Master of Medical Science Physician Assistant

Course Descriptions


MEDPA 5501 Anatomy for the PA (3)

This ten-week course features a study of the structure and development of the human body to include head, neck, upper extremity, thorax, pelvis, perineum and lower extremity.  Study conducted by cadaver dissection, models, demonstration, and cross section correlated to the appropriate living anatomy.  Emphasis is placed on the structure/function correlation and the relationship of anatomic configuration to diagnosis of clinical problems.  The format of the course includes lectures, lab, small group discussion and many varieties of audiovisual and computer aids.  Student evaluation is accomplished through laboratory and written exams.

MEDPA 5502 Foundations in Basic Medical Science (4)

This ten-week course teaches an introduction of the basic principles of biochemistry, microbiology, immunology, genetics and pharmacology taught in a modular format.  The biochemistry, microbiology and immunology components prepare students for the clinical application of the principles in the organ system modules.  The nutrition module covers the basic science of human nutrition and relates the biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition in health and disease.  The pharmacology module covers basic principles of drug action, drug disposition, and drug toxicity, providing the foundation for the pharmacotherapeutics content taught in the system modules.

MEDPA 5503 Research Applications in Medicine (1)

This ten-week course introduces the student to clinical research in medicine and its application to clinical decision making through the concepts and principles of evidence-based medicine. Additionally, the course will provide the student with the skills to complete a written research project through the investigation of a clinical topic utilizing the medical literature. In addition to the lecture, students will participate in small group assignments designed to provide hands-on experience in research design, analysis, and evaluation of published literature. This course will also include instruction and utilization of the Health Sciences library and associated resources.

MEDPA 5504 Ethics, Law and Policy (1)

A ten-week course that examines ethical rules, principles, and theories as they relate to health care delivery issues using lecture and case based presentation format and discussion of the ethical issues.  Application of these issues will continue through the system and population modules addressed in the Science and Practice of Medicine courses within case discussions.

MEDPA 5505 Clinical Assessment for the PA (2)

A ten-week course which focuses on developing foundational physical examination and history taking skills.  Didactic lectures on exam techniques and basic interpretation of physical exam findings are given.  Physical exam skills labs, patient simulations, and small group discussions provide opportunities to develop critical reasoning skills essential to patient evaluation and management.

MEDPA 5511 Clinical Practicum I (1)

A one semester course that will consist of a weekly clinical experience under the supervision of a preceptor.  Emphasis will be on developing patient interviewing, physical exam, recording and written/oral presentation skills.

MEDPA 5512 Clinical Practicum II (1)

A one semester course that will consist of a weekly clinical experience under the supervision of a preceptor.  Emphasis will be on developing patient interviewing, physical exam, recording and written/oral presentation skills.

MEDPA 5513 Clinical Practicum III (1)

A one semester course that will consist of a weekly clinical experience under the supervision of a preceptor.  Emphasis will be on developing patient interviewing, physical exam, recording and written/oral presentation skills.

MEDPA 5514 Clinical Practicum IV (1)

A one semester course that will consist of a weekly clinical experience under the supervision of a preceptor.  Emphasis will be on developing patient interviewing, physical exam, recording and written/oral presentation skills.

MEDPA 5521 PA Professions I (1)

This is the first course in the PA Professions series that will focus on the history of the PA profession including the social, regulatory, ethical and professional aspects.  Instruction will also be provided in clinical management practices and procedures including coding systems for diagnosis and reimbursement, quality assurance and risk management.

MEDPA 5522 PA Professions II (1)

This is the second course in the PA Professions series that will focus on the impact of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic health disparities on health care delivery. The student will become aware of differing health beliefs, values and expectations of patients and other health care professionals that can affect communication, decision-making, compliance and health outcomes.

MEDPA 5523 PA Professions III (1)

This is the third course in the PA Professions series. This course will provide basic doctrines and principles of the law to serve as a foundation for legally and ethically sound medical practice. It will include a comprehensive coverage of the history of legal medicine in the United States, the dynamics of the law applied to medical issues and the recent developments in health care delivery and biomedical issues. The legal and ethical issues of narrative medicine in medical practice and its practical applications will be explored and discussed.

MEDPA 5524 PA Professions IV (1)

This is the fourth course in the PA Professions series. This course will give students knowledge of the evolution of the health care industry’s components and describe the technical, economic, political and social forces that shaped their development. Principles of health policy and public health will be discussed so the student will have a systematic way of thinking about health care in the United States, its problems and the alternatives for managing these problems.

MEDPA 5531 Science and Practice of Medicine I (9)

This course builds upon the basic and clinical sciences already offered to present the disease processes of body systems in terms of etiology, historical data, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, current treatment to include pharmacotherapeutics and lifestyle changes of common disease processes and the interrelationship of body systems in the makeup of the whole patient. Major emphasis is on etiology of disease, physiology, pathophysiology, basic medical sciences, pertinent preventive medicine initiatives and nutrition, pertinent laboratory medicine perspectives and radiographical concerns.  The student will build on the physical examination knowledge base as well as the pertinent clinical skills.  S&P of Medicine I provides an integrated approach to several subdivisions that divide the course content by clinical specialty or system, which include Dermatology, Hematology and Neurology.

MEDPA 5532 Science and Practice of Medicine II (12)

This course builds upon the basic and clinical sciences already offered to present the disease processes of body systems in terms of etiology, historical data, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, current treatment to include pharmacotherapeutics and lifestyle changes of common disease processes and the interrelationship of body systems in the makeup of the whole patient. Major emphasis is on etiology of disease, physiology, pathophysiology, basic medical sciences, pertinent preventive medicine initiatives and nutrition, pertinent laboratory medicine perspectives and radiographical concerns.  The student will build on the physical examination knowledge base as well as the pertinent clinical skills.  S&P of Medicine II provides an integrated approach to several subdivisions that divide the course content by clinical specialty or system, which include EENT and Cardiology.

MEDPA 5533 Science and Practice of Medicine III (20)

This course builds upon the basic and clinical sciences already offered to present the disease processes of body systems in terms of etiology, historical data, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, current treatment to include pharmacotherapeutics and lifestyle changes of common disease processes and the interrelationship of body systems in the makeup of the whole patient. Major emphasis is on etiology of disease, physiology, pathophysiology, basic medical sciences, pertinent preventive medicine initiatives and nutrition, pertinent laboratory medicine perspectives and radiographical concerns.  The student will build on the physical examination knowledge base as well as the pertinent clinical skills.  S&P of Medicine III provides an integrated approach to several subdivisions that divide the course content by clinical specialty or system, which include Genitourinary, Gastrointestinal/Nutrition, Endocrine, and Pulmonology.

MEDPA 5534 Science and Practice of Medicine IV (19)

This course builds upon the basic and clinical sciences already offered to present the disease processes of body systems in terms of etiology, historical data, clinical signs and symptoms, diagnosis, current treatment to include pharmacotherapeutics and lifestyle changes of common disease processes and the interrelationship of body systems in the makeup of the whole patient. Major emphasis is on etiology of disease, physiology, pathophysiology, basic medical sciences, pertinent preventive medicine initiatives and nutrition, pertinent laboratory medicine perspectives and radiographical concerns.  The student will build on the physical examination knowledge base as well as the pertinent clinical skills.  S&P of Medicine IV provides an integrated approach to several subdivisions that divide the course content by clinical specialty or system, which include Renal Orthopedics/Rheumatology, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Behavioral Health, Pediatrics, Geriatrics, and Emergency Medicine.

MEDPA 5610 Family Medicine I Rotation (4)

This required four week rotation will require student to participate in the delivery of ambulatory primary care.  The students will study problems commonly encountered in family medicine situations occurring in ambulatory clinics in an urban or rural setting.  The students will develop an appreciation for the skills of other allied health professionals and observe the efficient utilization of these personnel.

MEDPA 5611 Family Medicine II Rotation (4)

This required four week rotation will require student to participate in the delivery of ambulatory primary care.  The students will study problems commonly encountered in family medicine situations occurring in ambulatory clinics in an urban or rural setting.  The students will develop an appreciation for the skills of other allied health professionals and observe the efficient utilization of these personnel.

MEDPA 5620 Internal Medicine I Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation will require the student to actively participate in all aspects of direct patient care in inpatient and/or outpatient adult medicine. This fundamental clinical experience places emphasis on patient evaluation and assessment, oral and written case presentations, understanding the complexities and interrelationships of disease processes and diagnostic and therapeutic collaboration. 

MEDPA 5621 Internal Medicine II Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation will require the student to actively participate in all aspects of direct patient care in inpatient and/or outpatient adult medicine. This fundamental clinical experience places emphasis on patient evaluation and assessment, oral and written case presentations, understanding the complexities and interrelationships of disease processes and diagnostic and therapeutic collaboration.

MEDPA 5630 Emergency Medicine Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation provides in-depth exposure to the illnesses and injuries sustained by adults and children that necessitate emergency care. The student is expected to assess different types of emergencies and to provide appropriate treatment under the supervision of the physician.  The student will participate as a member of a team in the assessment and care of major trauma and cardiac emergencies.

MEDPA 5640 Women’s Health Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation provides an exposure to problems and issues associated with women’s health care, primarily in the ambulatory setting.  Emphasis is placed on learning experiences in family planning and birth control, the recognition and treatment of sexually transmitted disease, cancer detection and prevention, prenatal care, and the evaluation and treatment of common ambulatory gynecologic problems.  Students may have exposure to the delivery room and surgical suite.

MEDPA 5650 Pediatrics Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation provides the student with experience in the ambulatory and institutionally-based care of neonates, infants, children and adolescents. Settings may include hospitals, clinics and private practice sites.  The rotation is intended to provide the opportunity to refine the techniques of history-taking and physical examination specific to the pediatric population, and to provide experience in parental education and guidance, appropriate milestone recognition, illness, injury, and accident prevention, and care unique to the needs of the adolescent patient.

MEDPA 5660 General Surgery Rotation (4)

This required 4 week rotation provides experience in the management of patients who present with surgical problems. Preoperative preparation and evaluation of patients for surgery, intra-operative assistance, operative procedures, the care of surgical wounds and postoperative complications are stressed.

MEDPA 5670 Behavioral Health Rotation (4)

This 2-4 week clinical rotation provides experience working with patients in a psychiatric/behavioral medicine setting. Emphasis is placed on the clinical presentation, diagnostic work-up, treatment and management of these patients in both inpatient and outpatient settings.

MEDPA 5680 Geriatrics Rotation (4)

This 2-4 week rotation provides the student with exposure to the principles and practice of geriatrics and the diseases and conditions common to the elder population. The student will develop an increased understanding of the social, economic and environmental factors related to the elder and their family including end-of-life decision-making.

MEDPA 5580 Senior Seminar (1)

A one semester course focusing on small group discussion, study and review of previously covered topics in preparation for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).

MEDPA 5581 Professional Development for the PA (1.5)

A one semester course based on lecture and discussion of professional development, topics pertinent to employment and practice as a PA such as licensing and credentialing, avoiding malpractice, healthcare financing and delivery systems, and career and leadership opportunities.  Students will develop their professional portfolio.

MEDPA 5595 Capstone (1)

The capstone experience is a one semester course for the physician assistant program. The purpose of this course is to align didactic, clinical and professional instruction as well as Graduate Learning Competencies into a project that will have lasting impact for patients, clinical practice, PA education and/or the PA profession.