skip to content »

Physician Assistant Program

Houston, Texas

Anatomy instruction at Baylor College of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program
not shown on screen

Clinical Curriculum

The 17-month clinical rotation phase of the curriculum is divided into four experiential learning cores.

  • The 36-week Clinical Core provides in-depth instruction in the evaluation and management of disease and injury alongside medical students, residents and faculty in emergency medicine, internal medicine (inpatient and outpatient), obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics (inpatient and outpatient), psychiatry and behavioral medicine, and surgery.
  • The eight-week Advanced Core is comprised of two four-week rotations in geriatric medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation, provided within the affiliated institutions and community practice settings of Baylor College of Medicine. The training experiences are used to prepare PA students to deliver health care services to diverse patient populations of all ages with a range of acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions.
  • The remaining two eight week cores – Research and Integration – are carried out in the final four months of the clinical phase of the program. The Master’s Paper Project is brought to closure during the four-week research practicum (Research 1) and a four-week Master’s Paper preparation period (Research 2). When completing the Research Core students come out of the clinical setting and work directly with their assigned faculty mentors. The final eight-week Family and Community Medicine rotation constitutes the Integration Core where students are assigned to practices in rural community settings across Texas. Each of these settings emphasizes the principles and practices of community-oriented primary care offering the student greater understanding of the health and disease status of individuals in the psychosocial and economic context of the family.
Core Clinical Curriculum
4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks 4 weeks Weeks
Clinical Core Internal Medicine-Inpatient Internal Medicine-Outpatient Obstetrics Gynecology Psychiatry 36
Pediatrics-Inpatient Pediatrics-Outpatient Emergency Medicine Surgery --
Advanced Core Geriatrics Physical Medicine Rehabilitation -- -- -- 8
Research Core Research 1 Research 2 -- -- -- 8
Integration Core Community Medicine -- -- -- 8
Total 60

Clinical Course Description

The below course descriptions reflect the current clinical curriculum. Please note that the clinical curriculum is continuously being reviewed to ensure the quality and applicability of the clinical experiences. Curriculum changes can and do occur as a part of this continuous quality improvement process.

71521 PACC Cultural Competency I

This course builds on the students’ cultural awareness and sensitivity in dealing with patients from different cultures through the exploration of personal bias, communication styles, belief systems, health care practices, family roles, and their impact on the clinical encounter using the skill of crucial reflection.
Credits 3

74681 PAERM Emergency Medicine

The core Emergency Medicine rotation provides an in-depth exposure to the illnesses and injuries sustained by children and adults that necessitate emergency care. The educational experiences emphasize the focusing of interview and examination skills and performing of techniques and procedures essential to the proper management of surgical illness and injury.
Credits: 4

678731 PACFM Family and Community Medicine

This applied integration core rotation provides an exposure to the principles and practices of community-oriented primary care with an emphasis on disease prevention and health maintenance in adults as well as the opportunity to further techniques in history taking, physical examination, and health behavior counseling. Students also gain insight to the socio-environmental factors effecting the provision of health care services.
Credits: 8

74721 PAGER Geriatrics

This advanced clinical core rotation provides an opportunity to apply knowledge of the physiological, behavioral, psychological and sociological changes associated with aging to the multidimensional assessment of elderly individuals. The student acts as a member of an interdisciplinary team of health professionals managing disorders common to older individuals with particular attention to the maintenance of autonomy across alternative care settings.
Credits: 4

78621 PAIMI Internal Medicine - Inpatient

During this core rotation the student will learn to apply basic medical knowledge to the evaluation of problems encountered on a general medicine service. The formulation of an understanding of the various medical disorders in specific patients is accomplished during the accurate collection of data, the identification of problems, and the development of a plan for each problem. The student likewise learns to view the patient in a broader context because of the emphasis given to the emotional and social needs of the individual.
Credits: 8

74631 PAIMO Internal Medicine - Outpatient

During this core rotation the student will learn to apply basic medical knowledge to the evaluation of problems encountered in an ambulatory clinic. The formulation of an understanding of the various medical disorders in specific patients is accomplished during the accurate collection of data, the identification of problems, and the development of a plan for each problem. The student likewise learns to view the patient in a broader context because of the emphasis given to the emotional and social needs of the individual.
Credits: 4

74641 PAGYN Obstetrics and Gynecology

The core OB/GYN rotation exposes students to the spectrum of problems and issues associated with women's health care primarily in an ambulatory setting. The learning experiences emphasize family planning and birth control, sexually transmitted disease recognition and treatment, cancer detection, prenatal care, the evaluation of common gynecologic problems, and offer exposures to delivery and the surgical management of GYN disorders.
Credits: 4

78751 PAPDI Pediatrics - Inpatient

During this core rotation the student learns to apply basic medical knowledge and skills to the evaluation of problems encountered on a general pediatric service. The emphasis in this setting is on the provision of secondary and tertiary care to a child from birth through adolescence.
Credits: 8

74761 PAPDO Pediatrics – Outpatient

During this core rotation the student learns to apply basic medical knowledge and skills to the evaluation of problems encountered in an ambulatory pediatric practice. The emphasis in this setting is on the provision of primary and secondary care to a child from birth through adolescence.
Credits: 4

71511 PAPRI Professional Role Issues II

This course introduces students to jurisprudence and professional practice issues. Through lectures, seminars, and individual assignments the student will learn about the healthcare marketplace, Texas medical jurisprudence, risk management, and professional practice issues to include employment and credentialing, insurance reimbursement, and medical coding. The course also addresses the alternative roles played by PAs in the community and the therapeutic uses for common drugs.
Credits: 1

71521 PACC Cultural Competency II

This clinical year course will continue the exploration of the impact of personal bias, communication styles, provider and patient belief systems, alternative health care practices, and family roles on the clinical encounter and physician assistant student role. Reflection journals grounded in critical incident analysis will be used to assist students in their assessment of cultural beliefs and practices that influence patient-provider interactions while assisting students better understand the extent to which language discordance influences access to and outcomes of care.

Credits: 1

74671 PPSY Psychiatry

This core rotation is designed to provide an understanding of the behavioral components of health, disease and disability. Exposure to patients with a variety of emotional illnesses and disabilities are used to develop informed history taking and mental status examination skills abilities to recognize and categorize psychiatric disturbances and techniques of early intervention and psychiatric referral.
Credits: 4

74691 PASUR Surgery

This core rotation provides an orientation to patients of various ages with surgically manageable disease. The emphasis of the learning experiences are on the preoperative evaluation and preparation of patients for surgery; assistance during the intra-operative period to develop an understanding of team member roles and operative procedures; and the care of surgical wounds and post-operative complications.
Credits: 4

74531 PARS1 Research I

The first research seminar expands upon design issues addressed in the research methods course with particular attention paid to the identification of literature search strategies for each student’s Masters Paper Project, selection of works to be included in various sections of the Master’s Paper, clarification of questions surrounding data collection and strategies of analysis, and generation of the first draft of the paper and final poster through the methods section. All students are required to make a formal presentation of their research to the seminar group for review and comment.

Credits: 4


74541 PARS2 Research II

The second research seminar involves continuing review of the drafted paper narrative with particular attention to the results of the data analysis and a discussion of the implications of the findings. Students are required to present the results of their research to the group for review and comment and complete the outline for their subsequent poster presentation during the annual research day.
Credits: 4


74741 PASEL Selective

One 4-week selective rotations is available for clinical students to pursue additional clinical experience in areas of their choosing. Selective rotation opportunities can be selected from the Medical School Elective Rotation book, or arranged directly with the PA Program clinical coordinators in areas of the student’s choosing. Appropriate rotation sites include primary care practice, core rotation sites, specialty practices, alternative medicine sites, and other community sites.
Credits: 4 each

76781 PAPMR Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

This clinical core rotation emphasizes medical rehabilitation in the adult population to enhance maintenance of independence in daily personal care and ambulatory household and community activities. It is designed to enable the student to develop skills in the examination of the spine and extremities; develop knowledge of basic kinesiology and biomechanics; and to begin to understand techniques of dynamic assessment. The student will perform comprehensive exams of the neurologic, muscular and skeletal system in young, mature and older adults while learning about the unique aspects of medical care of persons with major trauma, traumatic brain injury, amputation, and spinal cord injury.
Credits: 4

74800 PAMPP Master's Paper

This clinical core rotation emphasizes medical rehabilitation in the adult population to enhance maintenance of independence in daily personal care and ambulatory household and community activities. It is designed to enable the student to develop skills in the examination of the spine and extremities; develop knowledge of basic kinesiology and biomechanics; and to begin to understand techniques of dynamic assessment. The student will perform comprehensive exams of the neurologic, muscular and skeletal system in young, mature and older adults while learning about the unique aspects of medical care of persons with major trauma, traumatic brain injury, amputation, and spinal cord injury.
Credits: 4

E-mail this page to a friend