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High Point University
Physician Assistant
The HPU PA Program
Prospective Students
The Physician Assistant

Curriculum

Introduction

The 27 month PA Program course of study is divided into a 15 month didactic phase and a 12 month clinical phase. The clinical phase also includes an evidence-based Master’s project. Self-directed learning is a key component of the curriculum. Subsequently, direct contact hours are limited to approximately 25 hours per week during the didactic phase. Student-led team-based learning will comprise a substantial portion of the remaining scheduled class hours in the program.

Didactic Phase

The didactic phase of the program is an intensively integrated course of study. While there are a series of individual courses that students must take, the knowledge, skills and attitudes developed are interwoven throughout all parts of the curriculum. The didactic phase centers around “Clinical Decision Making”, a series of courses taught using an organ system approach through the lifespan and illustrating the standards of care across the gamut of health care delivery venues. Interactive lecture and small group formats are used to deliver the curriculum, highlighted by distinct experiential activities including problem-based learning, clinical simulation, standardized patients and early clinical patient-care experiences. The “Clinical Decision Making” series is supported by courses in Pathophysiology, Pharmacology/Pharmacotherapeutics, Evidence-based Medicine, History and Physical Examination and Clinical Methods and Procedures.

Clinical Phase

During the clinical year, students experience seven five-week rotations in family medicine, inpatient medicine, emergency medicine, general surgery, pediatrics, women’s health and behavioral medicine. Students will further be able to explore additional clinical interests by taking two electives in other areas or sub-specialties of medicine, as available. Students meet at the end of each rotation to discuss and present experiences in seminar format.

Course Number
Course Name
Credits
Summer Semester I
PAS 5101Gross Anatomy5
PAS 5103Fundamentals of the Medical Profession1
PAS 5107Applied Biomedical Science4
PAS 5111Population Health2
PAS 5151Health Care Provider Communication Skills2
Fall Semester
PAS 5203Health Care Ethics and Policy1
PAS 5205Interprofessional Seminar I1
PAS 5211Evidence-based Medicine I1
PAS 5221Pathophysiology I2
PAS 5231Clinical Decision Making I7
PAS 5241Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I2
PAS 5251History and Physical Examination I2
PAS 5261Clinical Methods and Procedures I2
Spring Semester
PAS 5305Interprofessional Seminar II1
PAS 5307Fundamentals of Surgery1
PAS 5311Evidence-based Medicine II1
PAS 5321Pathophysiology II2
PAS 5331Clinical Decision Making II7
PAS 5341Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II2
PAS 5351History and Physical Examination II2
PAS 5361Clinical Methods and Procedures II2
Summer Semester II
PAS 5401Introduction to Clinical Education1
PAS 5411Evidence-based Medicine III1
PAS 5421Pathophysiology III2
PAS 5431Clinical Decision Making III7
PAS 5441Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics III2
PAS 5451History and Physical Examination III2
PAS 5461Clinical Methods and Procedures III2
Clinical Year
PAS 6103Clinical Seminar I1
PAS 6110Family Medicine4
PAS 6120Inpatient Medicine4
PAS 6130Emergency Medicine4
PAS 6140General Surgery4
PAS 6150Pediatrics4
PAS 6160Women'’s Health4
PAS 6170Behavioral Medicine4
PAS 6175Elective I4
PAS 6176Elective II4
PAS 6199Master's Project I1
PAS 6203Clinical Seminar II1
PAS 6299Master's Project II1
PAS 6303Clinical Seminar III1
PAS 6399Master'’s Project III1

PAS 5101 – Gross Anatomy (5 credits)
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the clinically relevant aspects of human anatomy via an in-depth examination of anatomical structure and function. In addition to regional gross human anatomy, the course will also cover selected topics in the areas of histology and embryology related to the structures of the selected regions. Emphasis is placed on relationship of structure and normal variants with clinical correlation to pathology and disease presentation. The laboratory component of this course focuses attention on spatial relationships, anatomic variation, and relationship of organ systems. The lecture and lab sections correlate with the Applied Biomedical Science course that runs concurrently. The knowledge gained in this course will be essential for success in future courses in Clinical Decision Making and History and Physical Examination, as well as in the Clinical Phase of the Program.
Prerequisite: Admission to the PA program

PAS 5103 – Fundamentals of the Medical Profession (1 credit)
This course is designed to aid students in the transition into the medical profession and serves as an introduction to professional practice issues. Areas of discussion include history of the physician assistant profession, the PA-Physician team, professional organizations, health information technology, and intellectual honesty and professional conduct. The knowledge gained in this course will be essential to success in the experiential components of the Clinical Decision Making courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Admission to the PA program

PAS 5107 – Applied Biomedical Science (4 credits)
This course is designed to run concurrently and complement anatomy lectures by providing scientific concepts and skills specific to the practice of medicine. Areas of study to include:

    o Surface Anatomy and physical examination: to include palpation: feeling internal structures through the skin and living anatomy: palpation of arterial pulses, skeleton, muscles and blood vessels, sounds of the heart and lungs. Demonstration of competency in identifying clinically important anatomic features.
    o Histology: To provide a basic understanding of the structural organization of tissues. Designed to bridge anatomic principles with the diagnosis of disease states including; vascular diseases, liver disease, kidney disease and others that reveal themselves at the cellular level and are diagnosed by using histological techniques.
    o Cell Biology: To provide a basic understanding of the medical aspects of cellular activity in the human body. Designed to provide the basic knowledge necessary to understand the alterations that occur at the level of individual cells in disease states.
    o Radiologic Imaging: Designed to utilize imaging modalities to describe normal anatomy and radiological findings.

The knowledge gained in this course will be essential to success in the Clinical Decision Making courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Admission to the PA program

PAS 5111 – Population Health (2 credits)
This course is designed to provide an overview of population health including review of the public health system, introduction to core epidemiology principles, identifying best practices for health promotion and disease prevention, and understanding the primary social determinants of health and their role in creating health inequities within the US. The root causes of inequities in health outcomes and the relative effectiveness of the health care system in caring for all patients will be explored. The course will focus on the roles of history, power, privilege and structural inequality and its relation to the health of populations. Students will learn how to identify vulnerable populations and to respond to the health disparities vulnerable groups often experience. They will learn the role of cultural competence in health care provision and develop the skills to capably provide patient-centered care across cultural boundaries. Additionally they will learn about the effects of emerging global health concerns on health care locally and globally. Concepts mastered in this course will be essential to success in the experiential components of the Clinical Decision Making series of courses, as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Admission to the PA program

PAS 5151 – Health Care Provider Communication Skills (2 credits)
This course is designed to teach students the fundamentals of patient-centered communication skills, components of the medical interview, basic counseling and patient education techniques, respect for the patient as an individual and behavioral change counseling strategies. These five components are learned in a layered fashion and reinforced through the introduction to writing a medical narrative. The knowledge and skills gained in this course will be essential to success in the History and Physical Examination series of courses, the Clinical Decision Making series of courses and the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Admission to the PA program

PAS 5203 – Health Care Ethics and Policy (1 credit)
This course is designed to introduce students to health care ethics, law and policy. Students learn to appreciate the inseparable relationship between medicine and ethics, recognize key ethical obligations and challenges common in medical practice, identify sources of ethical value commonly used in ethical reasoning, and apply a systematic approach to clinical ethical practice. Students explore ways in which health care policy, legislation, and care delivery models impact the practice of medicine and provision of health care to the US population. Knowledge of concepts gained in this course will be essential to success in the experiential components of the Clinical Decision Making series of courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5205 – Interprofessional Seminar I (1 credit)
This course is the first in a series designed to help the PA student understand the roles of various health professions, especially those represented at High Point University. During the course of their careers, professional PAs will interact with many diverse technicians, therapists and technologists all of whom have important roles to play in the care of patients. The American Medical Association currently recognizes over 80 professions in the health care field. In this course, students will have direct interaction with students and faculty from other health professions. They will discuss roles and review perceptions of important health care issues. The initial focus of this course will be the analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles that have a wide range of interest across medical specialties and health care fields. The course will convene once monthly for a single 2-hour time slot. The skills gained in this course will be essential to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5211 – Evidence-based Medicine I (1 credit)
This is the first in a series of three courses. Students will participate in a focused review of the basic concepts of research design and statistics as they apply specifically to the medical research literature, in order to form a basis for sound, evidence-based, high-value/cost-conscious based, clinical decision making. This course is designed to teach students the core elements of evidence-based medicine including developing clinical questions, searching the medical literature, appraising the literature, and applying evidence appropriately to the care of an individual patient. These four elements will be explored based on the types of clinical questions including etiology/harm, diagnosis, therapy, prognosis with additional attention spent critiquing systematic reviews and treatment guidelines. Components are learned in a layered fashion and reinforced through the application to specific case vignettes. This course supports the development of professional oral and written communication skills in preparation for the Master’s Project. The knowledge gained in this course will also be critical to success in the Clinical Decision Making series of courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5221 – Pathophysiology I (2 credits)
This is the first in a series of courses designed to run concurrently and complement Clinical Decision Making I, Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I and Evidence-based Medicine by providing insights into molecular and pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease that inform evidence-based medical practice and pharmacotherapeutics. A working understanding of basic human physiology is assumed as a prerequisite. Areas of study will include:

    o Immunology: A review of basic immunology and basic pathophysiologic derangements of the immune system including: innate and adaptive immunity, B- and T-cell development and effector function, hypersensitivity and clinical immunology. Connections will be made to select rheumatologic, dermatologic, hematologic and auto-immune conditions.
    o Genetics: A review of the organization and function of the human genome as well as common genetic diseases. Pathophysiology vis à vis abrogation of genetic mechanisms will be a focus of this portion of the course. A strong working understanding of cell biology as introduced in the “Applied Biomedical Science” course is a prerequisite.
    o Infectious Disease: Identification and recognition of common pathogens by age group and body system will be the primary focus of this portion of the course.

This course will serve as a foundation for understanding the clinical presentation of genetic, immunologic and infectious diseases in Clinical Decision Making I, II, and III as well as in the Clinical Phase of the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5231 – Clinical Decision Making I (7 credits)
This is the first in a series of courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine, and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices, and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. We will also focus on critical disease processes which may be threatening to life or function. Students will acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. This course will begin with an introduction to Pediatrics, Geriatrics and Emergency Medicine providing students with a foundation of knowledge that will be integrated throughout the series of CDM courses. Concomitant study of pathophysiology will acquaint students with genetic and immunologic mechanisms of disease. Specific organ system-based areas of study will include Oncology, Hematology, Rheumatology, Infectious Disease and Dermatology. Students will be expected to apply knowledge obtained in anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, clinical skills and procedures and evidence-based medicine to these specific areas of study. Mastery of the concepts and topics in this course will be critical to successful performance in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5241 – Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I (2 credits)
This course is designed to run concurrently with and complement Clinical Decision Making I. It is the first in a series of courses designed to develop the skills and knowledge-base related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, both prescription and non-prescription. Major principles of pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties will initially be reviewed, followed by an introduction to pharmacogenetics and phamacogenomics. Subsequent discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of dynamic and kinetic properties, uses, side effects, and toxicities. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of altered dynamic/kinetic properties related to age, race, ethnicity and genetics as well as cost/benefit of pharmacological interventions including patient education with regards to drug administration, potential adverse side effects and drug-drug and drug-food interactions. Students will also become familiar with prescription writing and the laws governing this privilege in North Carolina. Areas of study will include Oncology, Hematology, Rheumatology, Infectious Disease and Dermatology. Skills developed in this course will be critical in progressing through the clinical phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5251 – History and Physical Examination I (2 credits)
This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history and perform a physical examination. This includes use of appropriate diagnostic equipment, proper examination techniques, and the use of accurate medical terminology to document findings. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in recognition of the “range of normal” physical findings. The course emphasizes patient-centered interviewing, acquiring a medical database, and performing a comprehensive physical examination. A combination of lectures, discussion, case studies and performance skills labs will be used to present and practice the necessary concepts and skills.
Lab sessions are used to optimize teaching of concepts. The student will be required to demonstrate Competency Based Learning during the performance of the required procedures and skills. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates, simulated patients, models, and/or partial task trainers.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5261 – Clinical Methods and Procedures I (2 credits)
This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, and is designed to complement the content covered in Clinical Decision Making and Pathophysiology. The course provides a foundation of clinical skills and diagnostic modalities to prepare the student for common professional responsibilities and practices in patient care. Course content includes theory and practice of selected clinical laboratory techniques and procedures, with emphasis on effective utilization of the clinical laboratory in the diagnosis and management of disease states. Students learn to select, perform, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating, and managing patient needs. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates and/or partial task trainers. Simulations and models will also be utilized. Mastery of the concepts developed in this course will be critical to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of summer coursework

PAS 5305 – Interprofessional Seminar II (1 credit)
This is the second of two courses designed to help the PA student understand the roles of various health professions, especially those represented at High Point University. During the course of their careers, professional PAs will interact with many diverse technicians, therapists and technologists all of whom have important roles to play in the care of patients. The American Medical Association currently recognizes over 80 professions in the health care field. In this course, students will have direct interaction with students and faculty from other health professions. They will discuss roles and review perceptions of important health care issues. The initial focus of this course will be the analysis of peer-reviewed journal articles that have a wide range of interest across medical specialties and health care fields. The course will convene once monthly for a single 2-hour time slot. The skills gained in this course will be essential to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5307 – Fundamentals of Surgery (1 credit) This course is designed to introduce the student to basic skills and concepts needed in the surgery rotation. The surgery rotation and the skills contained therein are required competencies for successful completion of the program. The primary focus will be on the skills needed for competent presence in the surgical suite as well as the pre-, intra- and post-operative care of the surgical patient. Selected surgical conditions will be selected as prototypes for the study of pathophysiology, clinical presentation and identification of surgical problems. Surgical techniques and procedures, including common outpatient and emergency interventions will also be addressed. Additionally, anesthetic techniques will be reviewed. Mastery of the skills and concepts presented in this course will be critical to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5311 – Evidence-based Medicine II (1 credit)
This is the second in a series of three courses. Students will participate in a focused review of the basic concepts of research design and statistics as they apply specifically to the medical research literature, in order to form a basis for sound, evidence-based, high-value/cost-conscious based, clinical decision making. This course is designed to build on the core elements of evidence-based medicine learned in Evidence-Based Medicine I by focusing on efficient practices that empower providers to identify and answer clinical questions using widely available medical informatics. The available evidence will be integrated with the patient’s perspective of illness and the developing provider’s clinical expertise via case scenario application. The course continues the emphasis on developing professional oral and written communication skills in preparation for the Master’s Project. The knowledge gained in this course will also be critical to success in the Clinical Decision Making series of courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5321 – Pathophysiology II (2 credits)
This is the second in a series of courses designed to run concurrently with and complement Clinical Decision Making II, Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II and Evidence-based Medicine II by providing insights into molecular and pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease that inform evidence-based medical practice and pharmacotherapeutics. A working understanding of basic human physiology is assumed as a prerequisite. Areas of study will include:

    o Cardiovascular: A discussion of basic pathophysiologic mechanisms underlying cardiovascular disease including dysrhythmias, heart failure, atherosclerosis and hypertension.
    o Pulmonary: A discussion of the pathophysiology of obstructive and restrictive lung diseases including asthma, COPD, pneumonoconioses and fibrosis.
    o Renal: A discussion of pathophysiologic mechanisms resulting in hypertension as well as acute and chronic renal failure.
    o Genitourinary/Reproductive: A discussion of pathophysiology of both male and female urinary and reproductive system disease. This will include mechanisms of central control.
    o Gastroenterology: A discussion of the pathophysiology of infectious, autoimmune, nutritional and metabolic derangements of GI function.
    o Endocrine: A discussion of the pathophysiology of thyroid, parathyroid, pituitary, hypothalamic, adrenal, bone and reproductive derangements.

This course will serve as a foundation for understanding the clinical presentation of disease in the above organ systems in Clinical Decision Making II as well as in the clinical phase of the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5331 – Clinical Decision Making II (7 credits)
This is the second in a series of courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine, and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices, and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. We will also focus on critical disease processes which may be threatening to life or function. Students will acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Concomitant study of pathophysiology will acquaint students with molecular and organ-based mechanisms of disease. Specific organ system-based areas of study will include Cardiology, Pulmonary Medicine, Nephrology, Genitourinary, Gastroenterology, Endocrine and Reproductive Medicine. Students will be expected to apply knowledge obtained in anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, diagnostic methods and evidence-based medicine to these specific areas of study. Mastery of the concepts and topics in this course will be critical to successful performance in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5341 – Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics II (2 credits)
This course is designed to run concurrently with and complement Clinical Decision Making II. It is the second in a series of courses designed to develop skills related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, both prescription and non-prescription. Mastery of concepts and outcomes from Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I is essential for success in this course. Discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of pharmacodynamics, uses, side effects, and toxicities. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of altered pharmacodynamics related to age, race, and ethnic groups as well as cost/benefit of pharmacological interventions including patient education with regards to drug administration, potential adverse side effects and drug-drug and drug-food interactions. Areas of study will include Cardiology, Pulmonary Medicine, Nephrology, Genitourinary, Gastroenterology, Endocrine and Reproductive Medicine. Skills developed in this course will be critical in progressing through the clinical phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5351 – History and Physical Examination II (2 credits)
This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history and perform a physical examination. In this course students develop a deeper understanding of the history and physical examination skills specific to various organ systems. This includes use of appropriate diagnostic equipment, proper examination techniques, and the use of accurate medical terminology to document findings. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in recognition of the “range of normal” physical findings and beginning to recognize selected abnormalities. The course emphasizes patient-centered interviewing, acquiring a medical database, and performing problem-focused physical examinations. A combination of lectures, discussion, case studies and performance skills labs will be used to present and practice the necessary concepts and skills.
Lab sessions are used to optimize teaching of concepts. The student will be required to demonstrate Competency Based Learning during the performance of the required procedures and skills. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates, simulated patients, models, and/or partial task trainers. This course will help students develop the skills necessary to participate in the experiential learning activities of Clinical Decision Making II. These skills will be crucial to successful completion of the clinical phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5361 – Clinical Methods and Procedures II (2 credits)
This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, and is designed to complement the content covered in Clinical Decision Making II and Pathophysiology II. The course provides a foundation of clinical skills and diagnostic modalities to prepare the student for common professional responsibilities and practices in patient care. Course content includes theory and practice of selected clinical laboratory techniques and procedures, with emphasis on effective utilization of the clinical laboratory in the diagnosis and management of disease states. Students learn to select, perform, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating, and managing patient needs. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates and/or partial task trainers. Simulations and models will also be utilized. Mastery of the concepts developed in this course will be critical to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of fall coursework

PAS 5401 – Introduction to Clinical Education (1 credit)
This course is designed to prepare students to begin their core clinical education experiences. Topics will include communication in the clinical setting, the use of electronic health records, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) training, professionalism, introduction to systems-based practices that improve health care safety, and an in-depth discussion of program requirements for successful progression through the clinical education experiences.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5411 – Evidence-based Medicine III (1 credit)
This is the final course in a series of three courses. Students will participate in a focused review of the basic concepts of research design and statistics as they apply specifically to the medical research literature, in order to form a basis for sound, evidence-based, high-value/cost-conscious based, clinical decision making. This course is designed to teach students the essential skills required for effective and efficient publication of peer-reviewed evidence-based medicine articles. The essential skills include identifying highly-relevant clinical questions or topics, performing a thorough review of the literature summarizing the current state of the topic, identifying the ideal publication venue for disseminating the information, determining the most appropriate article type and format within the given publication, writing a letter of interest to the journal editor, identifying the journal articles primary readership, drafting an introduction that compels the audience to read the article, writing (and re-writing) the manuscript in order to complete the article in alignment with the author guidelines for submission, and interacting professionally with the editorial staff as needed to guide the manuscript through the peer-review and production processes. These nine activities will be accomplished by groups of students as they co-author a journal article and complete their final preparation for the Master’s Project. The knowledge gained in this course will also be critical to success in the Clinical Decision Making series of courses as well as in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5421 – Pathophysiology III (2 credits)
This is the third and final in a series of courses designed to run concurrently with and complement Clinical Decision Making III, Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics III and Evidence-based Medicine III by providing insights into molecular and pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease that inform evidence-based medical practice and pharmacotherapeutics. A working understanding of basic human physiology is assumed as a prerequisite. Areas of study will include:

    • Orthopedics: A discussion of the basic science underlying common metabolic and traumatic diseases of bone
    • Neuroscience: A discussion of the basic molecular function of the nervous system with special attention to seizure disorders, common neurologic disorders and behavioral health
    • Ophthalmology/Otorhinolaryngology: A discussion of the pathophysiology behind the common sensory and infectious disorders of the eyes, ears, nose, sinuses, throat, larynx and neck
    • Nutrition: A review of disorders of protein, carbohydrate and lipid metabolism as well as the pathophysiology underlying common nutritional disorders

This course will serve as a foundation for understanding the clinical presentation of disease in the above organ systems in Clinical Decision Making III as well as in the clinical phase of the curriculum.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5431 – Clinical Decision Making III (7 credits)
This is the final in a series of three courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine, and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices, and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient’s clinical presentation. We will also focus on critical disease processes which may be threatening to life or function. Students will acquire problem-focused evaluation, diagnosis and patient management skills. Concomitant study of pathophysiology will acquaint students with molecular and organ-based mechanisms of disease. Specific organ system-based areas of study will include Orthopedics, Neurology, Behavioral Medicine, EENT, Nutrition, and Integrative Medicine. Students will be expected to apply knowledge obtained in anatomy, pathophysiology, pharmacology, diagnostic methods and evidence-based medicine to these specific areas of study. Mastery of the concepts and topics in this course will be critical to successful performance in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5441 – Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics III (2 credits)
This course is designed to run concurrently with and complement Clinical Decision Making III. It is the third and final in a series of courses designed to develop skills related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, both prescription and non-prescription. Mastery of concepts and outcomes from Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I & II is essential for success in this course. Discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of pharmacodynamics, uses, side effects, and toxicities. Emphasis will be placed on the principles of altered pharmacodynamics related to age, race, and ethnic groups as well as cost/benefit of pharmacological interventions including patient education with regards to drug administration, potential adverse side effects and drug-drug and drug-food interactions. Areas of study will include Orthopedics, Neurology, Behavioral Medicine, EENT, Nutrition and Integrative Medicine. Skills developed in this course will be critical in progressing through the clinical phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5451 – History and Physical Examination III (2 credits)
This is the final in a series of courses designed to develop knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history and perform a physical examination. In this course students continue to develop a deeper understanding of the history and physical examination skills specific to various organ systems. This includes use of appropriate diagnostic equipment, proper examination techniques, and the use of accurate medical terminology to document findings. Emphasis is placed on developing skills in recognition of the “range of normal” physical findings and beginning to recognize selected abnormalities. The course emphasizes patient-centered interviewing, acquiring a medical database, and performing a problem-focused and a comprehensive physical examination. A combination of lectures, discussion, case studies and performance skills labs will be used to present and practice the necessary concepts and skills.
Lab sessions are used to optimize teaching of concepts. The student will be required to demonstrate Competency Based Learning during the performance of the required procedures and skills. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates, simulated patients, models, and/or partial task trainers. The focus in H&P III will be on Musculoskeletal, Neurologic/Behavioral, ENT, Nutritional Assessment and the Diabetic Patient. This course will complement the experiential learning that occurs in Clinical Decision Making III; the skills gained will be critical in successful progression to the clinical phase of study.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 5461 – Clinical Methods and Procedures III (2 credits)
This is the final in a series of three courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, and is designed to complement the content covered in Clinical Decision Making and Pathophysiology. The course provides a foundation of clinical skills and diagnostic modalities to prepare the student for common professional responsibilities and practices in patient care. Course content includes theory and practice of selected clinical laboratory techniques and procedures, with emphasis on effective utilization of the clinical laboratory in the diagnosis and management of disease states. Students learn to select, perform, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating, and managing patient needs. In the laboratory section of this course the emphasis is in “hands-on” experiences in which students practice and perform select procedures on classmates and/or partial task trainers. Simulations and models will also be utilized. Mastery of the concepts developed in this course will be critical to success in the Clinical Phase of the program.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of spring coursework

PAS 6103 – Clinical Seminar I (1 credit)
This course is the first in a series of three seminar style courses designed to aid the PA student in being successful in clinical rotations and in making the transition to the professional practice environment. Topics will include billing and coding, electronic medical records systems, patient safety, quality control/improvement, as well as special concerns during the inpatient medicine rotation. In additional to scheduled topics and guest speakers, students will be responsible for presenting case- and/or topic-related material to their classmates. Students may present unique cases or discuss novel topics that may be helpful to other students in their rotations. Seminar will meet on campus for a total of four, approximately three hour, sessions during the two day end-of-rotation activities.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of all didactic coursework

PAS 6110 – 6176 – Supervised Clinical Practice Experience
The supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) rotations are the culminating learning activities of the physician assistant program. SCPE are comprised of seven core rotations that all students must take and two elective rotations in any of the medical specialties or subspecialties. During the seven core rotations and two elective rotations, students work with a practicing clinician (referred to as the preceptor) and are actively participating in the health care system as part of the health care team.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of all didactic coursework and successful completion or accommodation for deficiencies for all prior SCPEs required for all rotations)

PAS 6110 – Family Medicine (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with experience in practicing the principles of Family Medicine. Students will gain experience in outpatient evaluation of pediatric and adult patients, including preventive medicine and acute and chronic illness.

PAS 6120 – Inpatient Medicine (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of inpatient medicine. The focus of this rotation is providing care for patients in the hospital setting with an emphasis on internal medicine.

PAS 6130 – Emergency Medicine (4 credits) This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with experience in triage, evaluation, and management of patients of all ages in the emergency room setting. The student will have the opportunity to learn skills needed for the appropriate triage, stabilization, diagnosis and management of patients with significant traumatic injuries, acute illnesses, acute complications of chronic illnesses as well as the management of less life-threatening problems.

PAS 6140 – General Surgery (4 credits) This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with an opportunity to learn, understand, and gain supervised experience in the principle and practice of General Surgery. Students will gain experience in the operating room as well as pre- and postoperative assessment and outpatient follow-up. The overall focus of this rotation is evaluation and care of patients with commonly encountered conditions requiring surgical management. By the end of this experience it is expected that the physician assistant student develop the necessary skills to first-assist a surgeon in a surgical setting.

PAS 6150 – Pediatrics (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with experience in outpatient and/or inpatient management of pediatric patients. The student will have the opportunity to perform well child exams, problem oriented exams, evaluate common pediatric illnesses, and the care of the newborn.

PAS 6160 – Women’s Health (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with experience in managing common gynecologic disorders. Obstetrics experience will include labor and delivery plus routine prenatal and postpartum care.

PAS 6170 – Behavioral Medicine (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with experience in caring for ambulatory and/or hospitalized patients with psychiatric disorders. The student will perform basic psychiatric evaluations, monitor medications, and support the clinical management plan for patients following psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

PAS 6175 – Elective I (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with the opportunity to gain experience in a specific area of interest. Areas of interest are chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine, or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

PAS 6176 – Elective II (4 credits)
This five-week clinical course provides the physician assistant student with the opportunity to gain experience in a specific area of interest. Areas of interest are chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine, or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

PAS 6203 – Clinical Seminar II (1 credit)
This course is the second in a series of three seminar style courses designed to aid the PA student in being successful in clinical rotations and in making the transition to the professional practice environment. Topics will include systems-based practice, PA-physician-health care team relationship, cost-containment, medico-legal issues, insurance systems and prior authorization. In additional to scheduled topics and guest speakers, students will be responsible for presenting case- and/or topic-related material to their classmates. Students may present unique cases or discuss novel topics that may be helpful to other students in their rotations. Seminar will meet on campus for a total of four, approximately three hour, sessions during the two day end-of-rotation activities.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of all didactic coursework

PAS 6303 – Clinical Seminar III (1 credit)
This course is the last in a series of three seminar style courses designed to aid the PA student in being successful in clinical rotations and in making the transition to the professional practice environment. Topics will include licensing and credentialing; finding a job; workplace stress and provider burnout and the impaired provider. In additional to scheduled topics and guest speakers, students will be responsible for presenting case- and/or topic-related material to their classmates. Students may present unique cases or discuss novel topics that may be helpful to other students in their rotations. Seminar will meet on campus for a total of four, approximately three hour, sessions during the two day end-of-rotation activities.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of all didactic coursework

PAS 6199, 6299, 6399 Master’s Project I-III (1 credit each)
The Master’s Project builds on the evidence-based medicine course series completed during the didactic phase of the program by having students participate individually in the conception, development, and production of a paper of publishable quality. The paper will incorporate the basic concepts of research design and statistics as they apply specifically to the medical research literature, in order to recommend sound, evidence-based, high-value/cost conscious clinical guidance to an audience of their peers. This course is designed to teach students the essential skills required for effective and efficient publication of peer-reviewed evidence-based medicine articles. The essential skills include identifying highly-relevant clinical questions or topics, performing a thorough review of the literature summarizing the current state of the topic, identifying the ideal publication venue for disseminating the information, determining the most appropriate article type and format within the given publication, writing a letter of interest to the journal editor, identifying the journal articles primary readership, drafting an introduction that compels the audience to read the article, writing (and re-writing) the manuscript in order to complete the article in alignment with the author guidelines for submission, and interacting professionally with the editorial staff as needed to guide the manuscript through the peer-review and production processes. These nine activities will be accomplished by each individual student with direct faculty mentorship.
Prerequisite: Successful completion or remediation of all didactic coursework

Come Visit Us!

For information, please call Carene Kelsey, Norcross Graduate School Health Professions Recruiter, at (336) 841-9527.

Department of Physician Assistant Studies 833 Montlieu Ave
High Point, NC 27262

(336) 841-9504 (V)
(336) 888-5034 (F)

To find our building, point your GPS to:
1030 Mall Loop Rd, High Point

Preparing healthcare professionals for the world as it is going to be SM

The Physician Assistant Studies Program at HPU

Welcome from the Department Chair

Flickr Photostream: Department of Physician Assistant Studies

ARC-PA Accreditation

The High Point University Physician Assistant Studies Program has applied for provisional accreditation from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Pending provisional accreditation in September 2014, HPU anticipates commencing the PA program in June 2015. Provisional accreditation is an accreditation status for a new PA program that has not yet enrolled students, but at the time of its comprehensive accreditation review, has demonstrated its preparedness to initiate a program in accordance with the accreditation Standards.
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