MS in Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum
Students in ODU's Physician Assistant Studies Program divide their time between the classroom and lab, and clinical sites.
The PA Program curriculum is subject to change in order to best meet the needs of
the physician assistant profession and the student.
The following 12 months are spent in various clinical sites using a medical apprenticeship model. Near the end of the clinical phase, students participate in an intensive board review course to prepare for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and clinical practice.
The first four semesters of ODU's PA Program consist of didactic and laboratory coursework
in the basic and clinical sciences, including a full semester’s course in anatomy
with cadaver dissection.
Additionally, students receive instruction in basic sciences useful to better understanding of clinical medicine such as pathophysiology, genetics, microbiology and immunology.
- For more information on Program Learning Outcomes and Competencies, please see PA Program Policy and Procedures Student Handbook.
Note that the curriculum is subject to change at the discretion of faculty.
|Didactic Year Courses
15 Months / 70 Semester Hours
|Fall (Semester 1) Aug. - Dec.|
|PAS 510 The Physician Assistant Profession||1|
|PAS 520 Gross Human Anatomy||4|
|PAS 527 Microbiology & Immunology||3|
|PAS 530 Physical Diagnosis I: Effective Patient Communication||2|
|PAS 563 Medical Physiology||2|
|PAS 566 Human Genetics||2|
|PAS 652 Public Health & Nutritional Concepts||2|
|Spring (Semester 2) Jan. - May|
|PAS 601 Clinical Medicine I||7|
|PAS 630 Physical Diagnosis II||4|
|PAS 660 Diagnostic Methods||3|
|PAS 663 Pathophysiology||3|
|PAS 670 Pharmacology I||3|
|PAS 890 Experimental Clinical Preparation I||1|
|Summer (Semester 3) June - Aug.|
|PAS 702 Clinical Medicine II: Emergency Medicine||3|
|PAS 704 Clinical Medicine II: Women's Health & Pediatrics||4|
|PAS 730 Physical Diagnosis III||4|
|PAS 770 Pharmacology II||3|
|PAS 773 Research Methods||1|
|PAS 810 Ethics, Health Systems, Law & Policy||1|
|PAS 891 Experimental Clinical Preparation II||1|
|Fall (Semester 4) Aug. - Dec.|
|PAS 703 Clinical Medicine II: Surgery||2|
|PAS 706 Primary Care Seminar||3|
|PAS 807 Practical Clinical Skills||4|
|PAS 830 Diverse & Vulnerable Patient Populations in Health Care||1|
|PAS 840 Clinical Decisions||3|
|PAS 880 Behavioral Health & Illness||2|
|PAS 892 Experimental Clinical Preparation III||1|
|Total Credits Required||70|
Didactic students are also introduced into clinical settings through shadowing and hospital experiences throughout the didactic year. Additionally, students will receive instruction in risk management and the electronic medical record (EMR) to better prepare for actual practice in a changing healthcare environment.
In the final semester of the didactic phase, students receive further hands-on training
in clinical skills such as suturing, surgical knotâtying, IV administration and
access, casting/splinting, sterile technique including surgical scrubbing and gowning,
advanced cardiac life support, and other clinical skills.
Students will also participate in Objective Standardized Clinical Examinations (OSCEs) as part of the physical diagnosis course and are expected to successfully pass these in order to progress to the clinical phase.
The clinical phase of the program lasts 12 months and consists of seven core rotations and four non-core rotations, plus a Transition to Practice course.
- For more information, please see PA Program Policy and Procedures Student Handbook.
|Clinical Year Rotations
12 Months / 24 Semester Hours
|PAS 901 Family Medicine||2|
|PAS 902 Emergency Medicine||2|
|PAS 903 Internal Medicine||2|
|PAS 904 Women’s Health||2|
|PAS 905 Pediatrics||2|
|PAS 906 Surgery||2|
|PAS 907 Behavioral Medicine||2|
|PAS 909 Non-Core Rotation I||2|
|PAS 910 Non-Core Rotation II||2|
|PAS 911 Non-Core Rotation III||2|
|PAS 912 Non-Core Rotation IV||2|
|PAS 950 Transition to Practice||2|
|Total Credits Required||24|
During clinical rotations, students are visited by a faculty member in order to assess
the clinical learning experience. These visits are designed to ensure each student
receives an appropriate clinical learning experience.
Additionally, students are required to return to campus for end of rotation examinations and/or professional practice activities.
Students are required to complete appropriate logging and evaluation forms as delineated
in each syllabus and written assignments as assigned.
Additionally, near the end of the clinical phase, students will participate in an intensive board review course to better prepare for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and clinical practice.
Students are required to complete all 11 clinical rotations. Students will be expected to travel to various rotation sites. While the majority of the clinical sites are in state, some may require travel out of state. Students are responsible for all travel expenses (e.g., housing , travel and food) to and from their assigned clinical rotation site. All rotation assignments are determined by the program. Students are not required to provide or solicit clinical sites or preceptors.
Student Work Policy
ODU's Physician Assistant Studies Program is academically rigorous and challenging. Students are strongly discouraged from working during the program. Employment during the program makes it extraordinarily difficult to maintain study and course work, as well as for social activities and muchâneeded rest. Students may not apply compensated clinical experiences toward academic credit.
Students may not provide services within a preceptor’s practice apart from those rendered
as part of the clinical phase of the program. Students are not permitted to have clerical
or teaching activities within the program. Students may not receive compensation for
work performed within a preceptor’s clinical site or practice.
Waiver of Courses & Academic Standing
Students may not waive any course within the PA Program curriculum, nor does the program allow advance standing. Students who have been dismissed or withdrawn from the program and readmitted can be granted credit for courses they completed successfully. This is subject to review by the appropriate faculty committee.
Physician Assistant Studies
Lisa Mergler and Chad Coon share why they chose to pursue their Master's Degree in Physician Assistant Studies at Ohio Dominican University.