PA Entry-Level: Course Descriptions

HBA 561 Human Gross Anatomy (5 credits)

A lecture and laboratory course that includes dissections of the entire human body. The course is organized in three modules: (1) thorax and abdomen, (2) head and neck, including neuronatomy, and (3) limbs. It covers regional and conceptual information on the gross anatomy of all organ systems in the human body.

Objectives and course information is available on the following website:

HBP 511 Pathobiology (3 credits)
For graduate students who have obtained healthcare-related baccalaureate degrees. Covers the underlying principles of modern experimental pathology through the case study approach. Focuses on the clinical aspects of the body system, including relevant underlying biochemistry, structure, or pathophysiology at the organ, tissue, cell or molecular level.
HAP 512 Principles of Clinical Pharmacology (6 credits)
The lecture component of this course introduces physician assistant students to the study of pharmacology with clinical applications. Emphasis has been placed on the integration of clinical therapeutics of various medications as well as basic principles and pharmacologic properties of clinically relevant medications. The seminar component provides an opportunity for students to deepen their understanding of the clinical use of medications. The seminars integrate content learned in Clinical Medicine units and information presented in the lecture component which runs concurrently.
HAP 504 Professional Practice Issues (2 credits)
The Professional Practice Issues course provides students with information critical to understanding the development and organization of the physician assistant profession in the United States. Students explore the dynamics of PA practice, including such issues as responsibilities to patients and the public, professional regulation and involvement, team care, cultural diversity, and developing trends in PA practice. Students are encouraged to explore, critique, and evaluate professional practice issues especially as they relate to the quality, delivery and cost-effectiveness of our nation’s health care system.
HAP 509 Integrative Systems Physiology  (4 credits) 

Introduces students to human integrative systems physiology, with exposure to physiological control systems and an emphasis of each organ system and how homeostasis is maintained. Topics include membrane, muscle, central and peripheral nervous system, cardiovascular, respiratory, renal, gastrointestinal, and endocrine physiology. Normal physiology is paired with select examples of pathophysiology to emphasize relevance of material. Knowledge gained of normal function will be applied towards making predictions regarding disease states. Students are expected to gain a cumulative understanding of physiologic function and are challenged to apply this knowledge towards problem-solving and interpreting of physiologic scenarios.

cross-listed with HAS 355 Integrative Systems Physiology

HAP 510 Clinical Laboratory Medicine (3 credits)
Clinical Laboratory Medicine is an important professional course. The ability to select, perform and interpret the results of basic clinical laboratory procedures is essential to the PAs role and responsibilities in ordering and/or performing diagnostic tests and analyzing a data base to aid in formulating a preliminary diagnosis and management plan. The course is offered during modules two and three after students have acquired a foundation in human physiology and anatomy.
HAP 514 POMR: History & Physical Examination (5 credits)
The course provides students with an organized, sequential approach to the history and physical examination. Students will become competent in establishing relationships with patients through a variety of techniques and learning modalities, and will learn to appreciate the impact of culture on health beliefs and practices. Students will be able to perform both complete and directed histories and physical examinations and accurately document their findings.
HAP 516 Problem Based Learning (PBL) (1 credit)
This course provides students with the opportu­nity to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills in a seminar style, small-group environment. Students will learn how to con­nect the knowledge and attitudes developed in behavioral, basic, and clinical science courses to patient care. Increasing student capacity to seek and apply knowledge as individual problem solvers and members of a health care team are key to this course.
HAP 518 Medical Director Presentation Rounds (MDPR) (1 credit)
An essential skill for all physician assistants is the ability to orally present patients. In order to develop this skill the program has instituted Medical Director Presentation Rounds. These rounds occur monthly from Modules 1- 8. During each session one to two students orally present a history and physical examination that has been performed during history and physical pairings. Both the instructor and students provide feedback on the presentations, which are expected to become more focused and succinct as the year progresses. Students are evaluated on their ability to critique an incomplete History and Physical, identifying issues that will require further discussion in the HPI and physical exam. Students are also expected to be able to write a complete problem list and document a reasonable assessment and plan for each problem on the list, developing a problem list and formulate a brief assessment and plan.
HAP 521 Clinical Medicine I (5 credits)
HAP 522 Clinical Medicine II (7 credits)
HAP 523 Clinical Medicine III (6 credits)
HAP 524 Clinical Medicine IV (9 credits)
The Clinical Medicine course sequence (HAP 521-524) focuses on the clinical relevance of data obtained from the history and physical examination and emphasizes the process of synthesizing data to formulate diagnostic and management plans. The diagnostic/therapeutic process is taught in an organ systems (or medical subspecialty) approach. The rationale underlying the course sequence's design, content and emphasis is to provide the student with a comprehensive understanding of mental and physical health and disease. The selection and organization of course content is intended to help students develop a logical, sequential and humanistic approach to patients and the complexities of their medico-psycho-social problems based on the reasonable application of best available evidence.
HAP 528 Genitourinary, Sexual and Reproductive Health (4 credits)
This integrated course provides a comprehensive introduction to obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), female and male genitourinary system (GU) and human sexuality. Students will learn about structures, function, evaluation and treatments of the various diseases and conditions. Evaluation of these systems includes the ability to perform the relevant history and physical examination, utilize appropriate laboratory and imaging studies and to become familiar with health maintenance strategies. Students will learn how to diagnose and manage common disorders and know when to refer patients to those with special training. The human sexuality component of this course will help the students asses how their values, attitudes and beliefs about sexuality may influence the quality of their delivery of sexual health care to diverse patient populations. It will also provide students with strategies necessary to discuss sexual health issues with patients in a sensitive manner.
HAP 532 Diagnostic Imaging (2 credits)
This course provides the physician assistant student with an overview of common diagnostic imaging modalities and their indications, limitations, benefits and potential risks. Students are taught how to utilize radiographic studies in the diagnosis of disease with an emphasis placed on interpreting normal radiographic findings and their comparison to the abnormalities found in disease processes.
HAP 534 Introduction to Clinical Psychiatry (3 credits)
Provides an overview of the principles of psychiatric evaluation and interviewing including the mental status exam. Focuses on psychiatric problems seen in primary care, introducing students to the differential diagnosis and treatment of major psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, personality and mood disorders, psychosis, substance abuse, and somatoform disorders. Fosters an awareness of those social patterns that exert an impact on mental functioning.
HAP 501 Community Health and Service Learning for Physician Assistants (2 credits)

The Community Health and Service Learning course will provide opportunities for PA students to learn and reinforce medical knowledge and skills through serving local and international communities. This program differs from a traditional course in that it spans the entire didactic year. The learning methods utilized in this course will supplement traditional lectures, enhance the acquisition of clinical skills, cultural competencies, and expand knowledge of community resources for undeserved populations. Students will complete a minimum of fifteen (15) hours of community service that will be accomplished within the first year of the program in variable time increments. This course will provide students with an opportunity to choose the type of activity and the population to be served. This can be accomplished through individual or team projects.

HAP 549 Clinical Skills (1 credit)

The clinical skills course provides the physician assistant student with an overview of common clinical procedural skills and their indications, limitations, benefits and potential risks. Students are taught how to perform a number of commonly performed clinical procedures that will be emphasized in the clinical phase of education with an emphasis placed on aseptic technique, appropriate indications and contraindications, patient safety and patient comfort.

HAP 545 Ethics and Health Care (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of eithics and health care in a rapidly changing society.  It teaches students to approach ethical dilemmas using theoretical frameworks and decision making processes.  Explores eithical issues surrounding health care reform and public health policy and includes distribution of resources and rationing of services.  Introduces students to the ethical perspectives of euthanasia, reproduction, transplants and HIV/AIDS through case studies.  It reviews classic cases in health care ethics and their shaping of health policy.  Discusses patient education and professional codes of eithics and standards. 

HAP 551 Research Design and Evidence-Based Medicine (2 credits)
Provides students with basic knowledge and skills needed to formulate research questions and hypotheses, develop research protocols, critically evaluate and analyze scientific and medical journals, and to conduct computerized searches and literature reviews. Describes principles of Evidence-Based Medicine, with emphasis on various types of clinical questions and tools available to answer them.