Curriculum Approach (for the Classes of 2015 and 2016)

This 27-month program engages students through an innovative systems-based curriculum that in addition to large group discussion utilizes small group discussion, hands-on clinical skills labs, simulated patient experiences, lecture and patient scenario discussions. Our unique Continued Learning and Competency Development (CLCD) course series prepares students to be successful clinicians. CLCD provides a clinical context in which students will learn to apply their new medical knowledge to a patient care scenario. CLCD builds on existing learner-centered models by guiding students to reapply knowledge and build competence in all areas of the Competencies for the Physician Assistant Profession.

The required Master’s Project supports and promotes career and professional development based on each student’s individual goals.  The clinical education phase consists of seven required rotations and two electives.  Clinical sites are located throughout the central area of North Carolina.

PA Courses and Credit Hours

 Department of Physician Assistant Studies Academic Curriculum  
Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine 6
PAS 502 Medical Physiology 2
PAS 510 Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose & Throat (HEENT) 4.5
PAS 512 Infectious Disease 1.5
PAS 514 Endocrinology 3
PAS 516 Hematology 1.5
PAS 518 Pulmonary 3
PAS 520 Cardiovascular 5
PAS 522 Gastrointestinal 3
PAS 524 Nutrition 1
PAS 526 Neurology 4.5
PAS 528 Musculoskeletal 4.5
PAS 530 Oncology 3
PAS 532 Urology & Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) 1.5
PAS 534 Nephrology 3
PAS 536 Obstetrics & Gynecology 4.5
PAS 538 Human Sexuality 1.5
PAS 540 Behavioral Medicine 4.5
PAS 542 Dermatology 1
PAS 550 Introduction to Emergency Medicine 3
PAS 552 Introduction to Surgical Care 2
PAS 554 Introduction to Pediatrics 1.5
PAS 556 Geriatrics 1
PAS 558 Underserved Populations 1.5
PAS 570 Continued Learning and Competency Development (CLCD) 1 5
PAS 572 CLCD 2 5
PAS 574 CLCD 3 5
PAS 576 CLCD 4 2
PAS 580 Master’s Project I 2
 Sub-Total Academic Year Credit Hours86.5
 Department of Physical Assistant Studies Clinical Education Curriculum  
Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
PAS 630 Primary Care 3
PAS 632 Pediatrics 3
PAS 634 Emergency Medicine 3
PAS 636 Inpatient Medicine 3
PAS 638 Surgery 3
PAS 640 Women's Health 1.5
PAS 642 Behavioral Medicine 1.5
PAS 650 Elective 1 3
PAS 652 Elective 2 3
PAS 670 CLCD 5 2
PAS 672 CLCD 6 2
PAS 680 Master's Project 2 2
 Sub-Total Clinical Education Phase Credit Hours30
 Total Credit Hours116.5

Course Descriptions

Academic Course Descriptions

Clinical Education Course Descriptions
 

Academic Course Descriptions 

PAS 500: Introduction to Medicine (6 cr.)  This first course in the physician assistant curriculum will introduce the students to several areas important to the practice of medicine including anatomy, clinical skill development, pharmacology and laboratory medicine.  Students will examine learning methods to facilitate their academic success, explore the intersection of public health with medicine and learn to identify and appraise medical literature evidence to support their clinical decision-making.  In addition, they will develop relationships with their academic advisors, and acquire a foundational understanding of the elements of professionalism that will be necessary for their success as Elon PA students and in their future professional lives.  Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program

PAS 502: Medical Physiology (2 cr.) 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 the subsequent systems-based curriculum.  Prerequisite: Admission to the Elon Physician Assistant Program

PAS 510: Head, Eyes, Ears, Nose Throat (HEENT) (4.5 cr.) This course is the first in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology; establish a foundational knowledge of HEENT disorders; acquire HEENT problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 512: Infectious Disease (1.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of infectious disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Prerequisite: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 514: Endocrinology (3 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of endocrine disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisite: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 516: Hematology (1.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of hematologic disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 518: Pulmonary (3 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of pulmonary disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisite: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 520: Cardiovascular (5 cr.)  This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of cardiovascular disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 522: Gastrointestinal (3 cr.)  This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of gastrointestinal disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 524 Nutrition (1 cr.)  This course is the next in a series of organ system-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the basic principles of sound nutrition, establish a foundational knowledge of nutritional disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 526 Neurology (4.5 cr.)  This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of neurologic disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 528 Musculoskeletal (4.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of musculoskeletal disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 530: Oncology (3 cr.)  This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of oncology disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisite: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 532: Urology & STIs (1.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of urologic disorders and sexually transmitted infections, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 534: Nephrology (3 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of nephrologic disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 536: Obstetrics and Gynecology (4.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of obstetric and gynecologic disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 538: Human Sexuality (1.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of normal human sexuality and sexual dysfunction, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 540: Behavioral Medicine (4.5 cr.) This course is the next in a series of organ systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of behavioral disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.  Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 542: Dermatology (1 cr.)  This course is one in a series of systems-based courses designed to prepare students to evaluate and treat patients. Students will learn the relevant anatomy and pathophysiology, establish a foundational knowledge of dermatology disorders, and acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills.    Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 550: Introduction to Emergency Medicine (3 cr.)  This course is one in a series of population-based courses 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 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 552: Introduction to Surgical Care (2 cr.)  This course is next in a series of population-based courses 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: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 554: Introduction to Pediatrics (1.5 cr.) This course is one of a series of population-based courses designed to prepare students to effectively evaluate and treat pediatric patients.  Students will learn about childhood nutrition, growth and development, and how to adapt their interview and physical examination techniques to the developmental level of individual patients.  In addition, they will be exposed to clinical issues unique to pediatric patients.  Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 556: Geriatrics (1 cr.) This course is one in a series of population-based courses designed to prepare students to provide effective, compassionate healthcare to older adults.  They will learn to adapt their communication and examination techniques to the age and functional status of the patient and will explore a variety of health needs and health systems issues that are important in the care of older adults. Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 558: Underserved populations (1.5 cr.)  This course is one in a series of population-based courses designed to teach students to identify vulnerable populations and to respond to the health disparities vulnerable groups often experience.  They will develop the skills to capably provide patient-centered care across cultural boundaries. 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. Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology


PAS 570, 572 & 574: Continued Learning and Competency Development I, II and III (5 cr. per course)  This three course series creates a contextual environment in which students will apply concepts and skills acquired in their previous 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 hone interpersonal communication and patient care skills as well as continue to explore issues of professionalism, problem-based learning and improvement and systems-based practice. Prerequisites: PAS 500 through PAS 542 


PAS 576: Clinical Learning and Competency Development (CLCD) 4 (2 cr.) This course is designed to prepare students to begin their core clinical experiences. Topics will include 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. Prerequisites: PAS 500 Introduction to Medicine and PAS 502 Medical Physiology

PAS 580 and 680: Masters Project 1 and 2 (2 cr. per course) The Masters Project is a capstone experience designed to allow physician assistant students the opportunity to develop traits that will empower continued development of professional excellence after graduation in one of four main areas: patient care, education, research or service and leadership.  The course provides all students with the essential framework required to engage in scholarly activity and develop professionally.  Students will identify, develop and implement a scholarly project under the mentorship of a faculty advisor and present their project in the form of a professional article and formal presentation. Prerequisites: PAS 500-542


Clinical Education Course Descriptions

PAS 630: Primary Care (3 cr.) 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 500-580 


PAS 632 Pediatrics (3 cr.) 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: PAS 500-580


PAS 634: Emergency Medicine (3 cr.) 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 500-580


PAS 636: Inpatient Medicine (3 cr.)   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 500-580


PAS 638: Surgery (3 cr.)  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 500-580


PAS 640: Women’s Health (1.5 cr.) 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 500-580


PAS 642: Behavioral Medicine (1.5cr.) 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.

PAS 650, 652, Electives 1 and 2 (1.5 cr., 3 cr.) 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 500-580


PAS 670 and 672: Continuing Competency and Learning Development 5 & 6 (2 cr. per course) The Continued Learning and Competency Development courses five and six 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. Prerequisites: PAS 500-580