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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 introduces 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 fundamental and integrated approach to human physiology and biochemistry starting with basic processes of metabolism and homeostasis including carbohydrate, lipids and protein metabolism, cell cycle and DNA replication, cellular energy production, tissue types and their functions. This course presents an in-depth exploration of the nervous system, musculoskeletal functioning and cardiac physiology.
Credits: 3

This course has three aims. First, it helps students develop the skills of obtaining a comprehensive and a problem-focused history. Second, students gain the ability to write a medical note. Last, students learn interviewing techniques and the affective aspects of the medical encounter.
Credits: 3

The first of a three-semester series, this course is an organ-systems-based exploration of psychiatric, neurologic, and dermatologic diseases, as well as diseases of the head, eyes, ears, nose, and throat. 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 course exposes students to the philosophy, practice and techniques utilized in alternative and complementary medicine. Ayurveda, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Acupuncture, Naturopathic medicine, Homeopathy, Hypnotherapy are presented in this course.
The emphasis of this course is on dietary, herbal and ancient traditional medicine approaches.
Credits: 2

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

First Term Total Credits: 18

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: 3

This course builds on MSPA 521 to offer a fundamental and integrated approach to the circulatory, pulmonary, gastrointestinal and endocrine systems. The circulatory system will highlight regulation of local flow, Starling forces equilibrium and function of lymphatics.  The pulmonary system will cover ventilation, perfusion and gas exchange processes.  The GI system will address details of nutrient digestion, peristalsis, secretion and absorption processes as well as autonomic nervous system impact on regulation of GI tract. The endocrine system will discuss hormones and the types of receptors they affect.

Credits: 3

The second course in this series focuses on performing a comprehensive physical examination. This course further emphasizes the integration and interpretation of findings to create a foundation for further clinical evaluation. This course further emphasizes normal versus abnormal findings and on accurate and appropriate documentation.
Credits: 3

The second of a three-semester series, this course is an organ-systems-based exploration of cardiac, pulmonic, and gastrointestinal diseases. 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

The first of a two-semester case-based course, students learn the essentials of how to formulate a differential diagnoses and complete management plan of common symptoms. The synthesis of material previously learned in a case-based format develops skills in critical thinking, medical problem solving, the written and the oral presentation of clinical cases
Credits: 2

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, the elderly); rational drug usage for clinical disorders (therapeutics): clinical measures; and toxicology.
Credits: 3

Second Term Total Credits: 20

Third Term

The third of a three-semester series, this course is an organ-systems-based exploration of genitourinary, endocrine, renal, obstetric, gynecologic, and hematologic diseases. 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: 8

A continuation of a case-based course refines the skills needed for formation of diagnoses and complete management plans of common symptoms. This course focuses on complaints that are more complex and emphasizes the complete management of the patients as well as note writing, oral presentation skills and critical thinking.
Credits:2

This course builds on Clinical Pharmacology I with more advanced principles of pharmacology, including mechanisms of action; absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion; pharmacokinetics; interactions with other drugs and with food. A presentation of drug classes as they relate to the different organ systems includes anticipated results and adverse reaction monitoring.
Credits: 2

This course is an evidence-based approach to educate and counsel patients in order to improve lifestyle, increase adherence and reduce medical errors. This course will emphasize disease prevention, health promotion during various stages of life with emphasis on the nutritional aspect of health.
Credits: 2

This course presents the student with the four- topic method of evaluation of ethical issues. Student examine ethical issues in terms of medical indications, patient preferences, quality of life and contextual features to provide a response to the ethical dilemma. Additionally, this course incorporates the history, development, certification and licensure process of the PA profession. PA web sites and professional organizations.Special topics include risk management, professional liability, and, patient safety. Billing, reimbursement, and the organization of healthcare in the US and in other countries are also explored.
Credits: 2

The demonstration and practice of technical procedures frequently encountered in primary care, emergency medicine, and surgical settings are explored in this course. The emphasis is on such skills as intravenous cannulation, suturing, urethral catheterization, splinting and casting incision and drainage and nasogastric lavage.
Credits: 2

Third Term Total Credits: 19

Fourth Term

This course develops the ability to identify a clinical problem and to collect, process, analyze, summarize and present an evidence-based approach solution to that problem. The topic can be a medical challenge in terms of diagnosis or treatment of a disease state, or management issues for patients or their family’s issues of which there is lack of consensus or a lack of clear guidelines.
Credits: 2

This course presents the epidemiologic tools needed to analyze medical literature, as well as describe the elements of constructing a research paper. Special emphasis is given to the various modalities used in medical written presentation.
Credits:2

This six-week clerkship provides direct patient care experiences in the in-patient setting. Under the direction of board-certified internists, students learn to evaluate and formulate treatment plans for patients with a wide variety of adult illnesses. Emphasis of this clerkship is on critical thinking skills, synthesis of pertinent clinical information, the presentation of problem-oriented patient data, indications for and interpretation of laboratory studies, and competence in clinical procedures.
Credits: 5

This course guides students through the formulation of a hypothesis-driven paper. Students collect and analyzes either pilot data or use established data sets. . Students begin to plan and develop the presentation of their findings.
Credits: 4

Fourth Term Total Credits: 13

Fifth Term

This six-week clerkship explores the care of children from birth through adolescence. Acute illness, developmental delay, genetic abnormalities, psychosocial issues and preventive medicine are explored.
Credits: 5

This six-week clinical experience focuses on the care of the surgical patient in the pre-operative, operating room and post-operative settings. Determination of surgical diagnoses and immediate management of life-threatening conditions are stressed.
Credits: 5

This six-week clerkship provides opportunities to evaluate and treat patients with urgent and emergent medical complaints under the supervision of an emergency medical physician. The care of patients with life-threatening illness as well as patients seen in the sub-acute “fast track” are emphasized.
Credits: 5

Fifth Term Total Credits: 15

Sixth Term

Experiences in the full range of woman’s health issues throughout the reproductive and post-menopausal years are offered in this six-week clerkship, including participation in common gynecological surgical procedures and assisting in labor and delivery. Students learn to provide pre- and post- partum care and family planning as well.
Credits: 5

Students work with board-certified family physicians and general internists to evaluate, diagnose and treat patients of all ages with a wide variety of illness in this six-week clerkship. Emphasis is on health care delivery in the outpatient setting, health promotion, preventive medicine and the patient-centered medical home.
Credits: 5

Sixth Term Total Credits: 10

Seventh Term

The diagnosis, treatment and management of patients with psychiatric illness in the in-patient, outpatient and emergency settings are stressed in this six-week rotation. This clerkship requires students develop and demonstrate a variety of skills under the supervision and guidance of an experienced psychiatric practitioner.
Credits: 5

This six-week experience offers the opportunity to explore a discipline of interest in depth.Students are responsible to enhance their understanding of this discipline through by self-motivation.
Credits: 2

This course presents a complete review of clinical medicine in preparation for the summative examination. This course helps students identify content weaknesses. Program resources can best aid students to complete their study and prepare for the NCCPA certifying exam.
Credits: 1

This seminar-based course will give students the opportunity to present and give critical feedback to student colleagues. Students will complete their projects and present them in either a poster or oral presentation to a panel of faculty.
Credits:2

Seventh Term Total Credits: 10