The 30-month graduate program consists of a 13-month didactic phase and a 17-month clinical phase of instruction. The learning experience offered students uses an epidemiological approach to understanding health and disease in human populations, health maintenance and disease prevention, patient education and behavioral counseling, and the diagnostic and treatment fundamentals of medicine and surgery associated with the common manifestations of disease, illness and injury.

Physician Assistant Education

The first 13 months of the curriculum delivered over six academic periods provides students with a strong foundation in the behavioral, biological, social, ethical, diagnostic and therapeutic aspects of living upon which to place their subsequent studies and practice experiences within the clinical phase of the curriculum. The courses to be completed during the didactic phase of the curriculum are shown below. Team and evidence-based learning strategies are used extensively throughout the didactic phase of instruction as a means of fostering attitudes and skills essential to critical thinking and life-long learning.

The clinical phase of the curriculum offers students an in-depth exposure to individuals of both genders and all ages seeking preventive, acute and chronic disease management services. Over a period of 17 months, each student will complete nine required clinical rotations in the areas traditionally defined by emergency medicine, family medicine, geriatrics, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, physical medicine and rehabilitation, psychiatry and surgery plus two research seminar learning experiences. While assigned to various ambulatory, emergency, hospital, and long-term care settings each student will interview and examine patients, identify health care risks and problems, transmit patient information in verbal and written form to physicians, obtain specimens for diagnostic testing, participate in surgeries, monitor programs of evaluation and therapy, and discuss health risk behaviors with patients and families. These skills are coupled with the application of scientific concepts to further understand the pathologic processes underlying a wide range of injury and illness. It is the successful completion of this phase of the curriculum that prepares the student to deliver quality illness prevention, injury intervention and disease management services in a wide variety of practice settings.

Opportunities for Participation

  • Disease Base Instruction
  • Physical Diagnosis Instruction
  • Practice Based Teaching
  • Professionalism in Clinical Practice

Clinical Preceptor Recognition

  • Continuing Education Credits
  • Faculty Appointment
  • Letter of Agreement/Affiliation
  • Recognition Awards
  • Teaching Site Certificate