Didactic Year Schedule & Course Descriptions

Didactic Year Schedule

Summer Fall Spring
Applied Anatomy
Foundations of Medicine
Patient Care I
Prof/Health Policy Issues        
Clinical Medicine I & II
Pharmacotherapeutics I        
Diagnostic Skills I
Patient Care II
Prof/Health Policy II
Clinical Medicine III & IV
Pharmacotherapeutics II        
Diagnostic Skills II
Patient Care III
Prof/Health Policy III


Course Descriptions

Applied Anatomy Small groups of students dissect cadavers, view prosections and utilize virtual anatomy software to learn gross anatomic structures that are essential to the understanding of medicine and the practice of general surgery. Applied Anatomy is integrated with Patient Care I.

Patient Care I-III In Patient Care I, techniques specific to the adult history and physical examination are taught; the anatomy of a body system immediately precedes the lectures and practice labs where students learn the physical examination skills required to examine that same area of the body. In weekly small group meetings, they develop the critical thinking skills necessary to synthesize and apply the module content to real patient cases. Seminars in the practice of humanistic medicine will begin a life-long journey as a self-reflective and empathetic, patient-centered healthcare provider.

Foundations of Medicine This course introduces students to the basics of cell physiology and genetics that are essential to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease and clinical medicine. A primer in microbiology prepares students for the study of infectious disease and the basics of pharmacology are a prelude to courses in pharmacotherapeutics.

Professional and Health Policy Issues Three terms of Professional and Health Policy Issues begins in the summer with discussions ranging from the history of the PA profession, types of healthcare settings, healthcare and public health policy to the expectations of a medical workplace relative to ethical and professional behavior.

Clinical Medicine I-IV Clinical Medicine courses span all 3 terms of the didactic year. This lecture-based course will provide physician assistant students with instruction in epidemiology, physiology, and pathophysiology, and the clinical presentation of diseases commonly encountered in primary care medicine and the disciplines of surgery and emergency medicine.

Diagnostic Skills I-II This lecture and laboratory/small group based course is designed to provide students with functional knowledge in clinical laboratory medicine, radiological imaging and other diagnostic modalities used for diagnosing, treating and managing patients. Normal and abnormal findings will also be covered along with their correlation to the diseases. In addition, students will be afforded the time to review and practice history taking and physical examination skills.

Pharmacotherapeutics I-II Pharmacotherapeutics is the study of the therapeutic uses and effects of drugs. This lecture-based course will introduce the students to the general principles and the concepts of pharmacotherapeutics and drug product selection, including issues of efficacy, potential toxicities, compliance, monitoring parameters, drug interaction, and cost. A rational and evidence based approach to the selection of medications to be prescribed, and studies of medications used in the treatment of acute and chronic illnesses across the lifespan will be presented.