The preclinical phase of instruction consists of intensive basic, behavioral, and clinical science coursework. Emphasis is placed on insuring that students have mastered the foundation knowledge necessary to manage patients in the clinical phase of the program and as practicing PAs. The development of critical thinking and analytical skills is accomplished through the use of problem-based learning, clinical case studies, and small group learning coupled with the traditional lecture-learner format. Program faculty and colleagues from throughout the HSC and the program’s clinical affiliates teach all courses.
Several courses are taken in conjunction with students from other health disciplines in order to foster an appreciation of the value of the team approach to medical care. Opportunities to exercise knowledge and skills during the first year are conducted at UH and clinical affiliates. A comprehensive clinical skills course provides hands on education for a smooth transition between the preclinical and clinical years of the program.