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Course Descriptions

Based on experience with the charter class, the PA program has modified the curriculum. The new course descriptions are noted below and will be in effect for all incoming classes beginning in January 2015.

The new curriculum approach is noted below:

Academic Course Descriptions

Clinical Education Course Descriptions
 

Academic Course Descriptions 

PAS 500: Introduction to Medicine - This course will introduce the students to several areas important to the practice of medicine including anatomy, pharmacology, laboratory medicine, radiology and topics in Infectious Disease. Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program

PAS 502 Medical Physiology - This course offered early in the physician assistant program curriculum will review concepts of human physiology to strengthen the students’ core foundation of physiology knowledge.  Major themes regarding commonly occurring pathophysiologic processes will be introduced to prepare students for more in-depth learning about specific disease states and patient presentations in subsequent courses.  Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program

PAS 504 Introduction to History and Physical Exam - This course will introduce the students to the principles of patient-centered communication and medical interviewing that will be foundational in their development as physician assistants.  They will also begin to develop physical examination skills as they learn and practice the assessment of a patient’s general appearance and vital signs. Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program

PAS 506 Professional Issues Seminar - This course will introduce the students to several areas important to the professional development and practice of a physician assistant. These include the history of the physician assistant profession, the team-based approach to practice and physician assistant professional organizations. Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program               

PAS 510 Anatomy I - This course is designed to provide Physician Assistant students with a thorough, clinically relevant knowledge base in human gross anatomy.  The course utilizes lecture, embryologic correlation, human donor dissection, fresh tissue dissection, surface anatomy, and anatomic body painting to help students create this knowledge base.  This hands-on course is clinically oriented, with emphasis on anatomic relationships and procedural/surgical skills that students will see and use while in clinical practice.  Prerequisite: PAS 500-506

PAS 512 Pathophysiology I - This course is designed to follow PAS 502, Medical Physiology.  The course is a comprehensive study of the major pathophysiologic processes that affect the HEENT, dermatology, endocrine, hematology, oncology, pulmonary, cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems.  Emphasis is placed on pathophysiological conditions of clinical relevance, especially those that relate to primary care medicine.  The course utilizes lecture, small-group learning, student presentation, student writing, and written examination to help students achieve an understanding, both broad and specific, of how basic pathophysiologic concepts affect the organ systems above.  Prerequisite: PAS 500-506

PAS 514 Clinical Medicine I - An intensive study of human diseases and disorders from the perspectives of epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, progression, therapy and prognosis.  Emphasis will be on diseases common to primary care practices and the development of a differential diagnosis and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. Prerequisite: PAS 500-506

PAS 516 Pharmacology I - This course will provide an intensive study of the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and specific properties of medications used to treat HEENT, dermatology, endocrine, hematology, oncology, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and nutrition disorders. Students will also learn to write prescriptions and begin to explore how individual patient factors affect pharmacotherapeutic decision-making. Prerequisite: PAS 500-506

PAS 518 History & Physical Exam I - In this course students will learn to obtain medical history from patients presenting with HEENT, dermatology, endocrine, hematology, oncology, pulmonary, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal and nutrition disorders. In addition they will learn to correctly perform the physical examination of the head, eyes, ears, nose, throat, neck, heart, lungs and abdomen.  Prerequisite: PAS 500-506                  

PAS 520 Anatomy II - This course is designed to provide Physician Assistant students with a thorough, clinically relevant knowledge base in human gross anatomy.  The course utilizes lecture, embryologic correlation, human donor dissection, fresh tissue dissection, surface anatomy, and anatomic body painting to help students create this knowledge base.  This hands-on course is clinically oriented, with emphasis on anatomic relationships and procedural/surgical skills that students will see and use while in clinical practice.  Prerequisite: PAS 510

PAS 522 Pathophysiology II - This course is a comprehensive study of the major pathophysiologic processes that affect the neurologic, musculoskeletal, urology, nephrology, obstetric and gynecology systems.  Emphasis is placed on pathophysiological conditions of clinical relevance, especially those that relate to primary care medicine.  The course utilizes lecture, small-group learning, student presentation, student writing, and written examination to help students achieve an understanding, both broad and specific, of how basic pathophysiologic concepts affect the organ systems above.  Prerequisite: PAS 512

PAS 524 Clinical Medicine II - An intensive study of human diseases and disorders from the perspectives of epidemiology, etiology, clinical presentation, progression, therapy and prognosis.  Emphases will be on diseases common to primary care practices and the development of a differential diagnosis and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. Prerequisite: PAS 514

PAS 526 Pharmacology II - This course will provide an intensive study of the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and specific properties of medications used to treat musculoskeletal, neurology, urology and nephrology disorders. Students will also reinforce their prescription writing skills and continue to explore how individual patient factors affect pharmacotherapeutic decision-making. Prerequisite: PAS 516

PAS 528 History & Physical Exam II - In this course students will learn to obtain medical history from patients presenting with musculoskeletal, neurology, urology and nephrology disorders. In addition they will learn to correctly perform the physical examination of the musculoskeletal, neurologic, and genitourinary systems.  Prerequisite: PAS 518

PAS 530 Emergency Medicine - This course is designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients in an emergency room setting.  Students will learn the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, evaluation and management of urgent and emergent medical problems commonly encountered in hospital emergency departments. Prerequisites: PAS 524

PAS 532 Surgical Care -  This course is designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients with surgical conditions.  Students will learn the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, evaluation and management of disorders requiring surgical consultation and management. Prerequisites: Summer I Module courses

PAS 540 Special Populations - This course will allow the student to explore issues related to the compassionate, patient-centered care of special populations including geriatric, pediatric and a variety of underserved groups. Students will learn about childhood nutrition, growth and development, the functional assessment of the elderly and how to adapt their interview and physical examination techniques to the developmental, functional, educational and social level of individual patients. They will explore a variety of health needs and health systems issues that are important in the care of older adults. They will learn to identify vulnerable populations and to respond to the health disparities vulnerable groups often experience. Additionally they will learn about the preparation of patients for global travel, the primary social determinants of health, and the effects of emerging global health concerns on healthcare locally and globally. Prerequisite: Summer II Module courses

PAS 542 Reproductive Medicine & Sexual Health - This course is designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients with reproductive or sexual health concerns. Students will establish a foundational knowledge of obstetric and gynecologic disorders, as well as normal human sexuality and sexual dysfunction and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Prerequisite: Summer II Module

PAS 544 Behavioral Medicine - This course is designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients with behavioral medicine problems. Students will review the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of behavioral disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.  Prerequisite: Summer II Module

PAS 546 Advanced Clinical Reasoning -  This course creates a contextual environment in which students will apply concepts and skills acquired in their prior courses while learning to recognize knowledge deficits and identify resources that promote continued learning. The case-based approach will offer a contextual development of professional competencies characteristic of excellent physician assistant students and future clinicians.  Within a clinical scenario, they will strengthen their ability to synthesize clinical data and practice evidence-based medicine in their pharmacotherapeutic decision-making. Prerequisite: Summer I Module 

PAS 580 Master’s Project I - In this course, the students will learn the basic principles of research study design, epidemiology and biostatistics as well as the principles of evidence-based medicine. They will strengthen their abilities to develop a relevant clinical question, perform a review of the medical literature and critically appraise published articles in order to formulate an evidence- based response to their questions. These skills will prepare them for the execution of a scholarly project in PAS 680 Master’s Project II. Prerequisite: Fall I Module

PAS 582: Clinical Phase Preparation - This course is designed to prepare students to begin their core clinical experiences. Topics will include an introduction to medical ethics, patient safety principles, communication in the clinical setting, the use of electronic medical records, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training, professionalism, and an in-depth discussion of program requirements for progressing through the clinical year. Prerequisite: Completion of Fall I Module

Clinical Education Course Descriptions:

PAS 630 Primary Care -The Primary Care rotation is designed to give students exposure to the spectrum of adult outpatient medical practice.  Students will learn the principles of routine (well) care, management of acute illnesses, and management of chronic/multiple diagnoses. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582

PAS 632 Pediatrics - The Pediatric Medicine rotation is designed to give students exposure to the spectrum of pediatric practice, including care of infants, children and adolescents in routine well-child care and care of acute and chronic diseases.  The student will recognize the role that understanding the developmental stage of a patient plays in the approach to, examination of and treatment of a pediatric patient. Prerequisites: 500-582

PAS 634: Emergency Medicine - The Emergency Medicine clinical rotation is designed to teach students the recognition and treatment of acutely ill patients of all ages.  This rotation will require honing of the student’s triage skills; learning to recognize and manage those conditions that need immediate attention and prioritizing care for those conditions which are less urgent. Prerequisite: PAS 500-582

PAS 636: Inpatient Medicine - The Inpatient Medicine rotation is designed to give the student an overview of the care of hospitalized patients.  During this rotation the students will learn the indications for admission to the hospital and the care of a hospitalized patient.  The student will actively participate in the ongoing care of the patient, working with consulting services as needed and coordinating discharge planning. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582

PAS 638: Surgery -The Surgery clinical rotation is designed to give students experience in the care of patients undergoing elective or acute surgical procedures.  The student will perform the pre-operative history and physical; assist, when able, in the operating room; be involved in immediate post-operative care and stabilization; and assist with post-operative follow up. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582

PAS 640: Women’s Health -The Women’s Health rotation is designed to give the student practical experience in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of problems and issues associated with women’s health care.  Emphasis is placed on learning experiences in family planning and birth control, the recognition and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, cancer detection and prevention, prenatal care and the evaluation and treatment of common ambulatory gynecologic problems.  During this rotation the students augment and strengthen their skills in regard to a wide variety of problems seen in the primary care setting. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582

PAS 642: Behavioral Medicine - The Behavioral Medicine rotation is designed to give students practical experience in the diagnosis and management of psychiatric patients in the clinical setting.  Students will work to hone their ability to recognize psychiatric diagnoses in the outpatient and/or inpatient settings with the goal of applying their knowledge and skills to the many other disciplines of medicine and clinical practice. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582           

PAS 650 Elective 1 - The Elective rotation is intended to provide the student with supervised experiential training in an area that he/she might have a special interest in but was unable to experience during other clinical rotations. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582     

PAS 652 Elective 2 - The Elective rotation is intended to provide the student with supervised experiential training in an area that he/she might have a special interest in but was unable to experience during other clinical rotations. Prerequisites: PAS 500-582                       

PAS 670 Clinical Year Seminar 1 and PAS 672 Clinical Year Seminar 2 -The Clinical Year Seminar courses one and two are designed to augment the student’s clinical experiences by reinforcing acquisition of medical knowledge, supporting development of interpersonal communication skills, distinguishing traits that promote professional excellence, implementing improvements in practice performance by applying critically appraised medical literature, and recognizing the impact of systems-based processes on individual patient care.  Topics will be presented in a sequence that prepares students to transition from their student role to that of an autonomous member of a physician/physician assistant team. Prerequisite: Successful completion of the academic phase courses.

PAS 680 Master's Project II - In this course the students will develop a capstone Master’s project for which students will develop a relevant clinical question, perform a review of the medical literature and critically appraise published articles in order to formulate an evidence-based response to their questions. Under the mentorship of a faculty advisor each student will identify, develop and implement a project (evidenced-­-based medicine review or original research project) and present the project in the form of a professional article and formal presentation. Prerequisite: Fall II Module