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Curriculum

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Didactic Curriculum

The instructional curriculum in the PA program consists of a comprehensive education in the biomedical and clinical sciences necessary for successful clinical practice. It is conducted during the first 15 months of the PA’s education, beginning with the summer semester. Several of the basic science courses will be taught jointly with the basic scientist and behavioral scientist faculty members from the University of Tulsa. An outline of the student’s didactic program of study is listed below.

 

Year 1 Summer   Year 1 Fall  
Course Credit
Hours
Course Credit
Hours
Clinical Anatomy

5

Clinical Medicine I

8

Principles of Genetics

1

Applied Physiology I

3

Public Health Issues

3

Physical Diagnosis I

4

Prof Issues in Medicine & Health

2

Human Behavior

2

Medical Terminology

1

Pharmacotherapeutics I

2

 

 

Principles of Immunology 1
Total Credit Hours

12

 

20

 

Year 1 Spring   Year 2 Summer  
Course Credit
Hours
Course Credit
Hours
Clinical Medicine II

6

Clinical Medicine III

6

Clinical Medicine for Special Populations

5

Introduction to Clinical Year

1

Pharmacotherapeutics II

3

Psychiatric Principles

2

Applied Physiology II

3

Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

2

Physical Diagnosis II

4

Lifestyle Medicine 3
 

 

 

 

Total Credit Hours

21

 

14

 

 

Clinical Curriculum

Students will attend clinical rotations over the second fifteen months of the program, primarily in the clinics of the University of Oklahoma, Tulsa School of Community Medicine. Six core rotations will be interdisciplinary clerkships combining PA students and third-year medical students, including Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Mental Health, Surgery, and Obstetrics-Gynecology rotations.  OU-Tulsa is affiliated with five major hospitals in the area and operates 32 clinical facilities. Additional clinical training sites are available at specialty clinics, local federally qualified health care centers, health care facilities run by local Native American tribes, and health department clinics. A summary of the clinical curriculum is presented below:

 

Year 2 Fall   Year 2 Spring  
Course Credit
Hours
Course Credit
Hours
Mental Health Rotation
6 weeks

5

Emergency Medicine Rotation
4 weeks

3

Pediatrics Rotation
6 weeks

5

Primary Care I Rotation
4 weeks

3

Ob/Gyn Rotation
6 weeks

5

Primary Care II Rotation
4 weeks

3

Advanced Clinical Studies I

3 Elective Rotation
4 weeks

3

 

 

Surgery Rotation
8 weeks

7

    Advanced Clinical Studies II
3
 

 

 

 

Total Credit Hours

18

 

22

 

Year 3 Summer   Year 3 Fall  
Course Credit
Hours
Course Credit
Hours
Internal Medicine/Geriatrics
8 weeks

7

PA Preceptorship
5 weeks

4

Underserved Med Rotation
4 weeks

3

Master Capstone

3

Program Selective Rotation
2 weeks

2

Community Impact Rotation
1
Advanced Clinical Studies III

2

Advanced Clinical Studies IV 2
 

 

 

 

Total Credit Hours

14

 

10

 

Total Didactic Year Credit Hours 67
Total Clinical Year Credit Hours 64
Total Program Credit Hours 131

 

Graduation Requirements

Students who satisfactorily complete the 30-month program will be awarded the Master of Health Science (M.H.S.) in Physician Assistant Studies. To qualify for graduation, students must:

  • Follow an approved course of study leading to the completion of all master's requirements;

  • Complete satisfactorily all professional courses with a cumulative grade point average of 3.0, no course or rotation below a C, and satisfactorily complete a final general exercise (Senior Summative) involving a comprehensive written examination, an objective structured clinical examination, and an evaluation of professionalism;

  • Complete satisfactorily the required 131 semester credit hours in the curriculum;

  • Repeat, as approved, and earn an acceptable grade for any required course or rotation in the professional program for which a failing grade (D or F) had been issued;

  • Complete, at a minimum, the last 48 credits in the professional program within the College of Health Sciences;

  • Complete successfully Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) and Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS)

  • Receive a favorable recommendation for degree conferral from the PA Promotion and Graduation Committee;

  • Be recommended for conferral of the master's degree by the University Faculty Senate;

  • Settle all financial accounts with the University; and

  • Submit a properly completed and signed graduation clearance form to the Office of the Registrar.

Certification Requirements

Certification Requirements  

One of your first steps after graduating from an accredited PA program should be taking the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on the Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA). The PANCE is a five-hour, 300-question, multiple-choice exam that is a prerequisite for licensure in all U.S. states. For further information regarding the NCCPA certifying examination, contact: National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants, Inc., 12000 Findley Road, Suite 100, Johns Creek, GA, 30097.  Phone: (678) 417-8100. 

State Licensure

Physician Assistants who wish to practice in the state of Oklahoma must obtain licensure from the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision (www.okmedicalboard.org). For questions, please call their main office at (405) 962-1400. 

PA graduates who are interested in practicing in other states should directly contact that state’s licensing authority. Additionally, some states may require individual PA programs to apply for approval to their appropriate agencies before program graduates can be employed. The PA Program will seek such approval whenever deemed necessary.

Course Descriptions

 

YEAR 1-SUMMER SEMESTER

PAT 7132       Professional Issues in Medicine & Health

Prerequisites: Matriculation into the Physician Assistant Program

Course focuses on the role of the physician assistant, the history of the profession, and future expected trends.  Professionalism, ethics, risk management, HIPAA, and diversity will be topics of discussion.  The Physician Assistant Act and rules and regulations specific for Oklahoma will be addressed, including prescribing privileges and licensure.  (2 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7723       Public Health Issues

Prerequisites: Matriculation into the Physician Assistant Program

This course will provide an introduction to public health, including the broad determinants that shape the health of community populations, especially in the state of Oklahoma. Topics will include an overview of the philosophy, purpose, history, organization, functions, tools, activities, and results of public health practice. (3 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty and Summer Institute Faculty and Staff Facilitators

Course Component: Lecture and community experience

 

PAT 7001       Medical Terminology

Prerequisites: Matriculation into the Physician Assistant Program

This course will introduce the physician assistant student to the medical vocabulary frequently encountered in the health profession.  The course focuses on the Greek and Latin prefixes, suffixes, and word roots from which many medical words are derived.  In addition, it will also benefit the student with correct spelling and pronunciation of medical terms.  (1 credit)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Self-Study

 

PAT 7125   Clinical Anatomy

Prerequisites: Matriculation into the Physician Assistant Program

The Clinical Anatomy course is designed to develop the physician assistant student’s understanding of the general structures and functional principles of the human body, which will become the anatomic basis for relating abnormal to normal conditions.  Also, the student will use the knowledge in the competent performance of evaluative and therapeutic techniques, communicate the understanding of anatomy, and gain an appreciation of the human body from cadaver dissection.  (5 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Lecture and Laboratory

 

PAT 7221      Principles of Genetics

Prerequisites: Matriculation into the Physician Assistant Program

The Principles of Genetics course is to enhance the knowledge of the physician assistant student in the basic principles and clinical application of genetics. (1 credit)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

YEAR ONE FALL SEMESTER

PAT 7118     Clinical Medicine I

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program

Introductory course to clinical medicine, emphasizing the underlying pathophysiology, clinical presentation, evaluation and management of common diseases by an organ systems approach.  The student learns through the use of lectures and interactive small group case discussion.  This course is integrated with the physiology course taught concurrently in the fall semester. (8 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7153       Applied Physiology I

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is part one of a two-semester course that familiarizes PA students with medically relevant functions of the body. Content is organized by the major organ systems and consists of instruction ranging from the cellular/molecular level to the multi-system level. Lectures are delivered online in video format, while class meetings entail regular assessment, practice in problem-solving, and clinical application of physiologic principles. (3 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7231     Principles of Immunology

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program 

Principles of Immunology addresses topics such as the major functions and molecular mechanisms underlying innate, humoral, and adaptive immunity, as well as the respective roles these systems play in combating infectious disease. Moreover, the immunology segment includes disorders of the immune system, such as hypersensitivity and immunodeficiencies.

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7272 Pharmacotherapeutics I

Prerequisites: Successful completion of year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is the first of two courses intended to increase the physician assistant student knowledge and awareness of pharmacotherapeutics. The course will provide the student with drug knowledge needed to utilize medications appropriately in the treatment of common diseases as a member of the healthcare team.

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Pharmacy Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7014       Physical Diagnosis I

Prerequisites: Successful completion of year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is designed to introduce the physician assistant student to fundamental patient assessment skills.  Focus is on patient interviewing, performance of organ-specific and comprehensive physical examination, minor procedures, case presentations, patient education, and an introduction to medical documentation.  Associated concepts for a variety of clinical problems are introduced.  (4 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture and Laboratory

 

PAT 7102       Human Behavior

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one summer semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is designed to illustrate the basic principles of human behavioral science and introduce the student to the psychosocial and developmental aspects of illness and disability in relation to health care.  The student will be introduced to developmental and cultural influences on physical illness, injury/recovery, and life events.  The student will be introduced to the processes involved in the clinician-patient relationship and knowledge regarding the human factor in patient outcome.  (2 credits)

Instructors: TU Psychology Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

YEAR ONE SPRING SEMESTER

PAT 7273       Pharmacotherapeutics II

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is the second of two courses intended to increase the physician assistant student knowledge and awareness of pharmacotherapeutics. The course will provide the student with drug knowledge needed to utilize medications appropriately in the treatment of common diseases as a member of the healthcare team. (3 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Pharmacy Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7111       Clinical Medicine II

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program

The second of three courses in clinical medicine, emphasizing the underlying pathophysiology, clinical presentation, evaluation and management of common diseases by an organ systems approach.  The student learns through the use of lectures and interactive small group case discussion.  This course is integrated with the physiology course taught concurrently in the spring semester. (6 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7265       Clinical Medicine for Special Populations

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course introduces the physician assistant student to various normal and disease states commonly encountered in the primary care of special populations, including the elderly, the homeless, women, and children.  Emphasis is placed on development of the knowledge, skills, and professional attitudes required in the care of these patients.  (5 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7163       Applied Physiology II

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is part two of a two-semester course that familiarizes PA students with medically relevant functions of the body. Content is organized by the major organ systems and consists of instruction ranging from the cellular/molecular level to the multi-system level. Lectures are delivered online in video format, while class meetings entail regular assessment, practice in problem-solving, and clinical application of physiologic principles.  (3 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7024       Physical Diagnosis II

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the year one fall semester of the Physician Assistant Program

This course is a continuation of Physical Diagnosis I.  It is designed to further student knowledge and skills associated with fundamental patient assessment.  Focus is on patient interviewing, physical examination, minor procedures, case presentations, patient education, and medical documentation.  Associated concepts for a variety of clinical problems are introduced.  (4 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture and Laboratory

 

YEAR TWO SUMMER SEMESTER

PAT 7116      Clinical Medicine III

Prerequisites: Successful completion of spring semester of the Physician Assistant Program

Clinical Medicine III is the third section of introducing the student to various disease states commonly evaluated in the practice of medicine. The student will learn etiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnostic interpretation, treatment and management. Key topics presented in this course include disease states related to endocrinology, emergency medicine, and surgery.  (6 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7172 Psychiatric Principles

Prerequisites: Successful completion of spring semester of the Physician Assistant Program

The course will provide the student with concepts and practices related to a review of the signs, symptoms, and treatment related to diagnosis and management of psychiatric disorders. Students will be exposed to the structure and use of the psychiatric diagnostic system while reviewing the diagnostic criteria and treatment alternatives for a wide range of psychiatric disorders. (2 credits)

Instructors: TU Psychology Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7702 Epidemiology and Medical Statistics

Prerequisites: Successful completion of spring semester of the Physician Assistant Program

The course goal is to introduce students to general principles of epidemiology and biostatistics, including research study, design, and methodology.  A strong emphasis is placed on the use of probabilistic data and critical appraisal skills in clinical decision-making.  Course objectives include learning how to critically evaluate clinical research literature and reviewing the basics of evidence-based medicine literature searches.   (2 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

PAT 7193  Lifestyle Medicine 

Prerequisites: Successful completion of spring semester of the Physician Assistant Program

Lifestyle Medicine provides the physician assistant student with the foundational knowledge and skills necessary to integrate nutritional guidelines into clinical practice for the prevention and management of chronic disease. (3 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Lecture and Lab

 

PAT 7201 Introduction to Clinical Year

Prerequisites: Successful completion of spring semester of the physician assistant program, or permission given by PA Program Director

Introduction to Clinical Year is designed to prepare the physician assistant student for the clinical phase of the program by discussing concepts of professionalism, reviewing the policies in the clinical handbook, completing hospital credentialing, and providing training on patient logging and the electronic medical record. (1 credit)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Lecture

 

CLINICAL COURSEWORK AND ROTATIONS

 

To begin clinical rotations, all students must have satisfactorily completed all preceding didactic coursework.  PA students will complete 52 weeks of required clinical rotations, one elective rotation (4 weeks), a two-week Community Impact rotation, and a five-week PA preceptorship experience in the specialty area of their choosing.  Clinical rotations will take place primarily in the clinics and hospitals utilized by the OU-Tulsa School of Community Medicine.  Additionally, a wide variety of community clinical training sites are available.  Rotations listed as clerkships are interdisciplinary with residents and medical students.

 

PAT 7603  Advanced Clinical I

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director. 

Advanced Clinical Studies I provide students with a unique multi-component course that enhances skills of clinical practice and professional practice during the clinical phase of the program.  The course includes involvement in the Physician Assistant Longitudinal Clinic (PAL), Student Academy, and Bedlam E.  (3 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7613  Advanced Clinical II

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director. 

Advanced Clinical Studies II provide students with a unique multi-component course that enhances skills of clinical practice and professional practice during the clinical phase of the program.  The course includes involvement in the Physician Assistant Longitudinal Clinic (PAL), Student Academy, and Bedlam E.  (3 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7620  Advanced Clinical III

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director. 

Advanced Clinical Studies III provide students with a unique multi-component course that enhances skills of clinical practice and professional practice during the clinical phase of the program.  The course includes involvement in the Physician Assistant Longitudinal Clinic (PAL), Student Academy, and Bedlam E.  (2 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7632  Advanced Clinical IV

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director. 

Advanced Clinical Studies IV provide students with a unique multi-component course that enhances skills of clinical practice and professional practice during the clinical phase of the program.  The course includes involvement in the PAL Clinic, Bedlam E, various practice development seminars, and national board certification preparation.  (2 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7970 Mental Health Rotation

This is a six-week rotation on the OU Psychiatry service.  This rotation will provide the physician assistant student with an intensive clinical experience in acute and chronic mental illness under the supervision of an experienced mental health practitioner.  (5 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7940       Pediatrics Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a six-week rotation on the OU Pediatrics service.  Students will assist in the care of pediatric patients in the hospital and clinic settings.  (5 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7930       Obstetrics and Gynecology Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a six-week rotation on the OU Obstetrics and Gynecology service.  Students will participate in the care of obstetric and gynecologic patients in the hospital and clinic settings.  (5 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7917       Surgery Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is an eight-week rotation on the OU Surgery service, learning basic surgical techniques in the operating suite, participating in pre- and postoperative examinations, performing minor procedures, and assisting in general surgeries.  (7 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7870      Internal Medicine/Geriatrics Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is an eight-week rotation on the OU Internal Medicine service.  Students will provide supervised care for adult patients in the hospital setting.  (7 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7960   Primary Care I Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a four-week rotation on the OU Family Medicine service.  Students will perform routine history and physical examinations for acute and chronic illnesses and health maintenance visits. Emphasis will be placed on the management of common problems encountered in the family practice setting.  (3 credits)

Instructors: OU-TU School of Community Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical and Lecture

 

PAT 7990       Primary Care II Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a four-week rotation assigned to a community primary care site.  Students will assist in the care of patients in the primary care setting, which may include various in-house services, outpatient clinics, or nursing homes.  (3 credits)

Instructors: Community Clinicians

Course Component: Clinical

 

PAT 7920     Emergency Medicine Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a four-week rotation in a hospital emergency room, caring for acute medical and surgical emergencies.  Efficient, accurate, and methodical evaluation of the acutely ill or injured patient will be emphasized under the supervision of a physician.  (3 credits)

Instructors: Community Clinicians

Course Component: Clinical

 

PAT 7830   Underserved Medicine Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

This is a four-week rotation in a community clinic or health care facility devoted to treating the underserved population of northeast Oklahoma.  (3 credits)

Instructors: Community Clinicians

Course Component: Clinical

 

PAT 7950     Elective Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

Throughout the clinical year, the student will be able to choose one 4-week rotation to further supplement the required core rotations.  The elective can be in any specialty or primary care field, provided that the program has an available site. This elective rotation gives students the opportunity to tailor specific interests to their clinical education.  (3 credits)

Instructors: Community Clinicians

Course Component: Clinical

 

PAT 7202   Program Selective

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director.

The program selective rotation is a two week clinical rotation as determined by the Program.  Factors influencing the specific clinical focus selected by the program may include current medical needs nationally or within the local community and/or specific remediation needs of the student. (2 credits)

Instructors:  Community Clinicians or OU-TU School of Medicine Faculty

Course Component: Clinical 

 

PAT 7811  Community Impact Rotation

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year I PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or permission of the program director.

A two week rotation during the clinical phase of the program in which physician assistant students are assigned to participate in various activities to familiarize themselves with available community resources that could potentially impact the care of their patients. (1 credit)

Instructors: Community Professionals and PA Program Faculty

Course Component:  Clinical

 

PAT 7123       Master of Health Science in Physician Assistant Studies Capstone Project

Prerequisites: Successful completion of didactic PA courses with a 3.00 GPA

The capstone project is completed during the clinical year and provides the PA student with an opportunity to demonstrate medical information literacy and knowledge of evidence-based medicine principles by writing a referenced answer to a pertinent clinical question.  Students will present their findings in a public forum.  (3 credits)

Instructors: PA Program Faculty

Course Component: Group and independent study

 

PAT 7980    Physician Assistant Preceptorship

Prerequisites: Successful completion of Year 1 PA courses with a 3.00 GPA, and/or  permission of the program director.

The preceptorship rotation is the final rotation of the clinical year and gives students the opportunity to have additional training in the field of their choice and potentially rotate with their future employer.  The rotation is flexible and may also be used as an added elective to further student experience in any field of interest.  The rotation is designed to further develop and refine techniques of patient management.  (4 credits)

Instructor: Community Clinicians

Course Component: Clinical