Preclinical Courses

Semester I   16hrs
PA 500 Anatomy
PA 507 Physiology
PA 509 Introduction to Pharmacology
PA 511 Role of the Physician Assistant and Intro to the PA Profession
PA 512 Fundamentals of Medical Science
PA 513 Interpersonal Communication and History Taking
PA 506/APRN 506 Health Systems and Risk Management

Semester II   15 hours
PA 521 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutic I
PA 523 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application I
PA 525 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics I
PA 505/APRN 505 Population Health and Epidemiology

Semester III   15 hours
PA 631 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics II
PA 633 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application II
PA 635 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics II
PA 603/APRN 503 Advanced Research and Evidence-based Practice

Semester IV   15 hours
PA 641 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics III
PA 643 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application III
PA 645 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics III
PA 607/APRN 707 Clinical Decision-Making and Ethics

PA class performing on a cadaver
Students in FMU Health Sciences
Skills Lab at the Carter Center for Health Sciences

Clinical Year

Semester V   12 hours
PA *Clinical Rotations (3) (4 credits each)

Semester VI   12 hours
PA *Clinical Rotations (3) (4 credits each)

Semester VII   13 hours
PA *Clinical Rotations (3) (4 credits each)
PA 720 PA Capstone 1 credit

List of all Courses

500 Anatomy (4:3-3) F. This course is organized by organ systems. The course will emphasize the application of anatomical knowledge to clinical practice. Students will conduct a complete dissection of the human body (interactive simulator of cadaver lab, animal organs, cadaver lab tours). Students will dissect the human body in order to reveal the anatomical basis for performing clinical procedures, conducting a physical exam, and assessing which structures may be injured or diseased based on a patient presentation. Embryology and developmental biology will be incorporated into the curriculum. This course integrates the basic discipline of human anatomy, histology, and organ systems. The course emphasizes human structure-function relationships at multiple levels of organization, specifically cell, tissue, organ and systems.


505 Population Health and Epidemiology (3) F. This course focuses on different healthcare needs related to geographic, racial, and cultural differences in society. The learner will review local, national, and global healthcare needs, with emphasis on a needs assessment of a local region.

506 Health Systems and Risk Management (3) S. This course addresses quality assurance methodology and legal responsibilities of advanced practice patient care. Reporting systems, issues that affect advanced practice role, financing, coding, and credentialing criteria will be discussed. Best practice protocols, use of benchmarking, and safe work environments will be emphasized to ensure risk reduction for patients, families, and populations.

507 Physiology (3:2-3) F. This course provides students with an understanding of the physical and chemical processes that occur in the human body that are responsible for the growth, development, and the propagation of life. This is a lecture course that uses an organ systems approach to convey the principles of physiology.


509 Introduction to Pharmacology (1) F. This course provides a practical approach to pharmacology concepts and will emphasize mechanisms of action, drug-receptor interactions, drug-drug interactions, pharmacokinetic principles, drug development, and safety, as well as clinical implications for dosing and administration in regards to pediatric and geriatric populations.


511 Role of the Physician Assistant and Introduction to the Profession (1) F. This course provides a strong foundation in the role of the physician assistant (PA), including history of the profession, health care financing and health care delivery systems, PA and medical professional organizations, professionalism, diversity, and health equity, as well as other social, cultural, economic, and political structures in society and in the PA profession.

512 Fundamentals of Medical Science (2) F. This course covers basic principles of genetics and molecular function at the cellular level and the application of these principles to primary care. The discussions include the structure of a gene, the human genome, the regulation of gene expression, the role of genetics in medicine, genetic basis of human disease, application of clinical genetics therapies, and ethical and legal considerations. This course provides a strong foundation in the concepts underlying health and disease at both the individual and population levels. The students will learn to recognize and use guidelines for preventive care and disease screening.

513 Interpersonal Communication and History Taking (2) F. This course provides an introduction to medical history taking and offers practical strategies for effective, patient-centered interpersonal communication. Special topics emphasize technical skills and attitudes of the learner which optimize interpersonal communication and rapport building with patients. Learners will be instructed in the appropriate formats for documentation of patient history as well as techniques to enhance the effectiveness of both history taking and patient education.

521 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics I (5) S. (Prerequisite: 507 and 509; Corequisites: 523 and 525) This course builds upon foundational material delivered Physiology and Introduction to Pharmacology, and builds the learner’s capacity to identify pathophysiologic alterations and disease to the appropriate selection of pharmacologic intervention. The course follows an organ-system based sequencing established with concurrent courses 523 and 525, which provides alignment as pathophysiologic mechanisms are further explored and therapeutic drug classes are introduced. Each drug class is explored with attention on mechanisms of action, safety, tolerability, efficacy, selection and dosing, and adjustments for special populations. Organ systems covered are gastrointestinal, eyes, ears, nose, and throat (EENT), endocrinology, dermatology, and hematology.

523 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application I (4:2-6) S. (Prerequisites: 500, 507, 509, 511 and 512; Corequisites: 521 and 525) This course provides foundational knowledge, introduces practical skills, and develops professional attitudes and behaviors relevant to the clinical assessment of a patient. Students are instructed in physical examination and learn to apply evidence-based history taking and documentation. Instruction in the art of assessment is complemented by topics in evidence-based medicine and clinical problem solving. An emphasis of the course is the integration of physical examination and medical history taking with basic and other clinical sciences. Students must synthesize knowledge to demonstrate a rationale for interpretation of data and selection of interventions. The course will also incorporate common diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic, and palliative procedures consistent with the practice of medicine by a physician assistant. Organ systems covered are gastrointestinal, eyes, ears, nose, and throat (EENT), endocrinology, dermatology, and hematology.

525 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics I (3:2-3) (Prerequisite: 511; Corequisites: 521 and 525) S. This course builds upon foundational concepts underlying health and disease at both the individual and population levels. Students advance their abilities to recognize, prevent, and manage common clinical disorders; support the maintenance of optimal health; understand the pathophysiologic alterations underlying common medical illnesses; follow best practices for approaching patients with illness or health maintenance goals; reinforce clinical reasoning skills; recognize and use guidelines for preventive care and disease screening; and achieve a sound understanding of appropriate use of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for clinical care across a wide spectrum of medical conditions in various settings. Additional emphasis is placed upon diagnostic interventions and analysis of radiologic and laboratory interventions. Organ systems covered are gastrointestinal; eyes, ears, nose, and throat (EENT); endocrinology; dermatology; and hematology.

603 Advanced Research and Evidence-based Practice (3) SU. This course explores quantitative and qualitative approaches to research problems in advanced patient care. Theories, methods, designs, measurements, ethical conduct, and skills in critical research appraisal are emphasized along with the use of research to improve practice and client outcomes.

607 Clinical Decision-Making and Ethics (3) (Prerequisites: 633 and 635 or permission of the department) F.  This course focuses on care management related to algorithms, protocols, and best-practice. The learner will discuss ethical obligations of a primary provider in caring for patients from a developmental, cultural, and spiritual perspective across the lifespan.

631 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics II (5) Su. (Prerequisite: 507, 509, 521; Corequisites: 633 and 635) This course builds upon foundational material delivered in PA 507, 509, and 521, building the learner’s capacity from identifying pathophysiologic alterations and disease to choosing appropriate selection of pharmacologic intervention. The course follows an organ-system based sequencing established with concurrent courses PA 633 and 635, which provides alignment as pathophysiologic mechanisms are further explored and therapeutic drug classes are introduced. Each drug class is explored with attention to mechanisms of action, safety, tolerability, efficacy, selection and dosing, and adjustments for special populations Organ systems covered are pulmonology, musculoskeletal, genitourinary, and aspects of psychiatry.

633 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application II (4: 2-6) Su. (Prerequisite: 523) This course provides foundational knowledge, introduces practical skills, and develops professional attitudes and behaviors relevant to the clinical assessment of a patient which the student first encountered in PA 523. Students are instructed in physical examination, as well as learn how to apply evidence-based history taking and documentation. Instruction in the art of assessment is complemented by topics in evidence-based medicine and clinical problem solving. The course emphasizes the integration of physical examination and medical history taking with basic and other clinical sciences. Students must synthesize knowledge to demonstrate a rationale for selection of maneuvers and interpretation of findings. The course will also incorporate common diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic and palliative procedures consistent with the practice of medicine by a physician assistant. PA 633 is the second course in the 523, 633, 643 sequence, all of which cover advancing concepts with different organ systems. PA 633 along with PA 631 and 635 covers pulmonology, musculoskeletal, genitourinary, and aspects of psychiatry.

635 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics II (3:2-3) Su. (Prerequisite: 525) This course builds upon foundational concepts underlying health and disease at both the individual and population levels begun in PA 525. Students advance their abilities to recognize, prevent and manage common clinical disorders; support the maintenance of optimal health; understand the pathophysiologic alterations underlying common medical illnesses; follow best practices for approaching patients with illness or health maintenance goals; reinforce clinical reasoning skills; recognize and use guidelines for preventive care and disease screening; and achieve a sound understanding of appropriate use of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for clinical care across a wide spectrum of medical conditions in various settings. Additional emphasis is placed upon diagnostic interventions and analysis of radiologic and laboratory interventions. System covered will coincide with 631 and 633 including the following: pulmonology, musculoskeletal, genitourinary, and aspects of psychiatry.

641 Integrative Pathophysiology and Pharmacotherapeutics III (5) F. (Prerequisite: 631) This course builds upon foundational material delivered in PA 521 and PA 631, building the learner’s capacity from identifying pathophysiologic alterations and disease to choosing the appropriate selection of pharmacologic intervention. The course follows an organ-system based sequencing established with concurrent courses 643 and 645, which provides alignment as pathophysiologic mechanisms are further explored and therapeutic drug classes are introduced. Each drug class is explored with attention to mechanisms of action, safety, tolerability, efficacy, selection and dosing, and adjustments for special populations. Organ systems covered in 641 are cardiovascular, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), neurology, and aspects of infectious disease will also be covered.

643 Clinical Assessment, Diagnosis and Application III (4: 2-6) F. (Prerequisite: 633) This course provides foundational knowledge, introduces practical skills, and develops professional attitudes and behaviors relevant to the clinical assessment of a patient. Students will apply evidence-based history taking and documentation. Instruction in the art of assessment is complemented by topics in evidence-based medicine and clinical problem solving. The course emphasizes the integration of physical examination and medical history taking with basic and other clinical sciences. Students will synthesize knowledge to demonstrate a rationale for selection of maneuvers and interpretation of findings. The course will also incorporate common diagnostic, prognostic, therapeutic, and palliative procedures consistent with the practice of medicine by a physician assistant. PA 643 is the third course in the 523, 633, 643 sequence, all of which cover similar concepts with different organ systems. PA 643 along with PA 641 and 645 cover cardiovascular, obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), neurology, and aspects of infectious disease will also be covered.

645 Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics III (3:2-3) F. (Prerequisite: 635) This course builds upon foundational concepts underlying health and disease at both the individual and population levels as presented in PA 525 and PA 635. Students will advance their abilities to recognize, prevent, and manage common clinical disorders; support the maintenance of optimal health; understand the pathophysiologic alterations underlying common medical illnesses; follow best practices for approaching patients with illness or health maintenance goals; reinforce clinical reasoning skills; recognize and use guidelines for preventive care and disease screening; and achieve a sound understanding of appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic interventions for clinical care across a wide spectrum of medical conditions in various settings. Additional emphasis is placed upon diagnostic interventions and analysis of radiologic and laboratory interventions. Subjects covered will coincide with 641 and 643 i.e. cardiovascular; obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN), neurology, and aspects of infectious disease will also be covered.

710 Family Medicine Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. Under the supervision of experienced family medicine preceptors, this clerkship provides students with experience, primarily in the outpatient evaluation of pediatric and adult patients in a community setting, which emphasizes prevention, health maintenance, and the management of acute and chronic illnesses.

711 Obstetrics and Gynecology Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with experience in managing common gynecologic issues and disorders. Obstetric experience will include labor and delivery plus routine prenatal and postpartum care under the supervision of experienced OB/GYN preceptors.

712 Pediatrics Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with extensive clinical exposure to aspects of pediatrics under the supervision of experienced pediatric preceptors.

713 Psychiatry Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with extensive clinical exposure to the major aspects of psychiatric care under the supervision of experienced preceptors.

714 Emergency Medicine Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with experience in triage, evaluation, and management of patients in the emergency department under the supervision of experienced preceptors.

715 Internal Medicine – Inpatient Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with extensive clinical exposure to the major aspects of inpatient internal medicine care under the supervision of experienced physician and PA preceptors.

716 Internal Medicine – Outpatient Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with extensive clinical exposure to the major aspects of internal medicine in an outpatient setting, under the supervision of experienced physician and PA preceptors

717 General Surgery Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with hands-on experience in general surgery through exposure to the operating room, to pre- and post-operative management and to out-patient surgical management and follow-up.

718 Elective Clerkship (4) (135 clinical hours) (Prerequisite: permission of the department) F, S, Su. This clerkship provides students with extensive clinical exposure to the major aspects of an area of medicine selected in consultation with the clinical coordinator, under the supervision of experienced preceptors.

720 PA Capstone (1) (Prerequisite: completion of 6 clerkships) F. This course will emphasize test-taking skills, testing practice, and critical thinking. Emphasis will be placed on prioritization and delegation. Learners will review critical medical concepts and content needed for their success as a professional PA.