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Physician Assistant Program

Houston, Texas

Anatomy instruction at Baylor College of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program
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Curriculum Overview

The curriculum of the PA Program offers students from a variety of educational backgrounds a challenging course of study designed to prepare them for future roles in clinical practice, education, research, policy, and patient advocacy. In addition to building the competencies essential to the provision of quality patient care, the innovative 30-month curriculum exposes students to the administrative sciences that serve as the organizational, informational and financial underpinnings of clinical practice important to systems-based practice as an entry-level PA provider. The coursework and experiential activities associated with the research component of the curriculum are designed to build the knowledge and skills required for practice-based learning and improvement upon entry to clinical practice. Interdisciplinary didactic and clinical curriculum learning experiences alongside nurse anesthesia and medical students, residents, fellows, and faculty preceptors are used to assist students develop these core competencies.

Those elements shaping the content and learning experiences offered PA students include advances in molecular biology, genetics, immunology, and the information sciences coupled with more sensitive diagnostic technologies. These advances are continuing to transform the methods and techniques of clinical practice. Changes in the economics of medical care along with clarification of ethical policies surrounding the provision of care have likewise altered the manner in which health will be accessed and delivered in the future. Students are taught to use an epidemiological approach to understanding health and disease in human populations, the process of differential diagnosis as a skill fundamental to the assessment, diagnosis and treatment of illness and injury, and interview and counseling skills to identify and modify lifestyle practices that place persons at greater risk of illness using the tools of motivational interviewing and behavioral counseling.

Curriculum Structure

The 30-month curriculum of the PA Program is divided into a two semester 13-month didactic and a three semester 17-month clinical phase of instruction as shown in the below table. By the end of the didactic phase, a successful student will have completed 25 courses and earned 68 semester credits. Another 16 courses and 66 semester credits will be earned by the end of the clinical phase of the curriculum.

Credit Hrs
Semester Hrs
Didactic Year (13 months)
Fall Semester (20 weeks)
AHANA
64101
Anatomical Sciences 1
4
AHBIO
63121
Clinical Biochemistry
3
AHPHY
64221
Human Physiology
4
PAPRM
63801
Pharmacology 1
3
AHIMM
62131
Clinical Immunology
2
AHGEN
61141
Clinical Genetics
1
PACMD
65501
Clinical Medicine 1
5
PAPHD
66601
Physical Diagnosis 1
6
PAPSM
91901
Problem Solving in Medicine 1
1
PACLP
62301
Clinical Prevention
2
PAHBC
62201
Health Behavioral Counseling
2
PACC
62401
Cultural Competency
2
35 credits
Spring Semester (24 weeks)
AHANA
62102
Anatomical Sciences 2
2
AHPHY
62222
Human Physiology 2
2
PAPRM
62811
Pharmacology 2
2
PACMD
66511
Clinical Medicine 2
6
PAPHD
63611
Physical Diagnosis 2
3
PAPSM
62911
Problem Solving in Medicine
2
PAWHI
62521
Women’s Health
2
PAPED
62531
Pediatrics
2
PABDN
64431
Behavioral Dynamics
4
PAECG
62711
Electrocardiography
2
PAETH
62421
Medical Ethics
2
PAPRI
62411
Professional Role Issues 1
2
AHHRM
63441
Health Research Methods
2
33 credits
Clinical Year (17 months)
PAIMI
78621
Internal Medicine-Inpatient
8
PAIMO
75631
Internal Medicine-Outpatient
4
PAGYN
74641
Obstetrics and Gynecology
4
PAPDI
74751
Pediatric-Inpatient
4
PAPDO
74761
Pediatric-Outpatient
4
PAPSY
74671
Psychiatry
4
PAERM
74681
Emergency Medicine
4
PASUR
74691
Surgery
4
PAGER
74721
Geriatric Medicine
4
PAPMR
74781
Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
4
PACFM
78731
Community Family Medicine
8
PARS1
74531
Research 1
4
PARS2
74541
Research 2
4
PAMPP
74800
Master’s Paper
4
PAPRI
71511
Professional Role Issues 2
1
PACC
71521
Cultural Competency 2
1
66 credits
Didactic Year Total
68
Clinical Year Total
66
Total Credits for 30 month Program
134 credits

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