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The didactic curriculum for the Physician Assistant (M.S.) degree program consists of four terms and is the preparation for the fifth, sixth and seventh terms which are devoted to clinical activities. Additionally, you will be allowed one elective to help establish further training in one of the core requirements or explore other clinical interests. The curriculum is 105 credits in total.

During the clinical phase students will return to the Physician Assistant Institute (PAI) for clerkship (rotation) evaluations, examination and Medical Seminars. During Medical Seminar, students will continue with clinical lectures and education in integrated medicine, global health themes and medical ethics. The capstone project will be due in the seventh and final term of the course of study.

All students are also required to complete all core supervised clinical rotations.

More details regarding the curriculum, academic regulations, and course descriptions can also be found in the UB Catalog.

First Term

This course is designed to provide an introduction to the functional anatomy of the human body. Students will have the opportunity to locate, identify, and dissect all major muscular, nervous, vascular, bony, and soft tissue structures using cadaveric specimens.
Credits: 3

This course offers a fundamental and integrated approach to human physiology with emphasis on the study of the body’s functional system from a medical perspective.
Credits: 2

This course is designed to provide the basic pathophysiologic understanding of diseases and the resulting clinical presentation.
Credits: 2

This ongoing course focuses on developing the skills of obtaining a comprehensive history and a problem focused history; performing a comprehensive screening exam and an appropriate problem focused exam; the ability to integrate and interpret the findings from these to create a foundation for further clinical evaluation. Emphasis is placed on identifying normal versus abnormal findings and on accurate and appropriate documentation.
Credits: 2

This ongoing body systems based course integrates all the skills and learning from the curriculum as related to medical problems encountered in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on the integration of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, history and exam findings and diagnostic procedures in order to formulate a differential diagnosis; on ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in order to develop a working diagnosis; and on developing and implementing treatment plans including as needed therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, referral and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 3

This course introduces the student to the basic principles of pharmacology, including mechanisms of action; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; pharmacokinetics; interactions with other drugs and with food; problems with special populations (prenatal, neonatal, elderly); rational drug usage for clinical disorders (therapeutics): clinical measures; and toxicologynetics in primary care.
Credits: 2

This course offers the student the opportunity to investigate the impact of health issues in other countries and the interactive affect on all populations in terms of epidemiology, disease, disasters, economics, health initiatives, ethics and policy.
Credits: 2

First Term Total Credits: 16

Second Term

This course builds on Anatomy I investigating the functional anatomy of the human body by offering students the opportunity to locate, identify, and dissect all major muscular, nervous, vascular, bony, and soft tissue structures using cadaveric specimens.
Credits: 2

This course builds on Physiology I to offer a fundamental and integrated approach to human physiology with emphasis on the study of the body’s functional system from a medical perspective.
Credits: 2

This course is designed to provide the basic pathophysiologic understanding of diseases and the resulting clinical presentation.
Credits: 2

This ongoing course builds on H&P I in developing skills of obtaining a comprehensive history and a problem focused history; performing a comprehensive screening exam and an appropriate problem focused exam; the ability to integrate and interpret the findings from any of these to create a foundation for further clinical evaluation. Emphasis is placed on identifying normal versus abnormal findings and on accurate and appropriate documentation.
Credits: 2

This ongoing body systems based course integrates all the skills and learning from the curriculum as related to medical problems encountered in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on the integration of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, history and exam findings and diagnostic procedures in order to formulate a differential diagnosis; on ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in order to develop a working diagnosis; and on developing and implementing treatment plans including as needed therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, referral and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 6

This course builds on Introduction to Clinical Pharmacology with advanced principles of pharmacology, including mechanisms of action; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; pharmacokinetics; interactions with other drugs and with food; problems with special populations (prenatal, neonatal, elderly); rational drug usage for clinical disorders (therapeutics): clinical measures; and toxicology.
Credits: 2

This ongoing body systems based course integrates all the skills and learning from the curriculum as related to medical problems encountered in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on the integration of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, history and exam findings and diagnostic procedures in order to formulate a differential diagnosis; on ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in order to develop a working diagnosis; and on developing and implementing treatment plans including as needed therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, referral and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 1

This ongoing course utilizes a variety of techniques designed to supplement and integrate content from all didactic courses, including but not limited to: small group interaction; problem based learning; case based learning; simulation lab; reflective discussion and literature critique.
Credits: 2

Second Term Total Credits: 19

Third Term

This course builds on Physiology I to offer a fundamental and integrated approach to human physiology with emphasis on the study of the body’s functional system from a medical perspective.
Credits: 2

This course presents the student with the four topic method of evaluation of Ethical issues. Each student will look at the ethical issue presented looking at Medical indications, patient preferences, quality of life and contextual features to provide a response to the ethical dilemma. The course will provide a foundation for the student to work through ethical dilemmas provided by the professor. During this course the student will identify and evaluate ethical issues of their own and touch upon options and solutions and provide the student with the ability to employ those methods throughout their career.
Credits: 2

This ongoing body systems based course integrates all the skills and learning from the curriculum as related to medical problems encountered in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on the integration of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, history and exam findings and diagnostic procedures in order to formulate a differential diagnosis; on ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in order to develop a working diagnosis; and on developing and implementing treatment plans including as needed therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, referral and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 6

This course builds on Clinical Pharmacology II with more advanced principles of pharmacology, including mechanisms of action; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; pharmacokinetics; interactions with other drugs and with food; problems with special populations (prenatal, neonatal, elderly); rational drug usage for clinical disorders (therapeutics): clinical measures; and toxicology.
Credits: 2

This ongoing course exposes students to the philosophies, concepts, techniques and practice of a variety of alternative and complementary medicine.
Credits: 1

This ongoing course utilizes a variety of techniques designed to supplement and integrate content from all didactic courses, including but not limited to: small group interactions; problem based learning; case based learning; simulation lab; reflective discussion and literature critique.
Credits: 2

This course will emphasize disease prevention, health promotion during various stages of life with emphasis on the pediatric and geriatric population.
Credits: 2

Third Term Total Credits: 17

Fourth Term

This ongoing body systems based course integrates all the skills and learning from the curriculum as related to medical problems encountered in the primary care setting. Emphasis is on the integration of anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, microbiology, history and exam findings and diagnostic procedures in order to formulate a differential diagnosis; on ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests in order to develop a working diagnosis; and on developing and implementing treatment plans including as needed therapeutic procedures, pharmacology, referral and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 5

This ongoing course exposes students to the philosophies, concepts, techniques and practice of a variety of alternative and complementary medicine.
Credits: 1

This ongoing course utilizes a variety of techniques designed to supplement and integrate content from all didactic courses, including but not limited to: small group interaction; problem based learning; case based learning; simulation lab; reflective discussion and literature critique.
Credits: 2

This course presents the fundamentals of the approach to surgery and the surgical patient. Emphasis is on pre-, intra- and post-operative care; surgical skills and techniques; management of complications, and patient education and counseling.
Credits: 2

This course builds on Information Literacy I by integrating and applying those skills by requiring students to write in various scientific and medical formats.
Credits: 2

This course encompasses clinical procedural skills of which several basic and advanced procedures will be covered. The goal of this course is to provide students with the skills necessary to select appropriate procedures for presenting complaints compare and contrast risks and benefits, recognize complications, as well as illustrate and demonstrate various procedures. Practical sessions are held to perform and assure competency of various clinical procedures.
Credits: 2

This course is designed to provide the basic pathophysiologic understanding of diseases and the resulting clinical presentation.
Credits: 2

Fourth Term Total Credits: 16

Fifth Term

This six-week clerkship is designed to provide the student with exposure to common pediatric problems. Emphasis is placed on assessment and management of normal and abnormal growth and development, as well as acute and chronic disease states. The student will develop skills in obtaining historical information and examining the pediatric patient. While most of the experience will occur in the office setting, the student will have the opportunity to be involved on the pediatric inpatient setting also.
Credits: 4

This is a six-week clerkship on an inpatient surgical service with hospital operating room experiences. The student is exposed to the concepts and principles which characterize the practice of medicine in general surgery, while participating in the pre- and post-operative evaluation and care of surgical patients. The role of the physician assistant student on the general surgical service includes performing the admission history and physical examination, monitoring and recording patient progress on daily rounds, performing and/or assisting with diagnostic and therapeutic procedures, assisting the surgeon in the operating room; participating in the post-operative care and management of patients, in addition to providing patient/family education and support.
Credits: 4

The Emergency Medicine clerkship gives the physician assistant student direct involvement and experience in a hospital Emergency Department setting. This will provide the student with practical clinical experience in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of a wide range of emergent medical, orthopedic, traumatic, and surgical conditions. Students will participate in the care of pediatric and adult patients in all triage acuity classifications. This experience consists of a six-week supervised clinical experience in an affiliated hospital emergency department designed to further develop the concepts of diagnosis and management acquired during the pre-clinical course-work and to develop decision-making and cognitive skills related to patient care in an emergency room. This course will also provide the student a chance to develop additional clinical psychomotor skills by performing routine basic procedures in a supervised setting. By the completion of the rotation, the student will have gained an appreciation for the delivery of emergency medical care as well as an understanding of the role of the PA in the Emergency Department setting.
Credits: 4

Fifth Term Total Credits: 12

Sixth Term

This six-week clerkship is designed to provide an opportunity for the student to build on previous didactic experience and begin to develop competence in clinical medicine. The student is exposed to patients with a wide group of acute and chronic medical conditions. This clerkship will emphasize skills in gathering historical data, examination of patients, and provide the opportunity to perform a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. Students will interpret laboratory, EKG, and a variety of radiology studies. Students will formulate treatment plans; participate in discharge planning and patient education.
Credits: 4

This six-week clerkship is designed to provide the student with exposure to common prenatal and gynecological problems. Hospital and clinic settings offer the student a wide range of outpatient and/or inpatient experience. The student will become confident with the routine gynecological evaluation and patient education. The student may have the opportunity to participate in labor and delivery. Emphasis is placed on data gathering, differential diagnosis, patient management, maintenance of medical records, performance of diagnostic and therapeutic skills, follow up care and the provision of health education and counseling.
Credits: 4

This six-week clinical clerkship is designed to expose the student to a variety of common ambulatory care situations. Settings vary, but experiences are centered around primary care, general medicine, and family practice. Students are responsible for eliciting chief complaints, gathering pertinent historical data, and performing relevant physical examinations. Students are also expected to develop problem lists, diagnostic impressions and therapeutic plans. These are to be presented to the preceptor in an organized, thoughtful manner. Students are expected to attend conferences on primary care problems when offered and participate in other assigned activities.
Credits: 4

This is the capstone research project where the student is required to complete and submit their research paper of publishable quality to the faculty.
Credits: 2

Sixth Term Total Credits: 14

Seventh Term

This six-week clerkship provides students experience in working with patients who have psychiatric, behavioral or substance abuse problems. Emphasis is placed on the recognition and management of these problems. The student will learn how to do a mental status exam and medically assess the patient to screen for non psychiatric causes of the patient’s clinical presentation. The student will be involved in treating patients with psychiatric as well as co-occurring disorders with alcohol, benzodiazepine or opiate dependence.
Credits: 4

One of the core supervised clinical rotations for the Physician Assistant student.
Credits: 4

This is a course designed for the term 7 student who has completed their didactic phase and their clinical rotations. This course is to prepare the graduating PA student for licensure, professional practice, and for the PANCE exam.
Credits: 3

Seventh Term Total Credits: 11