Course Descriptions-Didactic

 

 

 

 

 PA- 501: Human Anatomy and Physiology-l (4.0 Semester Hours)

This is the first course in a two-part series devoted to the study of human anatomy and physiology. The course will cover topography, internal structures, and functions with correlations to diagnostic modalities currently used by practitioners. Case studies will illustrate the anatomical findings in classical clinical presentations of the most common chief complaints. Pertinent biochemical principles will be integrated into the course to cover cellular structures and processes which impact health and disease. A systems and an intersystem approach is used throughout and reinforced in the guided lab. Topics in A&P-I include the integumentary, muscular, skeletal, endocrine, gastrointestinal, and renal/urinary systems as well as special senses, electrolytes, and acid-base balance.

PA-502: Human Anatomy and Physiology-II (4.0 Semester Hours)

This is the second course in a two-part series devoted to the study of human anatomy and physiology. The course will cover topography, internal structures, and functions with correlations to diagnostic modalities currently used by practitioners. Case studies will illustrate the anatomical findings in classical clinical presentations of the most common chief complaints. Pertinent biochemical principles will be integrated into the course to cover cellular structures and processes which impact health and disease. A systems and an intersystem approach is used throughout and reinforced in the guided lab. Topics in A&P-II include the cardiovascular, lymphatic, respiratory, neurological, and reproductive systems as well as human development.

PA-503: Clinical Ethics (2.0 Semester Hours)

The ethics course is designed to expose the student to legal and ethical dilemmas faced in medical practice. The course presents approaches that facilitate thinking through the complexities of ethical issues in clinical practice. In addition, representative opinions are offered. The format will include assigned readings, reflection and application papers, and class discussions. Topics include death and dying decisions, informed consent, decisional capacity, cultural and religious beliefs, euthanasia and assisted suicide, genetic screening, and the use of humans in clinical research. Students will develop the ability to recognize and think through ethical issues as they arise in their professional practice. They will be prepared to take ethical responsibility as part of the health care team and practice empathy, principles, and protocols that enhance patient welfare.

PA-504: Research I (1.0 Semester Hour)

This course is the first course of a two-part series, and introduces the students to methods and common tools used in research. Topics include the research process, types of research, sampling and generalizability, reliability and validity, research design, methods of measurement, data collection, and statistical analysis. The course integrates article reviews by the student. Students will search the internet and critique peer-reviewed medical literature. The course will also provide the students with a working knowledge of research in the physician assistant and general medical profession and stimulate critical thinking. Students will recognize the relevance and value of research in their professional development and obtain the skills necessary to pursue a lifetime of learning through examination and evaluation of current medical literature.

PA-505: Research-II (1.0 Semester Hour)

This is the second course in a two-part series and builds on theory and concepts learned in Research-I. Students will analyze methods used in medical research and evaluate the reliability of findings. Topics include medical writing, research ethics, research paper design, and critical review of the literature using published research articles. In addition, students will also make recommendations which could improve the research process. Students will cover the essential requirements for a research paper and discuss the AMA paper format. The course will culminate in a critical analysis of peer-reviewed literature, using concepts taught in class. Students will be able to recognize the relevance and value of research in the medical professions. They will also acquire the necessary skills to critique medical literature through examination, evaluation, and application of research theory and methods, and have an understanding of medical writing.

PA-510: Pathophysiology of Disease-I (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the first course in a two-part series which provides an introduction to the pathophysiology of disease. The course covers a review of relevant normal structure and function of human organ systems followed by a study of pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie diseases related to that system. Topics covered include skin, HEENT, cardiovascular, pulmonary, gastrointestinal, renal, male reproductive and lower urinary tract disorders, and bone and mineral disorders. Topics will be covered in coordination with the clinical pharmacology and clinical medicine series.

PA-511: Pathophysiology of Disease II (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the second course in a two-part series providing an introduction to the pathophysiology of disease. The course covers a review of relevant normal structure and function of human organ systems followed by a study of pathophysiological mechanisms that underlie diseases related to that system. Topics covered include nervous system, endocrine, immunologic and rheumatologic diseases, hematology, infectious disease, and neoplasia. Students will become familiar with the pathogenesis, pathology, and clinical manifestations of disease as organized by system.

PA-512: PA Professional Issues-I (1.0 Semester Hour)

This is the first course of a two-part series designed to acquaint students with the history, development, and current status of the PA profession. Topics include the evolution of the PA profession, current and expected future practice trends, the PA’s role as part of the health care team, patterns of health care delivery, and political and legal factors that affect PA practice. Types of health care systems, billing, and patient privacy issues are also presented. In addition, standards of ethical behavior, professional responsibilities, and the importance of membership in professional organizations are emphasized.

PA-516: Clinical Lab Science (2.0 Semester Hours )

This course covers the clinical considerations for laboratory tests based on patient presentation and clinical findings. Indications for ordering the specific test, interpretation of lab results, and correlation with disease processes are covered. Topics include hematology/oncology, urinalysis, and chemistry. An emphasis is placed on interpretation and clinical significance of commonly ordered laboratory tests.  The course incorporates both observation and performance of selected laboratory testing procedures applicable to a primary care setting. This includes techniques for the collection and performance of wet preps, gram stain, urinalysis – routine and microscopic, KOH prep, normal saline prep, and blood specimen.

PA-518: Behavioral Medicine (2.0 Semester Hours)

This course is designed to provide an overview of the psychological and social factors that influence human behavior. It will focus on factors that shape health behaviors and response to stressors. In addition, students are taught how behavior can be influenced by illness, leading at times to poor coping skills, and physical and mental manifestations. Topics covered include psychological models of the mind, development through the life cycle, sleep, sexuality, violence, and reaction to illness. Students will learn how to take a proper mental health history and perform a mini-mental examination. This course will provide strategies for students to deal with patients, and give insight into the social and behavioral principles that promote empathy, cultural competency, communication, and collaborative care.

PA-519: Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (1.0 Semester Hour)

The course provides strategies for fostering a provider-patient partnership and tools for effectively communicating healthy lifestyles. Students will be presented with current information about various conditions commonly seen in the clinical setting. Topics include benefits of prevention, barriers to preventive care, historical perspectives, shared decision-making, selectivity of ordering tests, and improving the delivery of preventative clinical services. Particular attention will be paid to Healthy People 2020. The course also covers selected topics dealing with aspects of preventive medicine.  It explores the efficacy of lifestyle modification in optimizing health. Specific topics include domestic violence, environmental health and sanitation, clinical genetics, geriatrics, immunizations, trauma, sexually transmitted diseases, women’s health, men’s health, oral health, and systemic diseases.

PA-520: Principles of Physical Diagnosis-I (3.0 Semester Hours)

Physical Diagnosis-I is the first course in a three-part series, and is designed to introduce Physician Assistant students to the knowledge, skills, and ability to conduct a comprehensive medical interview, to interact appropriately with patients, and to perform the appropriate organ system physical examination. Topics include critical thinking and differential diagnosis, interviewing techniques, examination techniques, equipment use, patient responses, the culturally diverse patient, obtaining the patient history, documentation of information using the SOAP format, and the use of medical terminology. The skin, head and neck, eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, oral cavity, chest & lungs, and nutritional assessment are also covered in this course. The format include lectures, written assignments, case presentation, student presentation, role playing, vignettes, reflection papers, and labs.

PA-521: Principles of Physical Diagnosis-II (3.0 Semester Hours)

Physical Diagnosis-II is the second course in a three-part series and is designed to further acquaint Physician Assistant students with current methods used in evaluating and diagnosing medical conditions in the general population.  It presents information in a lecture format, which is followed by a guided practical lab, a practice session, and then testing of the material covered.  Methods utilized include interviewing techniques, proper use of equipment, history taking, note writing, performing examinations, and correlating signs and symptoms with disease processes. Topics covered in this section include the heart, peripheral vascular system, the abdomen, the acutely ill patient, and the male genitalia. During this course, students will also perform OSCEs (Objective Structures Clinical Exams) and clinical skills check-offs. Upon completion of this course, students should be able to present the information obtained in the proper written and oral format and be able to perform the appropriate examination.

PA-522: Principles of Physical Diagnosis-III (3.0 Semester Hours)

Physical Diagnosis-III is a the final course in a three-part series, and is designed  to further acquaint Physician Assistant students with current methods used in evaluating and diagnosing medical conditions in the general population.  It presents information in a lecture format, which is followed by a guided practical lab, a practice session, and then testing of the material covered.  Methods utilized will include interviewing techniques, proper use of equipment, history taking, note writing, performing examinations, OSCEs, and correlating signs and symptoms with disease processes. Systems covered in this section include the male genitalia, breast, female genitalia, the pregnant female, the musculoskeletal system, and the nervous system. Consideration of special populations such as the pediatric and the geriatric patient will also be covered. A focused discussion/reflection on approaches to health and wellness in the early 20th century will also be covered. The practical culmination will be the performance of a comprehensive physical examination.

PA-526: Clinical Pharmacology-I (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the first course in a two-part series, which must be taken sequentially. This course will introduce students to the principles of pharmacology and clinical pharmacotherapeutics.  The essentials of pharmacotherapeutics, pharmacodynamics and applicable biomechanisms will be applied to the care and treatement of pediatric, adult and geriatric patients.  Specific therapeutic regimens will be reviewed from a systems approach in coordination with the clinical medicine series. Topics include general pharmacologic principles, bacterial, eukaryotic and viral infections, cardiovascular, peripheral neuropharmacology, and autocoids/anti-ulcer/anti-inflammatory medications. The course will utilize case studies to develop critical thinking in considering treatment guidelines and indications and contraindications of medications. Application of concepts will be demonstrated through case presentations.

PA-527: Clinical Pharmacology-II (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the second course of a two-course series. It offers continued study of the essentials of pharmacology as applied to the care and treatment of pediatric, adult, and geriatric patients. Topics include vitamins and supplements, toxicology,  neoplasia, central nervous system, endocrine, and pain medication and abuse. The course utilizes case studies to develop critical thinking in considering treatment guidelines and indications and contraindications of medications. Application of concepts will be demonstrated through case presentations.

PA-528: Clinical Medicine-I (4.0 Semester Hours)

This is the first course in a four-part series and provides a study of common medical and surgical disorders encountered in general adult medicine. Topics include typical clinical presentation, etiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic work-up, formulation of treatment plans and referral. Students will also develop strategies for enhancing patient education and compliance, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of health care. A correlational approach will be used, with interaction with physical diagnosis, pharmacology, and clinical diagnostics. Lessons will be presented by systems. The format includes formal lectures, discussions, and case presentations. Topics covered include dermatology, HEENT, cardiovascular, and pulmonology. There is also a genetics component to this course.

PA-529: Clinical Medicine-II (4.0 Semester Hours)

This is the second course in a four-part series and continues the study of common medical and surgical disorders encountered in general medicine.  The course content includes typical clinical presentation, etiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic work-up and management of these disorders. Students will also develop strategies for enhancing patient education and compliance, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of health care. A correlational approach will be used with interaction with physical diagnosis, pharmacology, and clinical diagnostics. Lessons will be presented by systems. The course format includes formal lectures, discussions, and case presentations. Systems covered include the gastrointestinal, musculoskeletal, renal, and endocrine. Nutrition, infectious disease, and rheumatology are also covered.

PA-530: Clinical Medicine-III (4.0 Semester Hours)

This is the third course in a four-part series, exposing the student to the study of common medical and surgical disorders encountered in general medicine. Course content includes typical clinical presentation, etiology, pathophysiology, diagnostic work-up, formulation of treatment plan and referral. Students will also develop strategies for enhancing patient education and compliance, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of health care. Topics covered include male genitourinary, neurology, general surgery, sexually transmitted diseases, oncology/hematology and coagulation disorders, psychiatric disorders, family violence and abuse, rehabilitative medicine, end-of-life issues, and emergency medicine.

PA-531: Clinical Medicine-IV (2.0 Semester Hours)

This course expands on knowledge learned in the Clinical Medicine I-III courses and is designed to familiarize Physician Assistant students to common medical and surgical disorders with emphasis on primary care concepts in the newborn, pediatric and adolescent populations.  Students will review pertinent anatomic and pathophysiologic aspects of disease conditions, clinical presentation, physical findings, diagnostic work-up, diagnosis, formulation of treatment plans and referral. In addition, students will obtain knowledge pertinent to the physical and psychosocial development of patients in the newborn to adolescent age group and learn strategies for interviewing, performing evaluations, screening exams and providing anticipatory guidance. Finally, students will develop strategies for enhancing patient education and compliance, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of health care.

 PA-532:  Clinical Genetics (1.0 Semester Hour)

In Clinical Genetics, we will study the basic principles of heredity (including cytogenetics, molecular and mendelian genetics) and the processes that lead to genetic variability in humans. We will look at how different genetic mutations and chromosomal abnormalities can give rise to genetic disorders. Through a few select genetic disorders, we will become aware of their genetic causes, genetic testing, clinical manifestations of genetic diseases, as well as physical, psychological and social impacts of these disorders on patients. We will also consider recent discoveries from human genomics and pharmacogenetics that have influenced postsymptomatic treatment strategies and presymptomatic prevention-based healthcare. The course will include workshop sessions to solve genetic problems as problem-based learning is a proven method and is well-suited to medical genetics because it involves integration of skills and knowledge from many fields.

PA-535: Women’s Health (2.0 Semester Hours)

This course exposes students to common problems encountered in caring for women. Students will review pertinent anatomic and pathophysiologic aspects of disease conditions, clinical presentation, physical findings, diagnostic work-up, diagnosis, formulation of treatment plans, and referrals. Students will also develop strategies for enhancing patient education and compliance, taking into consideration the socioeconomic and cultural aspects of health care. Topics include pregnancy, fetal medicine, dysmenorrhea, isoimmunization, diabetes and hypertension in pregnancy, complications of pregnancy, labor and delivery, post-partum issues, sexually transmitted diseases, menstrual-endocrine abnormalities, reproductive life extremes, fertility regulation, disorders of pelvic support, ovarian, endometrial, cervical and vulvar  neoplasia, and cancer.

PA-536: Clinical Skills-I (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the first of a two-part lecture and lab sequence providing a practical approach to management of medical and surgical conditions. This course introduces students to the basic skills and knowledge needed to evaluate and treat common illnesses and injuries. Lectures are followed by practical applications in guided lab sessions. Topics include prescription writing, aseptic techniques, gowning, gloving, venipuncture, IV therapy, casting, splinting, and dermatological procedures using oral/case presentations.

PA-537: Clinical Skills-II (2.0 Semester Hours)

This is the second of a two-part lecture and lab sequence providing a practical approach to the management of medical and surgical conditions. Topics include radiology, lung and heart sounds, bladder catheterization, nasogastric tube placement, joint access, steroid therapy, anesthesia techniques, BLS, ACLS, and miscellaneous urgent care/primary care procedures. Lectures are followed by practical applications in guided lab sessions. In addition, students will take a PACKRAT and an OSCE exam.

PA-538: Medical Microbiology (2.0 Semester Hours)

The student will discuss the mechanisms of microbial pathogenicity and common organisms associated with specific infectious diseases. Students will cover basic structure and physiology, pathogenicity, bacterial growth,  virulence factors and basic epidemiology. Organisms covered include bacteria, fungi, parasites, mycoplasmas, rickettsias, chlamydias, spirochetes, vibrios, and viruses. Upon completion of the course students will become familiar with important micro-organisms and their roles in infectious diseases in preparation for advanced coursework in pharmacology, pathophysiology, and clinical medicine.

PA-539: Rural Medicine (2.0 Semester Hours)

The course explores health disparities in the rural population and special considerations of providing care in this setting. Specific medical conditions that are unique to rural areas in West Virginia will be included. The use of medical networks, medical informatics, and telemedicine will also be covered. In addition, students will be exposed to the principles that guide rural health organizations and the utilization of patient consultation. Finally, students will explore the characteristics of the rural patient and the rural health care provider, the economics of rural health practice, and the quality and role of primary care in the rural setting.

PA-549: PA Professional Issues-II (1.0 Semester Hour)

This course is presented as the second of a two-part series of professional issues and will prepare students for transition from the role of student to medical practitioner. Employment considerations and professional liability are included in this section. This section also include patient safety, risk management, interprofessional relationships, resume writing, job search, interviewing strategies, contract negotiation, certification, state licensure, networking, state practice requirements, credentialing, privileging, DEA certification, and supervisory agreement.