1 cr. hr.

Begins with and in-depth look at the medical coding system and teaches the students how and why to code properly. Students are familiarized with the Typhon system of patient documentation and practice using it in conjunction with cases done in PHAS 7115. The remainder of the course focuses on the ever changing health care marketplace. Various health care system models and reimbursement methods will be compared and contrasted. Students research and present various topics to include more information on specific local and regional programs influencing health care delivery. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7270. Diagnostics Technology. 4 cr. hrs.

Consists of three distinct class sections: a 12-Lead ECG interpretation section, a radiology section, and a laboratory section. Provides a broad introduction to these topics that are expanded upon in PHAS 7110, 7111, and 7115. The ECG interpretation section will provide students with a systematic methods of interpreting a 12-Lead ECG with respect to rate, rhythm and blocks, electrical axis determination, hypertrophy (atria and ventricles), ischemia/injury/infarction, and miscellaneous drug, electrolyte, disease, and pacemaker effects. The radiology section will provide students with a systematic method of interpreting common radiographic studies seen in primary care. The laboratory section emphasizes the utilization of laboratory methods for the diagnosis and treatment of disease. The content focuses on those aspects pertinent to the provision of ambulatory primary care. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7931. Special Topics in Physician Assistant Studies. 1-6 cr. hrs.

Used for special topics course.

PHAS 7986. Internship in Physician Assistant Studies. 2-6 cr. hrs.

May be offered graded or S/U. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7995. Independent Study in Physician Assistant Studies. 1-6 cr. hrs.

Prereq: Admitted to PA program.

PHAS 7997. Master's Capstone Project. 0-8 cr. hrs.

A unique yearlong Capstone course structured throughout the final year of the professional PA curriculum which provides the program with a final evaluation of the readiness and eligibility of every student to graduate. This on-going assessment process encompasses multiple components including: Observed Standardized Clinical Examinations (OSCEs), Case Presentations, a comprehensive summative examination, and the completion of a master's research paper or project which includes a presentation of findings. 0 credit will be SNC/UNC grade assessment; 1-8 credits will be graded. Prereq: PHAS major; admitted to PA program.