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Curriculum

Master of Medical Science Program - Physician Assistant Curriculum

Master of Medical Science – Physician Assistant Curriculum

The curriculum of the Physician Assistant entry-level program is dynamic and may be subject to changes over the course of the year.  Please visit the program’s website at www.emorypa.org for the most up-to-date information.

BAHS 7000                           Anatomy                5 credits

This course introduces students to structure of the human body.  Lectures, interactive, computer programs, and texts are chosen to assist in active laboratory learning. Students will plan, dissect, and present their findings as they pertain to specific course objectives.  Through critical thinking and active dissection students will learn a foundation of anatomy, and will also learn how to build upon this as their specialized interests continue to develop. 

 

BAHS 7001                           Foundations of Medical Science              2 credits

An introduction of the basic principles of biochemistry, microbiology and pharmacology taught in a modular format.  The biochemistry component prepares students for the clinical application of the principles in the organ system modules.  The pharmacology module covers basic principles of drug action, drug disposition, and drug toxicity, providing the foundation for the Pharmacotherapeutics content taught in the modules.

PAE 7002                              Intro to Epidemiology/Biostatistics          2 credits

Basic concepts of descriptive, analytic, and experimental epidemiology.  Topics covered will include measures of disease frequency, measures of data quality, probability, samples, populations, estimation, hypothesis testing, tests of  significance, p-values and the universal decision rule, confidence intervals, proportions, chi-square tests, linear regression and correlation, and overview of study designs, and bias in epidemiology studies, with an emphasis on flaws and fallacies in medical literature.

PAE 7100                              Becoming a Physician Assistant I            2 credits

The first of four courses in exploring the social, regulatory, ethical and professional aspects of becoming a physician assistant.  This semester focuses on developing effective communication skills with patients and other health care providers.  An emphasis on historical data collection using patient simulations and clinical experiences is included.  Basic principles of human behavior are introduced this semester as well.

PAE 7102                              Introduction to Patient Assessment        4 credits

This course focuses on developing foundational physical examination skills.  Didactic lectures on exam techniques and basic interpretation of physical exam findings are given.  Physical exam skills labs, patient simulations, and small group discussions provide opportunities to develop critical reasoning skills essential to patient evaluation and management.

PAE 7105                              Biomedical Ethics                                     2 credits

Examination of ethical rules, principles, and theories as they relate to health care delivery issues using a case presentation format and discussion of the ethical issues.  Application of these issues will continue through the system and population modules within case discussions.

PAE 7200                              Fundamentals of Dermatology                3 credits

This course provides an integrated approach to understanding the pathophysiology of dermatologic disorders and the rationale for their therapy.  Material is introduced in a stepwise fashion beginning with physiology, progressing to the pathophysiology, clinical features and treatment of representative disorders. Emphasis will be placed on an understanding of the basic functions of these organ systems, manifestation of disease both local and systemic, evaluation, diagnosis and treatment.

PAE 7201                              Fundamentals of Hematology                     2 credits

This course examines the physical manifestation, evaluation of laboratory and clinical data, differential diagnosis and treatment of major disorders of the hematologic system.  Included in this course are common laboratory tests used in the evaluation of other anatomic systems including the significance of abnormal findings.

PAE 7202                              Fundamentals of Otorhinolaryngology        2 credits

The course provides an integrated approach to understanding the pathophysiologic basis of disorders of the special sense organs as well as the pharmacological rationale for their therapy.  Students are introduced to the clinical approach to these disorders, including physical examination, clinical, laboratory, and radiographic findings and various management methods.  Cases are used throughout the course to support student integration of content into a unified approach to the patient.

PAE 7203                              Fundamentals of Cardiology                        5 credits

This course explores all aspects of cardiovascular medicine including examination, laboratory and imaging evaluation, diagnosis and clinical management of cardiovascular disorders.  In addition, the principles of electrocardiography and its applications to clinical practice are introduced.

PAE 7204                              Fundamentals of Pulmonology                     5 credits

This module includes the basic and medical sciences, physical examination, signs and symptoms, evaluation methods including arterial blood gases, diagnosis, management and treatment of pulmonary disorders.  Attention is focused on acute and chronic respiratory disturbances.  Cases are used throughout the course to support student integration of content into a unified approach to the patient.

PAE 7104                              Becoming a Physician Assistant II                2 credits

Discussion of topics of interest facing health care practitioners.  Emphasis on public health, health policy, and PA professional issues with continuing clinical experiences will dominate.  Health promotion and disease prevention topics related to the organ system modules will be presented. 

PAE 7205                              Fundamentals of Endocrinology                   3 credits

Manifestations, evaluation methods, diagnosis, management and treatment of endocrinologic disorders will be presented.  Major topics of the course include normal and abnormal sexual development, normal and abnormal growth and pubertal development, reproductive endocrinology, infertility, glucose homeostasis, diabetes, pituitary disorders, thyroid physiology and disease, adrenal disorders, endocrine hypertension, and disorders of mineral metabolism. Students will utilize clinical cases to integrate theory into practical management processes.

PAE 7206                              Fundamentals of Gastroenterology              4 credits

This course provides an integrated approach to understanding the pathophysiologic basis of gastrointestinal, hepatic and nutritional disorders as well as the pharmacological rationale for their therapy.  The nutrition section covers the basic science of human nutrition and relates the biochemical and physiological aspects of nutrition in health and disease Students are introduced to the clinical approach to these disorders, including physical examination, clinical, laboratory, and radiographic findings necessary for diagnosis and managements.

PAE 7207                              Fundamentals of Renal/GU                            4 credits

Renal and genitourinary disease are examined in this course including the physical manifestation of disease, examination, laboratory and imaging evaluation, diagnosis and clinical management of disorders including acid-base balance.   Cases are used throughout the course to support student integration of content into a unified approach to the patient.

PAE 7208                              Fundamentals of Rheumatology/Orthopedics   4 credits

This course explores all aspects of diseases of the bones and joints including the examination, laboratory and imaging evaluation, diagnosis and clinical management of associated etiologies. 

PAE 7209                              Fundamentals of Neurology                             3 credits

This course explores all aspects of diseases of the central and peripheral neurologic system including the examination, laboratory and imaging evaluation, diagnosis and clinical management of associated etiologies. 

PAE 7105                              Becoming a Physician Assistant III                   2 credits

Discussion centers around structures in society and in the profession that serve to enhance care and to protect both patients and physicians are the focus of this course.  Students will begin work on a professional portfolio.

PAE 7306                              Essentials of Pediatrics                                    3 credits

This course examines the physical and psychological fundamentals of normal growth and development. Focus is on the major pediatric illnesses and conditions, their signs, symptoms and treatment; immunization schedules and various medications used in the pediatric population, their doses and indication; the management of pediatric emergencies such as acute cardiac and respiratory arrest, anaphylaxis, seizures and trauma.

PAE 7300                              Essentials of Obstetrics & Gynecology             3 credits

This course is designed to provide an introduction to women's health, obstetrics and gynecology.  Screening, counseling, and health promotion are taught as components of the primary care of women.  Focus is on the evaluation of the reproductive health of women through the various life stages.

PAE 7301                              Essentials of Psychiatry                                    3 credits

Basic psychiatric manifestations and how to work with both patients and families exhibiting psychological problems are examined. Topics include psychiatric diagnosis, the effect of society on behavior, the basis of drug and alcohol abuse, and basic intervention and treatment modalities

PAE 7304                              Essentials of Geriatrics                                     3 credits

This course focuses on the special needs of the elder population with particular emphasis on providing the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize and manage common problems in older adults. 

PAE 7305                              Essentials of Surgical & Emergency Management      5 credits

This course provides an introduction to current diagnosis and management of acute trauma including thoracic injuries, fractures, facial injury, hemorrhagic shock, and head and neck injuries. Basic and advanced cardiac life support (BCLS & ACLS) including sudden death, chest pain, acute MI, dysrhythmia, cardiopulmonary pharmacology, and airway management are incorporated.  Emergency presentation and evaluation of acute respiratory failure, the acute abdomen, burns, poisoning, altered mental status, near-drowning, anaphylaxis, hypertensive crisis, acute ENT problems, and radiation emergencies.

PAE 7106                              Becoming a Physician Assistant IV                    2 credits

This course continues the discussion on professional development topics pertinent to employment and practice as a PA such as licensing and credentialing, medical coding and billing, avoiding malpractice, healthcare financing and delivery systems, and career and leadership opportunities. Students continue with their clinical encounters and continue with their professional portfolio.

PAE 7400                              Geriatrics and Psychiatry                                   5 credits

This divided rotation provides the student with exposure to the principles and practice of geriatrics and the diseases and conditions common to the elder population. The student will develop an increased understanding of the social, economic and environmental factors related to the elder and their family including end-of-life decision-making.  In addition, students will undertake a separate clinical experience in psychiatry to refine their ability to identify common psychiatric disorders and manage common out-patient conditions.

PAE 7407                              Family Medicine                                                 5 credits

This rotation provides the student with exposure to the principles and practice of family medicine.  Emphasis is on disease prevention and health maintenance in adults and children, throughout the lifespan. The student’s techniques in history-taking, physical examination and health behavior counseling will be refined. The student will develop an increased understanding of the social, economic and environmental factors related to the family and extended family.

PAE 7401                              General Surgery                                                5 credits

This required rotation provides experience in the management of patients who present with surgical problems. Preoperative preparation and evaluation of patients for surgery, intra-operative assistance, operative procedures, the care of surgical wounds and postoperative complications are stressed.

PAE 7402                              Emergency Medicine                                          5 credits

This rotation provides in-depth exposure to the illnesses and injuries sustained by adults and children that necessitate emergency care. The student is expected to assess different types of emergencies and to provide appropriate treatment under the supervision of the physician.  The student will participate as a member of a team in the assessment and care of major trauma and cardiac emergencies.

PAE 7403              Obstetrics/Gynecology                                                      5 credits

This rotation provides an exposure to problems and issues associated with women’s health care, primarily in the ambulatory setting.  Emphasis is placed on learning experiences in family planning and birth control, the recognition and treatment of sexually transmitted disease,  cancer detection and prevention, prenatal care, and the evaluation and treatment of common ambulatory gynecologic problems.  Students may have exposure to the delivery room and surgical suite.

PAE 7405                              Pediatrics                                                          5 credits

This rotation provides the student with experience in the ambulatory and institutionally-based care of neonates, infants, children and adolescents. Settings may include hospitals, clinics and private practice sites.  The rotation is intended to provide the opportunity to refine the techniques of history-taking and physical examination specific to the pediatric population, and to provide experience in parental education and guidance, appropriate milestone recognition, illness, injury, and accident prevention, and care unique to the needs of the adolescent patient.

PAE 7406                              Internal Medicine                                              5 credits

This team-based rotation is designed to involve the students in the all aspects of the care of the hospitalized patient.

PAE 7500                              Elective I                                                           5 credits

The student may choose any discipline, or may choose the Academic Medicine elective experience in which he or she would “sample”, under PA faculty mentorship and guidance, the classic roles of a PA educator including teaching, administration, research/scholarly activity, and continued involvement in a part-time primary care clinical rotation.

PAE 7501                              Elective II                                                          5 credits

The student may choose any discipline, or may choose the Academic Medicine elective experience in which he or she would “sample”, under PA faculty mentorship and guidance, the classic roles of a PA educator including teaching, administration, research/scholarly activity, and continued involvement in a part-time primary care clinical rotation.

PAE 7502                              Elective III                                                         5 credits

The student may choose any discipline, or may choose the Academic Medicine elective experience in which he or she would “sample”, under PA faculty mentorship and guidance, the classic roles of a PA educator including teaching, administration, research/scholarly activity, and continued involvement in a part-time primary care clinical rotation.

PAE 7600                              Senior Seminar                                                  4 credits

This the capstone experience for the physician assistant program. The purpose is three-fold:  to ascertain if the student has both the broad and specific knowledge expected of someone holding a master's degree; to determine whether the student has been able to integrate knowledge obtained from individual courses into unified concepts which link the students' own specialization to other fields of study and to complete their final research paper. The student must pass a written examination and a clinical skills examination in the form of an Objective Score of Clinical Evaluation (OSCE) to graduate.