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School of Health Professions

PA Program Didactic Course Descriptions

Master
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Anatomical Sciences I (HPANA-65101)
This course is designed to provide the student an extensive background in the fundamentals of human anatomy through lecture, small group laboratory, and independent study formats. Embryology coupled with structures of the central nervous system, upper and lower extremities, cardiovascular and pulmonary systems, abdomen and pelvis, and reproductive organs are described and illustrated in lecture followed by laboratory experiential learning that emphasizes the location, identification, function, and relationships of pertinent structures using cadavers, prosections, radiographic images, and static models. The course is intended to provide an anatomical basis for understanding the physical examination and structural changes associated with illness and injury of each major organ and body system.

Credit: 5 semester hours
Course Director: Ming Zhang
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 1,2,3

Anatomical Sciences II (HPANA-62102)
This course is designed to provide the student an extensive background in the fundamentals of human anatomy utilizing lecture, small group laboratory, and independent study formats. Anatomic structures of the head and neck are described and illustrated in lecture followed by laboratory experiential learning to include location and identification as well as function and relationships of structures using cadavers, prosections, radiograph images, and static models. The course is intended to provide an anatomical basis for understanding the physical examination and structural changes associated with illness and injury of each major organ and body system.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Ming Zhang
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 1

Behavioral Dynamics (PABDN-63431)
A lecture and discussion course designed to provide the student with an overall view to the normal and abnormal characteristics of human psychological development and behavior. The etiology of common behavioral and mental health conditions and consequences of common congenital and environmental influences on psychological development are studied in relation to the pediatric, adult and geriatric patient populations.

Credit: 3 semester hours
Course Directors: Ali Asghar and Jessica Richards
Course Offered: Spring 1, Terms 2, 3

Clinical Biochemistry (HPBIO-63121)
This course is designed to provide the student with the basics of clinical biochemistry in order to prepare them for their further studies. The course will review basic organic chemistry pertinent to understanding metabolic pathways with emphasis on different aspects of clinical biochemistry including structure and function of proteins, enzyme kinetics, and the metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids and amino acids. Special attention will be given to the nutritional needs of humans.

Credit: 3 semester hours
Course Director: Kristina Hulten
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 1, 2

Clinical Genetics (HPGEN-61141)
The genetics course introduces students to the basics of clinical genetics in order to prepare them for their further studies and practice in primary care. The course will review fundamental genetic concepts, principles and information (patterns of inheritance, mitosis & meiosis, the structure of DNA, RNA and protein synthesis) as well as concepts underlying clinical genetics (human development, gene analysis, disease producing mutations).

Credit: 1 semester hour
Course Director: Claudia Soler-Alfonso
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 3

Clinical Medicine I (PACMD-61501)
The PIM module introduces the basic principles cell injury, adaptation and death, acute and chronic inflammation, cell regeneration and fibrosis, hemostasis, thrombosis and shock,  immune-mediated injury, benign and malignant neoplasms, atherosclerosis along with an introduction to the mechanisms underlying viral, bacterial, and fungal pathogens to include innate host defense mechanisms prior to studying organ system pathophysiology.

Credit: 1 semester hour
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio 
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 1

Clinical Medicine II (PACMD-61502)
The CVS module introduces the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations differential diagnosis, and treatments of acute and chronic disease involving the cardiovascular system. Critical Thinking Sessions are used to integrate and apply the acquired from lectures and readings.

Credit: 1 semester hour
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 2

Clinical Medicine III (PACMD-63503)
The PRI module introduces the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis, and treatments of acute and chronic disorders involving the pulmonary, renal and integument systems. Critical Thinking Sessions are used to integrate and apply the acquired from lectures and readings.

Credit: 3 semester hours
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 3

Clinical Medicine IV (PACMD-62511)
The GGMR module introduces the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis, and treatments of acute, chronic and obstructive disorders involving the gastrointestinal, genitourinary, musculoskeletal, and rheumatologic systems. Critical Thinking Sessions are used to integrate and apply the acquired from lectures and readings.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 1

Clinical Medicine V (PACMD-62512)
The EON module introduces the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis, and treatments for acute and chronic disorders involving the ears, eyes, and central and peripheral nervous systems. Critical Thinking Sessions are used to integrate and apply the acquired from lectures and readings.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 2

Clinical Medicine VI (PACMD-62513)
The EGHOUID module introduces the pathophysiology, clinical manifestations, differential diagnosis and treatments for urgent, acute and chronic disorders involving the endocrine and hematologic systems coupled with disorders effecting older adults and the management of HIV infection. Critical Thinking Sessions are used to integrate and apply the acquired from lectures and readings.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Valerie DeGregorio
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 3 

Clinical Prevention (PACLP-62301)
This Fall 1 semester course introduces students to the history, underlying theory, basic concepts, and interplay associated with public health, lifestyle medicine, and clinical prevention in the United States. Strategies for illness prevention, risk characterization, early screening for asymptomatic disease, risk stratification, and the reduction of risk at the individual and community level will be addressed. The content within the course is designed to provide a foundation for parallel learning experiences in Health Behavioral Counseling, Clinical Medicine, Genetics, and Health Research Methods. The need to identify health behaviors and risks will be reinforced within the Physical Diagnosis course through patient write-ups and through this course using case integrations.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Sarah Keyes
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 1, 2

Cultural Competency I (PACC-62401)
The course introduces students to issues surrounding cultural awareness and sensitivity pertaining to the diversity and uniqueness of populations to be encountered as health care practitioners using lectures, panel discussions, small group activities, and participation in community events. Over the course of a year, the course will explore personal bias, communication styles, belief systems, alternative health care practices, family roles, and the relationship of these issues to perceptions of culture and socioeconomic status.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Jonnae Atkinson
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 1, 2

Diagnostic Testing (PADIA-62701)
A course designed to acquaint students with the principals involved in and the clinical evaluation of radiographic and clinical laboratory diagnostic studies. The emphasis within the radiology section is placed on normal radiographic findings and their comparison to the abnormalities visualized in disease processes. In the laboratory medicine section, the lectures are designed to survey and relate the results of tests to clinical situations. Lectures will also introduce the techniques of more important laboratory tests to include specimen acquisition and handling.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Elizabeth Elliott
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 1, 2, 3

Electrocardiography (PAECG-62711)
This course designed to present a systematic approach to ECG interpretation in preparation for didactic training in cardiology. The objective of the course is to teach the student to evaluate ECG tracings using the specific steps and each lecture covers a specific topic or topics and builds on the previous ones. After completing each lecture, the student will be given ECG tracings to review and apply the knowledge acquired in laboratory conferences.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Antone Opekun
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 3

Health Behavioral Counseling (HPHBC-62201)
This course introduces counseling and behavioral science theories, skills, and tools to enhance learners’ communication skills and understanding of the process of health behavior change. Behavior change stages and processes are introduced using the Transtheoretical Model and social learning theories, with a focus on applying Motivational Interviewing skills. Learning activities include role play, observation of self-help support group sessions, simulated patient encounters, and critical reflection, to help learners develop an intimate understanding of the process of change and increase empathy for patients attempting to change health behaviors.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Beth Garland
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 2, 3

Health Research Methods (HPHRM-62441)
Part I of this course will introduce the principles of human research methodology and explore the impact that different types of human research have on clinical practice and the health care system. Students will develop an understanding of the skills necessary to critically review medical literature, design research study, apply medical and epidemiologic methods, prepare protocols, approach data generation, manage data, perform data analysis, conduct subject follow-up, address quality assurance concerns, and adhere to ethical, legal, and regulatory issues involved in human-subject research. Exercises in inductive reasoning skills are required. These skills include article search-and-retrieval, annotated bibliography generation, and manuscript abstractions necessary to perform critical reflections. Sources of information used to guide these processes will include the 2010 CONSORT Statement criteria and the Cochrane Handbook criteria and the texts.

Part II of this course will provide instruction in applied biostatistical principles necessary to plan and execute a clinical or outcomes-related research project with an emphasis on interpreting results stated in the medical literature, organizing alpha-numeric data and completing fundamental statistical analyses. This aspect of the course will also provide a basis for initiating discussions with statisticians about newly generated findings or engaging in pertinent discussions when larger complex studies are undertaken. Students will understand and develop skills related to descriptive and inferential statistics and develop a proficiency level necessary to complete work on a small research project. These skills include proficiency in research study design, data generation, data management, data analysis, and data display, including graphics. On-line exercises that cognitively reinforce critical content and statistical skills are required and may be completed in small groups or individually.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Antone Opekun
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 2, 3

Human Physiology I (HPPHY-64221)
This course is designed to provide the student an extensive understanding of human physiology from the cellular to the organ and body systems level with a focus on the mechanisms of normal organ function and the consequences of malfunction of the nervous, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal and digestive systems along with temperature regulation. Clinical examples that illustrate the consequences of malfunction are used to emphasize, by comparison, normal physiology.

Credit: 4 semester hours
Course Director: David Johnson
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 2, 3

Human Physiology II (HPPHY-62222)
This course is designed to provide an extensive understanding of human physiology from the cellular to the organ and body systems level with a major emphasis on the mechanisms of normal organ function and the consequences of malfunction of the endocrine and reproductive systems along with energy and metabolism, bone, and the physiology of normal pregnancy. Clinical examples that illustrate the consequences of malfunction are used to emphasize, by comparison, normal physiology

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: David Johnson
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 1

Immunology for Health Professions (HPIMM-62131)
This course will provide an overview of basic immunological concepts including components of the immune system, innate and adaptive immune responses. The immune responses against infectious microbes as well as immunologic diseases will also be addressed.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Elisabeth Shell
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 2

Medical Ethics (PAETH-62421)
The course introduces students from multiple disciplines to the basic concepts and language of medical ethics, presents relevant topics in medical ethics, and models the skills requisite to the application of medical ethics to clinical cases using small group sessions and clinical ethics rounds. The interdisciplinary nature of the course ensures that the breadth and depth of problems in the clinical arena are addressed.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Christi Guerrini
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 2

Pediatric (PAPED-62531)
The Pediatrics course is designed to introduce students to the most common health problems affecting the pediatric patient from the newborn period through adolescence. The lectures focus on health promotion, disease prevention and screening, pathology identification and management, education and counseling, and injury prevention for the pediatric patient and his/her family. The laboratory components focus on skills and knowledge needed in caring for pediatric patients.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Director: Elizabeth Elliott
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 3

Pharmacology I (PAPRM-63801)
This course promotes an understanding of the general principles of pharmacology and their application of these principles to patient care situations. Students will learn the mechanism of action of drugs in different therapeutic classes and understand how use of these drug interacts with the pathophysiology of the disease under treatment; learn the most common effects and side effects for prototypic drugs in each category; become comfortable with sources of information about drugs, drug side effects and drug interactions; learn the drug of choice for diseases; and know which drugs have potentially fatal side effects.

Credit: 3 semester hours
Course Director: Ramachandr Reddy
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 2, 3

Pharmacology II (PAPRM-62811)
This course continues the study of the mechanisms of action of drugs in different therapeutic classes and their effects on the pathophysiology of disease states under treatment.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Ramachandr Reddy
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 1

Physical Diagnosis I (PAPHD-66601)
The first semester of this course focuses on developing skills to perform a complete history and physical examination on patients over the spectrum of ages and clinical situations that a physician assistant may encounter in clinical practice. The learning experiences emphasize the principles, skills, routines and special tests appropriate for the assessment of disease involving the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. A secondary aim of this course is the development of skills in formulating an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan derived from information taken in the history and identified from the physical exam. The course will stress the accurate presentation of information in both written and oral forms.

Credit: 6 semester hours
Course Director: Stephanie DeSandro
Course Offered: Fall 1, Terms 1, 2, 3

Physical Diagnosis II (PAPHD-63611)
The second semester continues to develop skills in performing a complete and problem-specific history and physical examination on patients over the spectrum of ages and clinical situations. The learning experiences focus upon the principles, skills, routines and special tests appropriate for the assessment of diseases involving the eyes, ears, nose, throat, gastrointestinal, genitourinary, dermatological, musculoskeletal, and nervous systems. This semester will continue the development of an appropriate differential diagnosis and plan for the further evaluation and management of an identified problem with accurate presentation of information in both written and oral forms.

Credit: 3 semester hours
Course Director: Stephanie DeSandro
Course Offered: Spring 1, Terms 1, 2, 3

Problem Solving in Medicine I (PAPSM-61901)
This course assists students to develop their skills at differential diagnosis and problem identification through the integration of information presented in the Clinical Medicine and Physical Diagnosis courses. Multiple critical thinking sessions using team learning techniques are used to explore problems involving the heart and lungs.

Credit: 1 semester hour
Course Director: Elisabeth Shell
Course Offered: Fall 1, Term 3

Problem Solving in Medicine II (PAPSM-62911)
This course assists students to develop their skills at differential diagnosis and problem identification through the integration of information presented in the Clinical Medicine, Physical Diagnosis and Diagnostic Testing courses. Multiple critical thinking sessions using team learning techniques are used to explore problems involving the skin, abdomen, kidney, lower urinary tract, the eye, ear, nose and throat, musculoskeletal, special sensory, central and peripheral nervous systems, and the hematopoietic system.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Elisabeth Shell
Course Offered: Spring 1, Terms 1, 2, 3

Professional Role Issues I (PAPRI-62411)
This course provides students a historical perspective of the evolving professional, clinical and intra-professional roles carried out by physician assistants through a study of the organizational, political, legal and socioeconomic forces that have and continue to shape the profession. The activities of the course are likewise linked to a service learning requirement designed to develop the advocacy role of the Physician Assistant.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Carl Fasser
Course Offered: Spring 1, Terms 1, 2, 3

Spanish for Health Professions (PASPN-62441)
This language workshop provides students with the knowledge and skills required to conduct and interview and physical examination of a person with Spanish as the primary language.

Credit: 2 semester hours
Course Director: Guadalupe Quintanilla
Course Offered: Summer 1

Women’s Health (PAWHI-62521)
The course focuses on the normal physiologic and sexual development of women, health maintenance concerns of women at various life stages, and serves as an introduction to gynecologic/obstetric history taking and physical examination skills. The manifestation, evaluation, management, and treatment of common disease entities along with routine care for both gynecologic/obstetric patients are also addressed. The course facilitates the use of critical thinking skills along with appropriate clinical decision-making strategies so that students are able to provide a sensitive approach to preventive and therapeutic healthcare, recognize common gynecologic and obstetric problems, understand appropriate therapeutic interventions, and effectively provide patient education.

Credit: 2 credit hours
Director: Elissa Love
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 2

Clinical Readiness Exam (PACRE 60911)
The two-part CRE is comprehensive exam designed to assess the student’s ability to recognize the clinical manifestations of illness and injury using case vignettes and standardized patients. The vignettes cover the major body systems and encompass acute and chronic health problems seen in children and adults. The cases are often accompanied by color photographs that range from skin lesions to electrocardiograms. The patient scenarios are used to assess the student’s ability to select and perform components of the physical exam pertinent to the differential evaluation and management of a clinical problem. Performance on the CRE is used to judge the student’s readiness to enter the experiential learning phase of their training.

Credit: None
Course Director: Katherine Erdman
Course Offered: Spring 1, Term 3

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