PA Post-Professional: Course Descriptions

The post-professional program is designed for practicing PAs who want to enhance the strength and depth of their medical knowledge and clinical reasoning and advance their skills in areas such as administration, management, education and research. All students in the Stony Brook Post-Professional program must complete a total of 30 credits within five (5) years in order to graduate. Eighteen credits are included in the core curriculum and include topics that are core competencies essential to optimizing practice skills. The remaining 12 credits are elective courses that allow students to personalize their graduate education (see table below).

In addition to academic credits, 15 credits of category I CME are awarded upon completion of each core course.

Not all courses are offered each semester.
Refer to the course offerings by semester page for specific information.
HAP courses are offered by the Department of Physician Assistant Education.
HAS courses are offered by the Health Care Policy and Management Department.

Click on each course title to view each course description.


Core Courses


Elective Courses

HAS Courses that serve as electives for the PPMP 
(click here for course descriptions)

  • HAS 513 —Health Care and Older People
  • HAS 516 — Health and the Aging Process
  • HAS 525 Complimentary and Alternative Medicine
    (or HAP 559 Complimentary and Alternative Medicine)
  • HAS 526 — Community Mental Health Programs
  • HAS 527 — Principles and Practice of Public and Community Health
  • HAS 528 — Long Island's Community Health
  • HAS 529 — Community Health and Patient Education
  • HAS 530 — Health Care Operations
  • HAS 531 —Healthcare Delivery Systems
  • HAS 533 — Communications and Group Dynamics
  • HAS 534 — Fundamental of Health Care Management
  • HAS 535 — Essentials of Health Care Finance
  • HAS 536 — Health Law
  • HAS 538 — Health Economics and Public Policy
  • HAS 539 — Strategic Planning for Health Programs, Facilities and Networks
  • HAS 543 — Health Planning and Policy
  • HAS 544 — Principles of Managed Care
  • HAS 546— Stem Cells and Society
  • HAS 547 —Proposal and Grant Writing for the Health Professions
  • HAS 554 — Marketing in Health Services
  • HAS 555 — Essentials in Health Care Sales and Marketing
  • HAS 556 —Foundation of Healthcare Quality Management
  • HAS 557— Planning and Implementing Health Programs
  • HAS 560 —Evaluation of Community Health Initiatives
  • HAS 564 — Health Information and Communications Systems
  • HAS 570 — Business Aspects of Managed Care
  • HAS 571 — Issues in Health Care Management
  • HAS 572 — Ambulatory Care Management
  • HAS 573 —Statistical Process Control for Health Care Quality
  • HAS 574 — Group Practice Management
  • HAS 575 — Long Term Care
  • HAS 576 — Workplace 2020
  • HAS 577 — e-Healthcare, e-Commerce, and e-Care
  • HAS 578 — Leadership in Health Care
  • HAS 579 —Advanced Seminar in Health Policy
  • HAS 592 —Special Topics in Health Policy

HFN Courses that serve as electives for the PPMP 
(click here for course descriptions)

  • HFN 500—Survey of Nutrition Concepts
  • HFN 503— Nutrition in the Media: Making Sense of the Science
  • HFN505—Contemporary Issues Across the Lifespan
  • HFN 510—Issues and Trends in Nutrition
  • HFN 512—Macronutrients and Metabolic Regulation
  • HFN 514— Micronutrients and Functional Nutrition
  • HFN 515—Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice
  • HFN 516—Advanced Nutrition in Clinical Practice II
  • HFN 520—Advanced Communications and Counseling

HAP 505: Contemporary Issues in Health Care Delivery
(3 Credits)

This course provides clinically practicing physician assistants an overview of important information and trends in health care delivery in the twenty first century. Lecture content will include topics such as health care delivery, emergency response preparedness, information technology in health care, medical genetics, geriatrics, global health, health law, health literacy and other health care topics as they arise. A variety of teaching methods will be utilized including lecture, case studies and small group discussions. Students will have the opportunity to explore in depth one area of special interest pertinent to the course.

HAP 511: Clinical Pharmacology Seminar for Physician Assistants
(3 Credits)

Provides an opportunity for physician assistants to enhance their ability to rationally prescribe pharmaceuticals. The on-line seminars/case discussions integrate information presented via classroom and web-based lectures. At the completion of this course, students will have deepened their understanding of how to appropriately select medications in various clinical settings, with knowledge of potential advantages, disadvantages, and relative costs. Post-professional PA students only.

HAP 538: Clinical and Psychosocial Aspects of Palliative Medicine
(3 credits)

This course will provide students with knowledge and skills relevant to the practice of hospice and palliative medicine. This involves care of patients at all stages of progressive disease, including symptom management, restoration and maintenance of quality of life, with a focus on patient-directed goals. Coordination of services and care, using a holistic, team-based model and communication tools will also be explored. This course will be open to any healthcare professional who has an interest or work experience in hospice and palliative medical care. The course will be taught in a distance-learning format and offered in weekly sessions

HAP 539:Hospice and Palliative Care Policy Issues
(3 credits)

Introduces healthcare professionals to policy issues and fundamental tools relevant to the delivery of hospice and palliative care. Addresses aging population;workforce issues;healthcare expenditures and reimbursements; and advancement of medical technology. Includes ethics, barriers to practice, and medical legal issues. Open to any healthcare professional who has an interest or work experience in hospice and palliative medical care.

HAP 541: Principles and Practices of Clinical Prevention and Population Health
(3 credits)

This course provides clinically practicing physician assistants an in-depth understanding of health promotion, disease prevention and population health and resources for utilization of this information in their clinical practices. The framework for the course consists of four components including evidence base for practice; clinical prevention services-health promotion; health systems and health policy; and community aspects of practice. Includes both individually-oriented and population-oriented preventative efforts, as well as interaction between the two. Students will be required to complete a health promotion or disease prevention project relevant to their community or clinical practice.

HAP 545: Ethics and Health Care
(3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the ethics of health care in a rapidly changing society. Students learn how to approach ethical dilemmas using theoretical framework and decision-making processes. Ethical issues surrounding health care changes and public health policy, including distribution of resources and rationing of services are explored. Through the use of case studies students are introduced to other health topics, such as euthanasia, reproduction, transplants, genetics, research on human subjects, pediatrics, cloning and stem cells and mental health from an ethical perspective. The course also includes a review of classic cases in health care ethics and how they have shaped health policy, an overview of patient education and ethics, and a discussion of the Guidelines for Ethical Conduct for the Physician Assistant Profession. The course also allows students to research and present an ethical case of interest to them in the form of a "Current Events Case Presentation". The course will be taught in an online format.

HAP 552: Evidence Based Medicine: Evaluating and Applying Clinical Research
(3 credits)

Provides practicing PAs with the knowledge and skills to develop and evaluate clinical research questions, hypotheses, designs and protocols, and to critically evaluate and analyze scientific and medical journals. Students will learn to conduct computerized searches and literature reviews. Introduces the principles and practice of Evidence-Based Medicine, with emphasis on various types of clinical questions typically encountered in PA practice, and tools available to answer them. Course will focus on student areas of interest, and projects will be based on clinical cases encountered in the student's practice. Students will apply their knowledge of research and EBM by designing a clinical question and conducting and reporting on a thorough literature search on their topic of choice.

HAP 554: Research Writing for Health Professionals
(3 credits)

This course prepares students to write and edit the components of research proposals and essays. Students will review required components for research proposals and practice writing and editing components and other assigned essays. Students will learn a six phase editing process to apply to their own writing and will learn to critique the writing of other students.

HAP 556 — Teaching Strategies
(3 credits)

This course provides an overview of the principles associated with effective teaching. Students will combine theory and practice while developing teaching skills that promote learning and diversity within a variety of educational settings. Topics covered in this course emphasize the practical aspects of teaching and include teaching models, student learning styles, course objectives, learning outcomes evaluation, teaching evaluation and classroom ethics. Students will be required to complete a final project that will be presented, discussed and evaluated in class.

HAP 557: Introduction to Clinical Informatics
(3 credits)

This course introduces health care professionals to concepts surrounding clinical information systems and the practical applications of these concepts. The course also gives an overview of the Clinical Informatics field including definitions, theory, technologies, and workflows. The course content will focus on topics related to the delivery of health care within the realm of the electronic medical record systems, including policy, leadership, regulatory affairs and administration.

HAP 558: Epidemiology
(3 credits)

This course presents epidemiologic concepts used to study health and disease in populations. It provides information about the major causes of morbidity and mortality, including methods of measurement (e.g., incidence, prevalence) and data sources. Observational and experimental epidemiologic studies will be described and their advantages and disadvantages compared. Students will develop the skills needed to critically review epidemiologic research studies published in peer-reviewed journals. Students will be introduced to the various areas of epidemiologic study, including cancer, molecular/genetic, environmental, occupational, social and behavioral, and infectious disease/surveillance. The course comprises lectures, small group seminars, and reviews of published research allowing for in-depth discussions of topics.

HAP 559: Alternative and Complimentary Medicine
(3 credits)

This course will examine the theory, philosophy, and applications of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) within today’s health care system. Students will learn about the many alternatives to traditional Western or allopathic medicine, and how these various models, systems, and therapies impact on the delivery of health care in the United States. Students will be expected as a result of their increased knowledge to be able to respond to patients/consumers’ requests for information on the use of CAM therapies. Throughout the course, an evidence-based approach will be emphasized; students will be expected to be aware of the clinical research being done in these areas, and understand how the research is classified. Students will learn how to access the vast array of resources on CAM that are available; in learning about the numerous CAM therapies/modalities, they will understand how to incorporate CAM therapies into their own practice. This course will be taught in an online format.

HAP 588: Practicum
(3 credits)

This course is designed to give Physician Assistant (PA) Post-Professional Masters Program (PPMP) students the opportunities to apply theories and skills learned in the program. A limited number of students are allowed to develop a practicum project that is uniquely designed to meet his/her needs. Students will plan and implement a project within one of the following areas: 1) research, 2) administration and management, 3) education, 4) leadership/professional development or 5) professional writing. The project must be negotiated with and approved by the Program Director. Acceptable projects must include design, implementation and analysis phases as well as a bibliography. Once the project is accepted, the Program Director will identify an appropriate mentor and assist in the development of a practicum proposal between the student and the mentor. Enrollment is open to PA PPMP students only by permission of the Program Director. The course is worth 3 credits but may be repeated no more than once.

HAP 585: Introduction to Biostatistics
(3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the principles of statistical methods and epidemiology and their application in the health sciences. The student will develop a basic understanding of statistics, epidemiology, and interpretation of research studies in order to communicate risk and scientific evidence to colleagues and the public, directly or through the press. 4 credits, Term Varies, Instructor C. Gallagher