College of Health Sciences

Physician Assistant Program

Course Descriptions

The Physician Assistant in the Healthcare System| Lecture | 1.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5000-AA (First year, fall semester)
The goal of this course is to give students a foundation of practical knowledge about the health system and the PA profession. It begins by orienting students to the basic components of the US healthcare system.  Issues and questions are presented and will be discussed in relation to their impact on citizens as well as the practicing physician assistant. Topics will include the historical underpinnings of healthcare policy, the healthcare system, hospitals, ambulatory care, quality assurance and risk management in clinical practice, education, personnel, financing, insurance, managed care, mental health, long term care, public health,  and other contemporary health care issues. Learners will be expected to evaluate, present and debate pertinent issues presented in the course lectures and readings. The influence of cultural issues on healthcare policy will be discussed. The relationship between socioeconomic issues and healthcare will also be explored.  The role of the PA physician assistant (PA) in the context of the modern U.S. health care system will be discussed. The history and evolution of the PA profession in U.S. medicine will be presented. Examined are the status, trends, and characteristics of PA healthcare providers, their education, regulation, practice patterns, external relations, and professional organizations. Issues related to PA health workforce policy are presented, along with aspects of PA salary and reimbursement and the legal and economic aspects of PA practice.

Gross Anatomy | Lecture and Lab | 3.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5001-AA (First year, fall semester)
Provides Physician Assistant students with an extensive background in gross human anatomy through lecture, laboratory and independent learning exercises. Presentations include discussions of the embryologic basis for common clinical findings. Course has a clinical emphasis. Lectures and labs emphasize anatomy and anatomic relationships significant to common clinical medicine topics and surgical procedures.

Medical Microbiology | Lecture | .50 credit

CHS-PAS-5002-AA (First year, fall semester)
Provides an overview of microbiology as it pertains to the practice of clinical medicine. Includes instruction focused on pathogenic categories including: bacteria; rickettsia; mycobacteria; viruses; fungi; and parasites.

Behavioral Science | Lecture | 1.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5003-AA (First year, spring semester)
Covers the normal and abnormal psychological development of pediatric, adult and geriatric patients. Uses lectures and readings to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the understanding of, communication with, and counseling of patients and their families in the following areas: health promotion and disease prevention; eating disorders; substance abuse; human sexuality; response to illness, injury, and stress; principles of violence identification and prevention (child, spouse, elder); genetic inheritance of disease; geriatrics; end of life issues.  Case studies are presented to enhance student learning.

Pediatrics | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5004-AA (Second year, summer term)
Introduction to the most common health problems affecting the pediatric patient, from the newborn period through adolescence. Lectures focus on health promotion, disease prevention and screening, pathology identification and management, and patient education and counseling for the pediatric patient and his/her family.

Surgery  | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5005-AA (Second Year, Summer Term)
Designed to prepare the student for the General Surgery rotation.  General surgical concepts needed for the Physician Assistant to function in major surgical areas as well as primary care settings are presented. The course emphasizes surgical techniques and procedures, as well as asepsis, minor procedures, and anesthesia.

Management & Administration of Health Care Systems| Lecture| 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5006-AA (First year, fall semester)
Students will be introduced to the day-to-day operation of a family practice / primary care office and what role the provider in this setting plays in patient care. To further prepare them for their “pre-clinical” experience, students will be given an overview of documentation, billing, coding, reimbursement, quality assurance, risk management and other practice-based essentials. Topics covered will include safety precautions, HIPPA and OSHA guidelines and blood borne pathogens. Students will be introduced to PAST™ – Physician Assistant Student Tracking System, patient-encounter tracking software that is loaded onto their iPad so they can begin to collect patient information (gender, age, ICD-9 and CPT codes, etc.).

Physiology and Pathophysiology 1 | Lecture | 2.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5030-AA (First year, fall semester)
Provides a foundation for the study of diseases in the Clinical Medicine courses and begins with basic science modules in cellular physiology, biochemistry, pathology, and immunology. Students learn about organ systems with presentations emphasizing normal physiology of each system, followed by the pathophysiology of diseases important to that system. For each system, lecturers discuss normal function, cellular changes and pathological changes, including inflammatory aspects, infectious conditions and any neoplastic presentations where appropriate.  In addition, an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie disease processes and diagnostic tests is also be included.

Physiology and Pathophysiology 2 | Lecture | 2.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5031-AA (First year, spring semester)
Lectures proceed through organ systems, with presentations emphasizing normal physiology of that system, followed by the pathophysiology of diseases important to that organ system. For each system, lecturers discuss normal function, cellular changes and pathological changes, including inflammatory aspects, infectious conditions, and any neoplastic presentations where appropriate. Genetic mechanisms in health and disease are integrated into each system where applicable, and an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie disease processes and diagnostic tests is also included, providing a foundation for the study of diseases in the Clinical Medicine courses. Clinical cases are utilized; areas of study include: cardiovascular system; respiratory system; renal and urinary systems; gastrointestinal system; dermatology and endocrinology.

Physiology and Pathophysiology 3 |Lecture | 1.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5032-AA (Second year, summer term)
Lectures proceed through organ systems with presentations emphasizing normal physiology of that system followed by the pathophysiology of diseases important to that organ system. For each system, lecturers will discuss normal function, cellular changes, and pathological changes, including inflammatory aspects, infectious conditions and any neoplastic presentations where appropriate. Genetic mechanisms in health and disease will be integrated into each system where applicable, and an understanding of the mechanisms that underlie disease processes and diagnostic tests is also included. This provides a foundation for the study of diseases in the Clinical Medicine courses. Clinical cases are utilized; areas of study include: neurology; rheumatology; orthopedics; women’s health; geriatric medicine.

Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics 1 | Lecture | 1.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5040-AA (First year, fall semester)
First of three courses in Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics.  Introduces students to the general principles of pharmacology and the application of these principles to patient care situations. Students learn the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, pharmacogenetics, dosage forms and dose-response relationships. Classes of pharmaceuticals will be studied, with a focus on the mechanisms of drug action in different therapeutic classes, drug side effects and drug-drug interactions, the interaction of drugs with the disease state under treatment, polypharmacy, and reputable sources of information about drugs. The classes of pharmaceuticals will parallel the body system being studied in Clinical Medicine 1.

Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics 2 |Lecture | 2.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5041-AA (First year, spring semester)
Second of a three-course series, teaches the principles of pharmacology and how to apply these principles to patient care situations.  Focus is on mechanisms of drug action in different therapeutic classes, drug side effects and drug-drug interactions, the interaction of drugs with the disease state under treatment, polypharmacy, and reputable sources of information about drugs. The classes of pharmaceuticals will parallel the body system being studied in Clinical Medicine 2.

Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics 3 | Lecture | 2.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5042-AA (Second year, summer term)
Final course in a three-course series. Continues to teach the principles of pharmacology and how to apply these principles to patient care situations. Focus is on mechanisms of drug action in different therapeutic classes, drug side effects and drug-drug interactions, the interaction of drugs with the disease state under treatment, polypharmacy, and reputable sources of information about drugs. The classes of pharmaceuticals will parallel the body system being studied in Clinical Medicine 3.

Clinical Problem Solving 1 | Lecture, Lab | 3.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5050-AA (First year, spring semester)
The focus of this course will be to synthesize and practice the theoretical and practical aspects of critical thinking involved in the process of clinical problem solving. Through the application of self-discovery and through integration of clinical reasoning utilizing all knowledge and skills already obtained, students will continue to solve problems that are frequently encountered in the day-to-day practice of medicine. In large and small group settings, a problem-based learning (PBL) format will be used to accomplish this goal. This class will apply the knowledge, skills, and attitudes learned across the curriculum to individual patient cases. Throughout the year, the cases presented will relate to the organ system being studied in the Physiology and Pathophysiology, Clinical Medicine, and Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics courses.

Beginning in CPS 1, students will be involved in weekly “pre-clinical” experiences. The experiences will have a primary care focus, but will also expose the students to specialty practice and other ancillary services of medicine.  Students will initially observe and slowly, according to their skills and with preceptor supervision, sequentially increase their independence, applying the knowledge, skills, and professional attributes they are learning in the classroom. This will be their introduction to practice-based medicine and a precursor to their clinical year and clinical practice.

Clinical Problem Solving 2 | Lecture, Lab | 1.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5051-AA (Second year, summer term)
Utilizing the same problem-based learning format as CPS 2, students will develop patient case scenarios based on assigned clinical medicine topics.  In a small group format, the students will perform a history and physical on one another, utilizing concepts learned in Clinical Medicine, Clinical Assessment 1, Clinical Assessment 2, and Behavioral Science 1 to formulate a differential diagnosis and final diagnosis. The second part of the course will be a research paper on a specific clinical question regarding the disease state encountered in the first part of the course. Students will use an evidence based medicine approach to determining the most appropriate clinical intervention based on the most recent and valid scientific data.

Students will continue to have weekly pre-clinical experiences throughout CPS 2. The experiences will continue to have a primary care focus but will also expose the students to specialty practice and other ancillary services in medicine.

Physical Diagnosis 1 | Lecture, Lab | 2.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5060-AA (First year, fall semester)
First of two-course series designed to prepare the student for obtaining a complete medical history and performing a complete physical examination on any patient, with special sensitivity to gender, age and cultural background. Students progress body-system by body-system during this semester. Lectures, DVDs and live demonstrations will be used. Normal, variations and common abnormal physical exam findings are introduced. Emphasis placed on the understanding of the relationship of major signs and symptoms to their physiologic or pathophysiologic origins across the ages.

The laboratory portion of the course allows students to work in pairs, alternating roles as patient or Physician Assistant provider, to develop the history taking and examination skills discussed in lecture. Students also work in small groups with faculty members to further develop these skills.  Documentation of findings will be emphasized.

Physical Diagnosis 2 | Lecture, Lab | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5061-AA (First year, spring semester)
Utilizes the competencies acquired in learning the complete adult interview and physical examination in PA560 as a base upon which to build competencies in performing the focused medical history and physical examination.  Also designed to continue to develop the student’s interview and physical examination skills pertinent to special populations, including: Obstetrics; Geriatrics; Patients with disabilities; Adolescents; and LGBT.  Course format will include lectures, small group practice, seminars, the use of OSCEs (Objective Structured Clinical Examination) and labs.

Emergency Medicine | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5100-AA (Second year, summer term)
Approach to the diagnosis and management of common emergency conditions for primary care physician assistants. Topics include multiple trauma, chest trauma, abdominal trauma, shock, and cardiac emergencies.

Evidence-Based Practice | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5101-AA (First year, fall semester)
Review of basic statistics precedes statistical application to evidence-based theory, as it pertains to epidemiology, public health, and the practice of clinical medicine.  Provides an introduction in accessing computer based medically oriented information and evidence-based medicine databases.  Course emphasizes use of up-to-date evidence-based literature to validate and improve the practice of clinical medicine now and as a lifelong learner.  Students learn to identify, review and critique published literature relevant to their clinical setting. Specifically, students will learn to use medical literature as a tool for clinical decision-making.  This course prepares students for the emphasis placed on EBP in Clinical Medicine, Clinical Problem Solving.

Integrative Medicine | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5102-AA (First year, fall semester)

 

Clinical Medicine 1 | Lecture | 2.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5130-AA(First year, fall semester)
First of three Clinical Medicine courses. Using an organ systems approach, this course presents the diagnosis and management of the most common clinical conditions seen by primary care providers for specific organ systems. The course builds on lectures in normal physiology and pathophysiology in Physiology and Pathophysiology I, and precedes an in-depth discussion of treatment modalities in Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics I. Areas of study include: Hematology; Hematology-Oncology,  Infectious Diseases, Dermatology, HEENT; and Immunology

Clinical Medicine 2 | Lecture | 4.00 credits

CHS-PAS-5131-AA (First year, spring semester)
Second of three Clinical Medicine courses . Uses an organ systems approach and presents the diagnosis and management of the most common clinical conditions seen by primary care providers for specific organ systems.  The course builds on lectures in normal physiology and pathophysiology in Physiology and Pathophysiology II, and precedes an in-depth discussion of treatment modalities in Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics II. Areas of study include: Dermatology; Endocrinology; Cardiology; Pulmonology, Gastroenterology

Clinical Medicine 3 | Lecture | 2.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5132-AA (Second year, summer term)
Final of three courses. Presents the diagnosis and management of the most common clinical conditions seen by primary care providers for specific organ systems and geriatric patients. The course builds on lectures in normal physiology and pathophysiology in Physiology and Pathophysiology III and precedes an in-depth discussion of treatment modalities in Pharmacology and Clinical Therapeutics III. The Advanced Clinical Skills II course this semester gives students a hands-on opportunity to learn and practice diagnostic and treatment skills/ modalities specific to these organ systems and patients. Areas of study include Neurology; Rheumatology; Orthopedics; Geriatrics, Nephrology and Urology.

Advanced Clinical Skills 1 | Lecture, Lab | 2.50 credits

CHS-PAS-5140-AA (First year, spring semester)
First of a two-course series and is the laboratory component of the Clinical Medicine 1, 2 and 3 courses. Through lectures, case discussion, demonstrations and practice sessions, students learn to use a variety of the diagnostic and treatment modalities used in primary care offices or performed via referral. This semester, these clinical skills include the instruction in, use of, or practice in procedures in the areas of Cardiology; Pulmonology; Nephrology/Urology and Gastroenterology.

Advanced Clinical Skills 2 | Lecture, Lab | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5141-AA (Second year, summer term)
Second of a two-course series teaching advanced clinical skills as the laboratory component of the Clinical Medicine 1, 2 and 3 courses. Through lectures, case discussion, demonstrations and practice sessions, students learn to use a variety of the diagnostic and treatment modalities used in primary care offices or performed via referral. These clinical skills include the instruction in, use of, or practice in procedures in the areas of: Men’s and Women’s Health, orthopedics/rheumatology, geriatrics and neurology. Students become skilled in the surgery-related techniques of suturing, preparing a sterile surgical field, gloving and gowning and other surgery suite procedures.  Splinting and casting procedures are taught. Students also become certified in Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS).

Clinical Rotations | Clinic hours | 4.50 credits

In association with the Clinical Coordinator, each student will choose two rotations from a list of elective rotations (i.e., primary care, nephrology, interventional radiology, etc.) and be placed according to availability. No student will be required to acquire his/her own clinical rotation site.  If a student has a particular clinical rotation site he/she wishes to develop, this may be done in association with and at the discretion of the Clinical Coordinator.

  • CHS-PAS-6200-AA        Emergency Medicine
  • CHS-PAS-6201-AA        General Surgery
  • CHS-PAS-6202-AA        Internal Medicine
  • CHS-PAS-6203-AA        Prenatal Care/Women’s Health
  • CHS-PAS-6204-AA        Pediatrics
  • CHS-PAS-6205-AA        Geriatrics
  • CHS-PAS-6230-AA        Elective Rotation 1
  • CHS-PAS-6231-AA        Elective Rotation 2
  • CHS-PAS-8240-AA        Family Medicine/Primary Care 1
  • CHS-PAS-6241-AA        Family Medicine/Primary Care 2

Legal and Ethical Aspects of Medicine | Lecture | .50 credit

CHS-PAS-5900-AA (Second year, fall quarter)
This course is designed to give students an appreciation of medical ethics and their legal implications where applicable. Lectures will provide students with a basic understanding of the ethical responsibilities of physician assistants as health care practitioners and as individuals. The course will cover an appreciation of the origins of medical ethics, as well as applications to the contemporary practice of medicine, including modern ethical dilemmas facing practitioners today. The course will also discuss the specific ethical and legal issues specific to the physician assistant.

Transition to Practice | Lecture | .50 credit

CHS-PAS-5901-AA (Second year, spring quarter)
Transition to Practice is designed to prepare the student to graduate and become a contributing member of the physician lead healthcare team.  Topics discussed will include NCCPA certification, including PANCE and PANRE, CME, professional liability and malpractice insurance. Licensure in both Pennsylvania and its surrounding states will be reviewed. In addition, to help facilitate in career planning, the student will be educated on how to find a job, prepare a CV, negotiate a contract and navigate the general credentialing process at healthcare institutions and selected issues in conflict resolution.

Senior Seminar | Lecture | 1.00 credit

CHS-PAS-5902-AA (Third year, summer quarter)
The main objective of Senior Seminar will be to prepare the student towards the end of the program to take the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE).  Students will be required to participate in a comprehensive board review session designed for certification and re-certification of physician assistants. In addition, the student will be required to pass a summative evaluation. The evaluation will be designed to access the student’s overall performance and preparation for clinical practice.

Capstone Project 1 | Lecture | .50 credit

CHS-PAS-5930-AA (Second year, spring quarter)
Capstone Project 1 is a guided independent study course that takes place during the Spring Quarter and provides the initial structure for the final graduate paper and the Grand Rounds Presentation of Capstone II. In Capstone I, with the guidance of a faculty mentor, students research a topic of both interest and medical significance based on a patient experience during their clinical rotations or a medical topic inspired by the clinical environment.  The graduate paper is a JAAPA format research paper.  Students develop a proposal, an outline, resources from the medical literature, and write the introduction section and methodology sections of the paper

Capstone Project 2 | Lecture | .50 credit

CHS-PAS-5931-AA (Third year, summer quarter)
Capstone Project 2 is when the student completes the writing of their graduate research paper and upon its acceptance, prepares and presents a 30-minute “Grand Round” style Power point presentation. In Capstone Project II, an abstract, the body of the paper, discussion, recommendations and conclusions will be completed and serve as the foundation for the Grand Rounds presentation, an in-depth presentation of the student’s topic to the faculty, current PA students and the Salus University community.

06.30.2014