University of Charleston

University of Charleston students who are selected for the Physician Assistant Program as an undergraduate via the PA Fast Track pathway will typically enter the master’s portion of their training the second semester of their junior year.

All selected Direct Admission students will follow the Master of Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum

Health Science Pre-PA curriculum is designed for PA Fast Track students who wish to earn a bachelor’s degree in addition to the master’s degree. Health Science Pre-PA curriculum courses and corresponding credit hours are included below:

Freshman Fall Semester
UNIV 101 Orientation to University 1
BIOL 130 General Biology 3
BIOL 130 L General Biology Lab 1
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I 3
CHEM 101 L General Chemistry I Lab 1
HUMN 101 Intro to Humanities 3
MATH 123 Pre-Calculus 4
COMM 101 Freshman Writing I 3
Total   19
Freshman Spring Semester
UNIV 102 The University Experience 2
BIOL 224 General Zoology 3
BIOL 224 L General Zoology Lab 1
CHEM 102 General Chemistry II 4
SSCI 105 Issues in Social Sciences 3
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
COMM 102 Freshman Writing II 3
COMM 103 Oral Communication Fundamentals 3
Total 22 
Year 2 Fall Semester
BIOL 301 Anatomy & Physiology I 4
BIOL 331 Microbiology for Majors 4
NSCI 220 Statistics for Science 3
ART 211 Art in Medicine 3
Total 14
Year 2 Spring Semester
BIOL 302 Anatomy & Physiology II 4
NSCI 333 History of Science 3
ENGL 340 Creative Writing 3
BIOL 303 Medical Terminology/Majors 3
Total 13
Year 3 Fall Semester
HSCI 204 Nutrition 3
BIOL 333 Immunology 4
UNIV 459 Senior Capstone 3
Literature Elective (LLO 3.2L) 3
NSCI 345 Issues in Medicine 3
Total  16
Total Before Matriculation 84
Year 3 Spring Semester
Physician Assistant Program Matriculation

 

Most of this degree is completed prior to matriculation into the UCPAP, the rest of the Bachelor of Health Science degree is earned after the student finishes selected master-level PA courses.

Pre-PA-Non-Degree Seeking Curriculum is recommended for PA Fast Track students who do not wish to earn a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree at the completion of the program.

Freshman Fall Semester
UNIV
101
Orientation to University 1
HUMN
101
Intro
to Humanities
3
MATH
123
Pre-calculus 4
BIOL
130
Biological
Science
3
BIOL 130L Biological Science Lab 1
CHEM 101 General Chemistry I 3
CHEM 101L General Chemistry Lab 1
COMM 101 Freshman Writing I 3
Total   19
Freshman Spring Semester
UNIV
102
The University
Experience
2
SSCI
105
Intro to Social Science 3
PSYC 101 Introduction to Psychology 3
BIOL
224
Zoology 3
BIOL
224L
Zoology
Lab
1
CHEM
102
General Chemistry II 3
CHEM
102L
General Chemistry II Lab 1
COMM 102 Freshman Writing II 3
COMM 103 Oral Communication Fundamentals 3
Total  22 
Year 2 Fall Semester
BIOL
301
Anat
& Physiology I
3
BIOL
301L
Anat & Physiology I Lab 1
CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I 3
CHEM 201L Organic Chemistry I Lab 1
ART 211 Art in
Medicine
3
NSCI 220 Statistics in Research 3
Total 14
Year 2 Spring Semester
BIOL
302
Anat & Physiology II 3
BIOL 302L Anat & Physiology II Lab 1
CHEM 202 Organic Chemistry II 3
CHEM 202L Organic Chemistry II Lab 1
BIOL 303 Medical Terminology 3
BIOL
304
Physical
Assessment
2
BIOL
304L
Physical Assessment Lab 1
Total 14
Year 3 Fall Semester
BIOL 333 Immunology 4
BIOL 331 Microbiology 3
BIOL 331L Microbiology Lab 1
NSCI
345
Issues
in Medicine
3
HSCI
204
Nutrition 3
Total  14
Total Before Matriculation 83
Year 3 Spring Semester
Physician Assistant Program Matriculation

 

Master of Physician Assistant Studies Curriculum

Master of Physician Assistant Studies curriculum course descriptions and corresponding credit hours are included below.

Spring Semester – Year One
MPAS 501 Professional Development I 1
MPAS 691 Patient-Centered Care I 2
MPAS 550 Mechanisms of Disease 2
MPAS 560 Clinical Pharmacology 2
MPAS 570 Applied Human Anatomy 4
MPAS 580 Medical Physiology 3
MPAS 590 History and Physical Examination 2
MPAS 590L History and Physical Exam Lab 1
Total 17
Summer Semester – Year One
MPAS 502 Professional Development II 1
MPAS 692 Patient-Centered Care II 1
MPAS 692L Patient-Centered Care II Lab 1
MPAS 600 Clinical Nutrition 1
MPAS 601 Behavioral Dynamics 3
MPAS 602 Clinical Medicine IA (Hematology/Oncology and Endocrinology Modules) 4
MPAS 603 Clinical Medicine IB (Infectious Disease and EENT Modules) 4
Total 15
Fall Semester – Year One
MPAS 503 Professional Development III 1
MPAS 693 Patient-Centered Care III 1
MPAS 693L Patient-Centered Care III Lab 1
MPAS 604 Cardiovascular 4
MPAS 605 Geriatrics 1
MPAS 606 Clinical Medicine IIA (Gastroenterology and Genitourinary Modules) 4
MPAS 607 Clinical Medicine IIB (Pulmonology and Neurology Modules) 4
MPAS 613 Principles of Rural Appalachian Medicine 1
Total 17
Spring Semester – Year Two
MPAS 504 Professional Development IV 1
MPAS 694 Patient-Centered Care IV 1
MPAS 694L Patient-Centered Care IV Lab 1
MPAS 608 Women’s Health 3
MPAS 609 Pediatrics 3
MPAS 610 Emergency Medicine 3
MPAS 611 Surgery 1
MPAS 612 Clinical Medicine III (Musculoskeletal and Dermatology Modules) 4
MPAS 614 Hospital Medicine 1
MPAS 699 Pre-Clinical Seminar 0
Total 18
Didactic Curriculum Total 67
Clinical Year
MPAS 505 Professional Development V 1
MPAS 506 Professional Development VI 1
MPAS 507 Professional Development VII 1
Clinical Rotations
MPAS 701 Family Medicine 5
MPAS 702 Internal Medicine 5
MPAS 703 Pediatrics 5
MPAS 704 Ob/Gyn 5
MPAS 705 Emergency Medicine 5
MPAS 706 General Surgery 5
MPAS 707 Psychiatry 5
MPAS 710 Elective 5
MPAS 799 Summative Seminar 0
Clinical Year Curriculum Total 43
Total Curriculum 110

 

Didactic Curriculum

MPAS 501 Professional Development I

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. This first semester focuses on the history of the profession, professionalism, medical ethics, and working as part of a health care delivery team. (1 credit)

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MPAS 502 Professional Development II

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. This second course in the series focuses on the health care provider’s roles and responsibilities in the area of public health and the practice of preventive medicine. (1 credit)

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MPAS 503 Professional Development III

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. The third in this seven course sequence evaluates health care disparities and provider sensitivity to cultural diversity, socioeconomic differences, and their impact on health and wellness. Alternative, integrative and preventive approaches to health care are examined. (1 credit)

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MPAS 504 Professional Development IV

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. Offered during the final semester of the didactic curriculum, this course focuses on preparation for clinical practice looking at many of the legal and practice-based issues including: electronic data management, coding, billing, reimbursement, rules and regulations, confidentiality, certification and licensure, and safety. (1 credit)

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MPAS 505 Professional Development V

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. This fifth course in the series is taken at the onset of the student’s supervised clinical practice experiential learning. The focus during this transitional phase is the development of skills needed to become a lifelong learner through practice based learning/self-improvement and developing awareness of health policy and current trends/issues. There is a continued emphasis on the display and development of professionalism as it applies to clinical practice. (1 credit)

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MPAS 506 Professional Development VI

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. During this sixth semester of professional development the organizational and economic elements of a systems-based practice are examined focusing on cost-effective and efficient health care, case management, risk management, error prevention, patient safety, and quality improvement. (1 credit)

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MPAS 507 Professional Development VII

The professional development sequence of courses spans the entire program curriculum and is intended to introduce and integrate principles of professionalism, ethics, and the business of medicine with the practice of medicine. The focus of this final course in the series will be the professional expectations and responsibilities facing the new physician assistant graduate and cultivation of the skills necessary for career development and growth. Topics will include such things as curriculum vitae/resume development, job searching, interviewing, employment contracts, credentialing, privileging, mentoring, leadership development and sustaining the profession. (1 credit)

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MPAS 691 Patient-Centered Care I

The patient-centered care (PCC) sequence of courses spans the didactic component of the curriculum and is designed to challenge students to develop clinical reasoning skills, think critically, enhance interpersonal and communication skills, apply evidence-based resources, and problem-solve as clinicians and as members of an interdisciplinary health care team. The first PCC course focuses on several fundamental concepts: team approach to care, patient-centered medical home (PCMH), roles and responsibilities of various health professions, core epidemiology and biostatistics principles, evidence-based medicine, and health information literacy. Tailoring care to individual patients will also be discussed, including principles related to treating patients with chronic disease so that students may subsequently consider disease processes of organ-systems in the context of patients with underlying comorbidities. (2 credits)

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MPAS 692 Patient-Centered Care II

The patient-centered care (PCC) sequence of courses spans the didactic component of the curriculum and is designed to challenge students to develop clinical reasoning skills, think critically, enhance interpersonal and communication skills, apply evidence-based resources, and problem-solve as clinicians and as members of an interdisciplinary health care team. The second PCC course introduces students to simulated cases where they will act as clinicians to evaluate standardized patients. Cases will be acute care in nature and emphasis will be placed on the following: developing differential diagnoses, developing assessments and plans, the medical chart, medical documentation, informed consent, oral case presentation, and integration of preventive care and public health principles in the context of acute care. (1 credit lecture, 1 credit lab)

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MPAS 693 Patient-Centered Care III

The patient-centered care (PCC) sequence of courses spans the didactic component of the curriculum and is designed to challenge students to develop clinical reasoning skills, think critically, enhance interpersonal and communication skills, apply evidence-based resources, and problem-solve as clinicians and as members of an interdisciplinary health care team. The third PCC course again utilizes simulated cases where students will evaluate standardized patients. Emphasis will be placed on the following: comprehensive patient management, longitudinal management of established patients, admission orders, inpatient management, progress notes, discharge summaries, rehabilitative care, palliative care and end-of-life issues, and utilization of an electronic health care record. (1 credit lecture, 1 credit lab)

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MPAS 694 Patient-Centered Care IV

The patient-centered care (PCC) sequence of courses spans the didactic component of the curriculum and is designed to challenge students to develop clinical reasoning skills, think critically, enhance interpersonal and communication skills, apply evidence-based resources, and problem-solve as clinicians and as members of an interdisciplinary health care team. The fourth PCC course will prepare students to work in teams with students from other health professions on campus. Case-based scenarios and cases utilizing mannikin simulators will facilitate a team approach to patient centered care. Students will be challenged to rely on the strengths of students from other disciplines to solve complex medical cases. Emphasis will also be placed on further developing interpersonal and communication skills. (1 credit lecture, 1 credit lab

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MPAS 550 Mechanisms of Disease

This course is an introduction to general pathology covering the basic principles of cell biology, histology, embryology, immunology, molecular genetics, infectious processes, nutrition, and environmental effects on health necessary for an understanding of human disease processes and the molecular mechanisms underlying disease development. The pathophysiology of diseases affecting specific body regions is presented in the individual organ system courses. (2 credits)

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MPAS 560 Clinical Pharmacology

This course covers fundamental pharmacology principles to provide a foundation for students to learn more about and subsequently utilize pharmacotherapeutics in the practice of patient-centered care. Topics include but are not limited to: pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics, drug interactions, adverse drug reactions, autonomic nervous system pharmacology, and analgesia. Emphasis will be placed on individualization of drug therapy. (2 credits)

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MPAS 570 Applied Anatomy

This course in human anatomy is intended to stress the clinical applications of topographic, radiographic and gross anatomy in the day to day practice of medicine. Recognizing normal anatomic structures, common anatomic variations, and anatomic pathology as well as the application of that knowledge toward effective diagnostic evaluation and therapeutic intervention is emphasized. (4 credits)

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MPAS 580 Medical Physiology

This course covers fundamental physiologic principles that must be understood in order to fully appreciate health and disease. Alterations of normal function will be highlighted throughout. Students will also be introduced to common laboratory medicine practices used to evaluate for disruption of the normal health state. (3 credits)

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MPAS 590 History and Physical Examination Skills

This course begins to develop effective interviewing skills necessary to perform a comprehensive health history as well as a problem-specific history. Students will be taught the principles of physical examination, including inspection, auscultation, percussion, and palpation. The initial focus will be on normal physical exam findings, with a latter emphasis on abnormal findings, so that students can identify normal findings and later differentiate between them. Instruction and practice in recording the comprehensive health history and physical exam will be included in this course. This course focuses on the history and physical examination specific to adults. History and physical exam skills specific to the pediatric and geriatric population are taught in other courses. (2 credits lecture, 1 credit lab)

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MPAS 600 Clinical Nutrition

This course is designed to provide a broad understanding of the basic principles of nutrition. It will identify the essential nutrients and their functions, as well as describe nutritional behaviors that promote optimal nutrition and disease prevention throughout the life cycle. Energy balance, nutrition for fitness, and nutrition in the treatment of disease will be included. (1 credit)

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MPAS 601 Behavioral Dynamics

This foundational course will emphasize psychosocial aspects of medicine. Students will be challenged to develop interpersonal and communication skills applicable to connecting with patients and other healthcare professionals. Treatment will be discussed from a biopsychological perspective with reference to psychotherapies, psychopharmacology, and environmental intervention. Recognition and management of common psychiatric and psychosocial problems encountered in primary care will be highlighted. Indications for referral and hospitalization will be discussed. Topics covered will include, but not be limited to, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychosis, substance use disorders, personality disorders, eating disorders, and psychiatric emergencies and crises. (3 credits)

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MPAS 602 Clinical Medicine IA

This is one of the series of courses using an organ systems approach for study of the clinical sciences. During this course, the commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the hematopoietic and lymphoid organs and processes of hemostasis and medical problems primarily affecting metabolism and organs of the endocrine system are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. An introduction to oncology is also included which focuses on the clinical aspects of cancer screening, diagnosis, staging, and therapeutic intervention. Organ specific cancers are primarily discussed in their corresponding clinical science courses. (5 credits)

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MPAS 603 Clinical Medicine IB

This is one of the foundational courses for study of the clinical sciences. This course uses a generalized approach to study infectious diseases by examining the mechanisms of disease transmission and pathogenicity, methods of diagnosis, antimicrobial pharmacotherapy, common and systemic clinical presentations, and methods for infection control and prevention. Common bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic pathogens are explored. Organ system specific infections are primarily discussed in their corresponding clinical science courses. Commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the eyes, ears, nose and throat (EENT) are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. (4 credits)

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MPAS 604 Cardiovascular

This is one of the series of courses using an organ systems approach for study of the clinical sciences. During this course, the commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the cardiovascular system are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. Students will also be challenged to learn the fundamentals of interpreting an electrocardiogram (EKG) with an emphasis on identifying common abnormal EKG patterns and differentiating these patterns from normal and normal variant EKG tracings. (4 credits)

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MPAS 605 Geriatrics

This course is designed to provide the foundation to address changes that occur with aging and medical problems commonly seen in the elderly. In addition, there is focus on the impact of aging on a patient’s quality of life, limitations in mobility and communication, access to health care, therapeutic interventions, and issues related to death and dying. (2 credits)

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MPAS 606 Clinical Medicine IIA

This is one of the series of courses using an organ systems approach for study of the clinical sciences. During this course, the commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the gastrointestinal and genitourinary system are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. (4 credits)

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MPAS 607 Clinical Medicine IIB

This is one of the series of courses using an organ systems approach for study of the clinical sciences. During this course, the commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the pulmonary and neurologic system are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. (4 credits)

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MPAS 613 Principles of Rural Appalachian Medicine

This course is designed to provide instruction on the differences in health care of the individuals in rural Appalachian communities. There is a focus on the vast health disparities for this region, as well as the environmental, economic, and social conditions that contribute to poor health and substandard health care.

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MPAS 608 Women’s Health

This course addresses important aspects of women’s health with an emphasis on obstetrical, gynecologic, and preventive care. Content will include a thorough exploration of physiology, pathophysiology, disease states, management options, and screening guidelines for women’s health issues. Obstetrics focuses on the principles of prenatal care, complications that arise in pregnancy, and management of the more common emergent problems that can occur in pregnancy. (3 credits)

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MPAS 609 Pediatrics

This course examines important aspects of primary care pediatrics including assessment of the child patient, preventive health, and pediatric diseases and conditions. Specific issues of the newborn and older child will be presented in such areas as perinatal care, child development & behavior, congenital & genetic disorders, pediatric pharmacotherapy, pediatric infectious disease, and parenting. The student will also learn assessment techniques specific to the pediatric population. (3 credits)

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MPAS 610 Emergency Medicine

This course is designed to prepare students to recognize, rapidly assess, and effectively manage an emergent illness or injury. Problem-based case studies and team-based activities are utilized extensively in this course to encourage the development of team-work, collaboration, and interdisciplinary value. BLS and ACLS certification is part of this course. (3 credits)

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MPAS 611 Surgery

This course focuses on the surgical management of health care problems emphasizing the principles and practices involved in aseptic and surgical technique, wound management, anesthesia, and preoperative, perioperative and postoperative evaluation and management of patients. (1 credit)

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MPAS 612 Clinical Medicine III

This is one of the series of courses using an organ systems approach for study of the clinical sciences. During this course, the commonly encountered medical problems primarily affecting the musculoskeletal and dermatologic system are examined. The clinical presentation, epidemiology, pathology, patient assessment, diagnosis, therapeutic interventions, management, and clinical course of these conditions will be explored. (4 credits)

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MPAS 614 Hospital Medicine

This course will address the core competencies that are essential in managing many of the challenges experienced by hospital-based health care professionals. Using an interactive, case-based format, key highlights from most major areas of internal medicine will be presented. During this course, students will develop an understanding of how to appropriately manage common inpatient clinical conditions and their potential complications during hospitalization, and learn how to incorporate multidisciplinary plans for clinical decision making and transition of care.

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MPAS 699 Pre-Clinical Seminar

This pass/fail seminar is required prior to the supervised clinical practice experiential learning component of the physician assistant program. Students must satisfactorily demonstrate a comprehensive basic medical and clinical sciences knowledge base and essential technical skills before they can proceed into clinical practice rotations. (0 credit)

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Clinical Curriculum

Supervised Clinical Practice Rotations

The supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE) rotations are the culminating learning activities of the physician assistant program. SCPE consist of nine core rotations that all students must take and one elective rotation in any of the medical specialties or subspecialties, or in medical research or medical academia. During each rotation students work with a practicing clinician (referred to as the preceptor) and are actively participating in health care delivery as part of the health care team.

MPAS 701 Family Medicine Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of Family Medicine. The focus of this preceptorship is evaluation and management of commonly encountered conditions in the outpatient setting and in patients of all ages.

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MPAS 702 Internal Medicine Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of Internal Medicine, specifically in the inpatient setting. The focus of this preceptorship is providing care for patients with both acute and chronic conditions.

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MPAS 703 Pediatrics Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of Pediatrics. The focus of this preceptorship is acute and preventive health care for pediatric patients.

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MPAS 704 Obstetrics/Gynecology Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand, and gain supervised experience in the principles and practice of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The overall focus of this preceptorship is obstetrical, gynecologic, and women’s preventive care.

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MPAS 705 Emergency Medicine Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of Emergency Medicine. The overall focus of this preceptorship is providing emergency medical services.

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MPAS 706 General Surgery Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand, and gain supervised experience in the principles and practice of General Surgery, especially in the operating room setting. The overall focus of this preceptorship is evaluation and care of patients with commonly encountered conditions requiring surgical management.

MPAS 707 Psychiatry Rotation

This core clinical practice rotation provides an opportunity to learn, understand and gain supervised experience in practicing the principles of Psychiatry. The focus of this preceptorship is behavioral and psychiatric health care.

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MPAS 710 Elective Rotation

This mandatory elective four-week rotation provides the opportunity to gain experience in a specific area of interest that may include a medical or surgical subspecialty, academic medicine, or medical research. The focus of this preceptorship is to explore the role of health care specialists.

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MPAS 799 Summative Seminar

The purpose of this pass/fail seminar is twofold: to comprehensively demonstrate knowledge, patient care skills, and professional competency sufficient to function as an entry-level physician assistant and to prepare graduation candidates for the physician assistant national certification examination (PANCE). (0 credit)

UC's CASPA GRE Code is: 8830