Physician Assistant Studies (PAS)

College of Health Sciences

How to Read Course Descriptions

PAS 502. Legal and Ethical Practice. 2 Credits.

This lecture and group discussion course will challenge physician assistant students to identify and apply principles of academic integrity, intellectual honesty, professional conduct, and legal and ethical practice. This course will use lecture, small group discussions, and cases to understand the implications of decision-making in academic settings and professional practice.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 502 requires a corequisite of PAS 503.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 503. Healthcare and the Evolving Role of the PA. 1 Credit.

This lecture and seminar course will introduce students to the past, present, and future professional issues and policies relevant to clinical practice as a physician assistant. Students will begin to understand the members of the healthcare team, healthcare delivery systems, health policy, and opportunities and challenges of working in current and potential future healthcare systems. Students will be introduced to factors related to providing care to patients of diverse populations and will assess the impact of healthcare disparities on individual and population health.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 510. Patient Communication and Assessment. 4 Credits.

This lecture and group discussion course allows physician assistant students to develop the knowledge, communication skills, and techniques required to obtain and record a patient's medical history and identify normal and abnormal history or physical examination findings. This course emphasizes the interpersonal and communication skills that promote the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and other health professionals.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 510 requires prerequisites of SMD 500 and SMD 501, and a corequisite of PAS 511.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 511. Physical Diagnosis Lab. 2 Credits.

LAB (2), DIS (1)
This laboratory course allows physician assistant students to develop the skills necessary to use medical equipment with proper technique, to perform complete and problem-oriented physical examinations, to document patient encounters, and to deliver oral presentations through structured laboratory exercises, simulated patient experiences, and community experiences.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 511 requires prerequisites of SMD 500 and SMD 501, and a corequisite of PAS 510.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 512. Physiology and Pharmacology. 3 Credits.

This lecture course will reintroduce normal physiologic process by system and the genetic and molecular mechanisms of disease. Physician assistant students will also be introduced to pharmacotherapeutic agents' effects on biologic systems and the body's response to these agents. Students will begin to identify metabolic processes, drug classes, and mechanisms of action of commonly utilized over-the-counter, prescription, and illicit drugs.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 512 requires prerequisites of SMD 500 and SMD 501, and a corequisite of PAS 513.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 513. Medical Pathophysiology and Clinical Microbiology. 4 Credits.

This lecture and case-based course will allow physician assistant students to determine the impact of infectious, autoimmune, and pathologic etiologies on body function. Lectures and cases will focus on the pathogenesis and natural history of common diseases by system and will correlate pathophysiology with clinical presentation.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 513 requires prerequisites of SMD 500 and SMD 501, and a corequisite of PAS 512.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 514. Introduction to Diagnostics. 2 Credits.

LEC (1), LAB (2)
This lecture, small group discussion, and laboratory course will allow physician assistant students to identify common diagnostic studies, interpret basic electrocardiograms, and evaluate basic medical imaging.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 514 requires prerequisites of SMD 500 and SMD 501, and a corequisite of PAS 512.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 515. Professional Issues and Healthcare Policy. 2 Credits.

This lecture and seminar course will introduce students to the professional issues and policies relevant to clinical practice as a physician assistant. Lectures on the healthcare system, the public health system, patient advocacy, health policy, medical reimbursement, documentation of care, coding, and billing will be supplemented with experiences with clinical providers in order for students to more fully understand the opportunities and challenges of working in current and potential future healthcare systems.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 515 requires a prerequisite of PAS 503.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 520. Clinical Medicine for the Lifespan I. 6 Credits.

This lecture and case-based course will allow physician assistant students to articulate a comprehensive understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of common acute and chronic diseases encountered in primary care settings for patients across the lifespan. Additionally, students will be able to identify differential diagnoses and appropriate workup for commonly encountered chief complaints in clinical practice. The course includes modules in otorhinolaryngology, pulmonology, cardiology, gastroenterology, rheumatology, musculoskeletal, and neurology.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 520 requires prerequisites of PAS 510, PAS 512, and PAS 513; and corequisites of PAS 521, PAS 522, and PAS 524.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 521. Pharmacotherapeutics. 4 Credits.

This lecture and case study seminar course will allow physician assistant students to apply the principles of pharmacology, including the absorption, bioavailability, distribution, metabolism, excretion, classification, and mechanism of action of commonly prescribed medications and illicit drugs. Additionally, this course will allow students to select common over-the-counter and prescription drugs for appropriate use in clinical practice, based on clinical indications, contraindications, dosing, side effects, and monitoring of commonly used medications.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 521 requires a prerequisite of PAS 512; and corequisites of PAS 520, PAS 522, and PAS 524.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 522. Emergent and Surgical Medicine. 4 Credits.

This lecture and case-based course will allow physician assistant students to articulate a comprehensive understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of common acute and emergent presentations of diseases for patients across the lifespan. Students will also identify surgical vs. nonsurgical presentation and management of diseases commonly encountered. Additionally, students will be able to identify differential diagnoses and appropriate workup for commonly encountered chief complaints in clinical practice.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 522 requires prerequisites of PAS 510, PAS 512, PAS 513, and PAS 514; and corequisites of PAS 520, PAS 521, and PAS 524.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 523. Clinical Reasoning and Evidence-Based Practice. 2 Credits.

This small group integrative seminar course will allow physician assistant students to develop clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities. Students will utilize clinical case studies, role-playing, and standardized patient encounters to guide, develop, and refine directed history and physical examination, clinical reasoning, case presentation, and patient counseling skills. Application of evidence-based medicine principles to clinical scenarios will be integral as part of patient management.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 523 requires prerequisites of PAS 510, PAS 512, and PAS 513; and corequisites of PAS 520, PAS 521, PAS 522, and PAS 524.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 524. Diagnostics Seminar. 2 Credits.

LEC (1), LAB (2)
This lecture and case-based course will allow physician assistant students to select and interpret commonly ordered diagnostic studies. Students will also prescribe the most appropriate screening and diagnostic modalities for common disease processes.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 524 requires a prerequisite of PAS 514; and corequisites of PAS 520 and PAS 523.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 525. Interprofessional Practice Seminar. 2 Credits.

This integrative seminar course will allow students to synthesize history-taking and physical diagnosis skills with the medical, diagnostic, and pharmacologic knowledge gained throughout the didactic phase of the physician assistant program in order to apply it to simulated patient presentations. Working individually, in small peer groups, and in interprofessional teams, students will interact with patient simulators and standardized patients to manage patients or brainstorm solutions to current medical issues.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 525 requires prerequisites of PAS 502, PAS 503, PAS 510, and PAS 515; and corequisites of PAS 520 and PAS 523.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 530. Clinical Medicine for the Lifespan II. 6 Credits.

This lecture course will allow physician assistant students to articulate a comprehensive understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of common acute and chronic diseases encountered in primary care settings for patients across the lifespan. Additionally, given a chief complaint, the students will be able to identify the differential diagnosis and appropriate workup in clinical practice. The course includes modules in ophthalmology, oral health, dermatology, infectious disease, hematology/oncology, endocrinology, nephrology, genitourinary, and reproduction.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 530 requires a prerequisite of PAS 520.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 531. Health Promotion and Patient Safety. 2 Credits.

LEC (1), DIS (1)
This lecture and group discussion course will allow physician assistant students to gain a fundamental understanding of the social determinants of health, inclusivity, patient advocacy, patient safety, quality improvement, and the impact of each on clinical practice. Through lecture, group discussion, directed assignments, and simulated patient encounters, this course will provide students with practical approaches to provide basic counseling and patient education skills that are patient-centered, culturally sensitive, and focused on helping patients and families mitigate modifiable risk factors for disease and maintain patient safety.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 531 requires a prerequisite of PAS 520.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 532. Applied Behavioral Health. 2 Credits.

This lecture course will allow physician assistant students to articulate a comprehensive understanding of pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis, and management of acute and chronic behavioral health and psychiatric issues encountered for patients across the lifespan. This course will also focus on end-of-life issues, human sexuality, normal and abnormal development across the lifespan, patient response to stress, illness and injury, substance use disorders, violence identification and prevention, and provider wellness. This course will provide students with practical approaches to provide basic counseling and patient education skills that are patient-centered, culturally sensitive, and focused on helping patients and families.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 532 requires prerequisites of PAS 520 and PAS 522.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 533. Clinical Skills Lab. 1 Credit.

This laboratory course will allow physician assistant students to practice common clinical skills and procedures based on current professional practice.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 533 requires prerequisites of PAS 520, PAS 522, and PAS 530.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 540. Current and Emerging Issues in Healthcare. 2 Credits.

This small group discussion and research course will allow physician assistant students to identify current or future issues in healthcare or health education. Students will work individually or in groups to research the scope of the problem and propose potential solutions.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 540 requires prerequisites of PAS 503 and PAS 515.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 541. Clinical Practice Seminar. 3 Credits.

LEC (2), LAB (2)
This seminar course will allow physician assistant students to reinforce the medical knowledge, clinical and technical skills, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, interpersonal skills, and professional behaviors necessary to enter supervised clinical practice experiences.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 541 requires prerequisites of PAS 502, PAS 503, PAS 510, PAS 511, PAS 512, PAS 513, PAS 514, PAS 515, PAS 520, PAS 521, PAS 522, PAS 523, PAS 524, PAS 525, PAS 530, PAS 531, PAS 532, PAS 533, and PAS 540.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 610. Inpatient Medicine Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to assess and medically manage adult patients in a hospital setting. Through supervised patient contact, students will gain experience in performing history and physical examinations, documenting patient encounters, and managing acute and chronic illnesses commonly encountered in hospitalized patients. Additionally, students will provide basic counseling and patient education skills that are patient-centered, culturally sensitive, and focused on helping patients and families.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 610 requires prerequisites of PAS 520, PAS 530, and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 611. Master's Experience: Develop. 1 Credit.

LEC (.5), DIS (.5)
This course, which takes place throughout the entire clinical year, is the capstone experience for physician assistant students. Students will work individually or in small groups to develop a culminating project with the direction of a faculty advisor which will integrate the knowledge acquired throughout the curriculum. This course will focus on identifying a project and defining the scope of work. Additionally, students must participate in lecture and seminar experiences throughout the clinical year. Students must begin to progress towards obtaining and documenting acquisition of program competencies.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 611 requires prerequisites of SMD 505, PAS 523, and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall.

PAS 620. Surgery Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to evaluate and manage patients presenting with conditions requiring surgical management. Students will participate in operating room procedures and techniques and will work collaboratively with the surgical team. Students are exposed to all aspects of the surgical process, including pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative patient care.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 620 requires prerequisites of PAS 525 and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 621. Master's Experience: Refine. 1 Credit.

LEC (.5), DIS (.5)
This course is the second part of the capstone experience for physician assistant students. Students will continue to work individually or in small groups on their culminating project with the direction of a faculty advisor. This course will focus on completion of the research necessary to formulate a first draft of a deliverable. Additionally, students must participate in lecture and seminar experiences throughout the clinical year. Students must continue to progress towards obtaining and documenting acquisition of program competencies.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 621 requires a prerequisite of PAS 611.
Typically offered in Spring.

PAS 630. Pediatrics Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to educate, assess, and manage pediatric patients. Students will be exposed to the healthcare needs of infants, children, and adolescents in an inpatient and/or outpatient setting. Students will interact with both the pediatric patient and caregiver to manage common acute and chronic pediatric problems and provide preventative care as related to normal growth and development, immunization requirements, nutritional requirements, and anticipatory guidance.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 630 requires prerequisites of PAS 520, PAS 530, and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 631. Master's Experience: Execute. 2 Credits.

LEC (1), DIS (1)
This course is the final part of the capstone experience for physician assistant students. Students will continue to work individually or in small groups on their culminating project with the direction of a faculty advisor. This course will focus on presentation of a deliverable as developed and refined throughout the clinical year. The course also includes a multi-faceted summative evaluation/assessment procedure consisting of (1) a comprehensive written examination that encompasses topics drawn from the entire PA program curriculum and (2) a series of Objective Structured Clinical Examinations (OSCE) using standardized patients where students must demonstrate the ability to elicit a medical history, perform a physical examination, order appropriate diagnostic studies, formulate a diagnosis, develop a management plan, render patient education, and document the findings for acute, emergent, chronic, and preventative patient care. Students must document acquisition of all program competencies.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 631 requires a prerequisite of PAS 621.
Typically offered in Summer.

PAS 640. Emergency Medicine Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to educate, assess, and manage patients presenting with urgent and emergent medical and surgical conditions. Students will function as part of an interdisciplinary team in the emergency department, working collaboratively with healthcare providers from all disciplines. Through supervised patient contact, the student will gain experience in performing directed history and physical examinations, documenting patient encounters, assessing and managing episodic illness, and performing common clinical skills.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 640 requires prerequisites of PAS 522 and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 650. Women's Health and Prenatal Care Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to educate, assess, and manage patients presenting for gynecologic and pregnancy-related care for women throughout the reproductive lifespan. Through supervised patient contact in a hospital, clinic, and/or private practice setting, the student will gain experience in obtaining and documenting health history, performing the routine gynecologic examination, and common clinical skills. Students will interact with patients and partners to manage common acute and chronic gynecologic problems and provide preventative and prenatal care.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 650 requires prerequisites of PAS 530 and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 660. Behavioral Health Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to educate, assess, and manage patients presenting for mental and behavioral health. Through supervised patient contact in an outpatient and/or inpatient behavioral health facility, the student will work collaboratively with the mental health team to evaluate and manage a range of chronic, acute, and emergent behavioral/mental health issues. The student will recognize the roles that socioeconomics, family health history, and social interactions play in the course of behavioral/mental health conditions; address barriers to treatment; and offer continued support through community resources.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 660 requires prerequisites of PAS 532 and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 670. Family Medicine Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience will allow physician assistant students to educate, assess, and manage patients presenting for preventative, acute, emergent, and chronic conditions to an outpatient primary care setting. Through supervised patient contact, the student will gain experience in performing history and physical examinations, documenting patient encounters, managing the acute and chronic illnesses, and providing patient-centered health education.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 670 requires prerequisites of PAS 520 and PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.

PAS 680. Elective Clinical Experience. 4 Credits.

This supervised clinical experience affords the physician assistant student an opportunity to increase their medical knowledge, clinical and technical skills, clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, interpersonal skills, and professional behaviors in an area of clinical interest.
Pre / Co requisites: PAS 680 requires a prerequisite of PAS 541.
Typically offered in Fall, Spring, Summer, Winter.