Curriculum


Year One: Didactic Phase

Semester: Spring
Course Credit Hours
PAS 6016 Human Anatomy and Physiology 6
PAS 6026 Patient Assessment 6
PAS 6013 Introduction to the PA Profession 3
PAS 6012 The Art of Medicine 2
  Total 17
Semester: Summer
Course Credit Hours
PAS 6107 Clinical Medicine I 7
PAS 6023 Clinical Diagnostic Methods 3
PAS 6103 Clinical Decision Making 3
PAS 6113 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention 3
PAS 6104 Pathophysiology 4
  Total 20
Semester: Fall
Course Credit Hours
PAS 6204 Principles of Pharmacology 4
PAS 6208 Clinical Medicine II 8
PAS 6112 Research Methods I 2
PAS 6022 Clinical Genetics 2
PAS 6213 Behavioral Medicine 3
  Total 19
  Total Didactic Phase Hours 56

Year Two: Clinical Phase

Semester: Spring
Course Credit Hours
PAS 6203 Clinical Practice Issues 3
PAS 6102 Clinical Skills 2
PAS 6223 Clincal Specialties 3
PAS 8302 Clinical Transitions 2
PAS 6202 Research Methods II 2
  Total 12
Clinical Rotations (March)
PAS 8301 Seminar I 1
PAS 8308 Family Medicine Rotation 8
PAS 8333 Internal Medicine Rotation 3
    12
Semester: Summer
Course Credit Hours
PAS 8303 Pediatrics Rotation 3
PAS 8313 Women’s Health Rotation 3
PAS 8323 General Surgery Rotation 3
PAS 8321 Seminar II 1
  Total 10
Semester: Fall
Course Credit Hours
PAS 8343 Behavioral Medicine Rotation 3
PAS 8353 Emergency Medicine Rotation 3
PAS 8325 Clinical Preceptorship 3
    9
Semester: Spring
PAS 8322 Capstone Project 2
PAS 8312 Summative Experience 2
PAS 8332 Seminar III 2
PAS 8363 Elective Rotation  3
  Total 9
  Total Clinical Phase Hours 52
  Total Program Hours 108

Course Descriptions

PAS 6016 Human Anatomy and Physiology for the Physician Assistant
[6 Credits] Instruction in clinical gross anatomy and physiology for the physician assistant student. The course provides essential knowledge of the major anatomical regions, structures of the body and the physiologic functions related to health and disease.

PAS 6026 Patient Assessment for the Physician Assistant
[6 credits] Instructs students in the methods of performing a history and physical examination. Students develop the knowledge and skills essential for performing a comprehensive medical history and physical examination. The course emphasizes patient interviewing, acquiring a medical database, and performing a comprehensive physical examination.

PAS 6013 Introduction to the Physician Assistant Profession
[3 credits] Instructional course designed to introduce the entry-level physician assistant student to the unique origins, development, practice laws, and workforce trends of the profession. This course allows the student to develop a thorough understanding of the role of the physician assistant.

PAS 6023 Clinical Diagnostic Methods for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Lecture course with three components: radiologic study ordering and interpretation, ECG interpretation, and laboratory study ordering, performance, and interpretation. This course provides skills in ordering/interpreting lab values from chemistry, hematology, immunology, microbiology, parasitology, virology, genetics, and mycology testing for use in clinical practice.

PAS 6012 The Art of Medicine for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Introduces students to clinical ethics, health disparities, and cultural competence as they influence the practice of medicine. The course emphasizes the human factors that affect the delivery of culturally appropriate, patient-centered healthcare for patients across the lifespan.

PAS 6022 Clinical Genetics for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Lecture-based course designed to provide the entry-level physician assistant student with a basic understanding of medical genetics. The course will review basic molecular genetics, molecular terminology, and inheritance patterns. The student will receive instruction in various diagnostic techniques associated with medical genetics.

PAS 6107 Clinical Medicine I for the Physician Assistant
[7 credits] Introduces the student to human disease processes, their origins, mechanisms of action and effects on the human body with emphasis on the clinical manifestations of the disease process. Students will integrate knowledge from Patient Assessment and the basic sciences.

PAS 6103 Clinical Decision Making for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to build upon the skills developed Patient Assessment. The course will utilize problem-based learning techniques, allowing the participant to apply the developing skills of critical thinking. The course will provide instruction in the development of a thorough, patient appropriate, differential diagnosis.

PAS 6113 Health Promotion & Disease Prevention for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Lecture-based, active learning course where the student is given the opportunity to value prevention as a major aspect of healthcare and to develop skills that integrate health promotion/disease prevention into the role of a physician assistant.

PAS 6104 Pathophysiology for the Physician Assistant
[4 credits] Introduces the student to human disease processes, their origins, mechanisms of action and effects on the human body with emphasis on the clinical manifestations of the disease process. Students will integrate knowledge from Patient Assessment and the basic sciences.

PAS 6112 Research Methods I for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Introduction to basic research techniques needed for clinical practice. Students will develop proficiency in searching, interpreting, and applying evidence-based research in the clinical setting. Students will be instructed in appropriate tenets of intellectual honesty in the academic and professional setting.

PAS 6102 Clinical Skills for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Students are introduced to common skills used in the clinical practice of medicine. This course is designed to prepare the student for supervised clinical practice by introducing procedures commonly performed in the clinical setting.

PAS 6204 Principles of Pharmacology for the Physician Assistant
[4 credits] Basic introduction to the principles of pharmacology and to drug classes of particular relevance to the physician assistant. The course provides the student with a fundamental knowledge of basic pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetic and pharmacogenomics principles, basic properties, mechanisms, uses, adverse effects and interactions of relevant drugs.

PAS 6208 Clinical Medicine II for the Physician Assistant
[8 credits] Continuation of Clinical Medicine I, designed to prepare the student for supervised clinical practice.

PAS 6203 Clinical Practice Issues for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] The course instructs students in advanced clinical practice issues affecting the physician assistant profession. Topics include billing and coding, the Medicare/Medicaid system, credentialing, clinical professionalism, prescriptive rights, interdisciplinary healthcare practice and state/national licensure, and certification.

PAS 6213 Behavioral Medicine for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Provides students with the ability to explore the psychological parameters of human behavior and identify the relationship of psychological distress to physical illness. Students study the processes underlying human growth and development across the lifespan and how they apply to healthcare.

PAS 6223 Clinical Specialties for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Introduces the physician assistant student to the clinical specialties of surgery, pediatrics, and women's health. Students are instructed in the foundations of these specialties to prepare for clinical practice. Students learn basic knowledge and clinical skills unique to these practices.

PAS 6202 Research Methods II for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Designed to continue the physician assistant student's proficiency in research. This course will refine skills in literature analysis and the formatting of conclusions for the evidence-based practice of evaluation and management of disease processes.

PAS 8302 Clinical Transitions for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Physician assistant students gain knowledge and skills that facilitate the transition from the academic to clinical environment and promote high quality clinical education experiences. Practical learning that simulates the diversity of healthcare disciplines and services encountered during clinical training.

PAS 8308 Family Medicine Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[8 credits] Designed to give students exposure to the spectrum of family medicine outpatient medical practice. Students will learn the principles of routine (well) care, management of acute illnesses, and management of chronic/multiple diagnoses for patients across the lifespan.

PAS 8333 Internal Medicine Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to give students exposure to understand and manage patient problems in an internal medicine setting.

PAS 8303 Pediatric Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to give students exposure to the spectrum of pediatric practice, including care of infants, children and adolescents in routine well-child care, inpatient and outpatient care and care of acute and chronic illnesses.

PAS 8313 Women’s Health Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to give the student practical experience in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management of problems and issues associated with women’s health care.

PAS 8323 General Surgery Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to give students experience in the care of patients undergoing elective or acute surgical procedures. The student will perform preoperative history and physicals; assist in the operating room; be involved in immediate postoperative care and stabilization; and assist with postoperative care.

PAS 8343 Behavioral Medicine Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to give practical experience in the diagnosis and management of patients needing behavioral therapy in the clinical setting. Students will develop their ability to recognize psychiatric diagnoses in both the outpatient and inpatient settings.

PAS 8353 Emergency Medicine Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] Designed to introduce the student to health care in Emergency Medicine. The student is given the opportunity to understand and manage patient problems across the lifespan in an emergency care setting.

PAS 8403 Preceptorship Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] The preceptorship is designed to give the student additional clinical exposure in a medical/surgical area of their choosing. This opportunity is often used by preceptors to assess the student for possible employment. May be completed in any specialty or subspecialty chosen by the student.

PAS 8363 Elective Rotation for the Physician Assistant
[3 credits] The elective is designed to give the student additional clinical exposure in a medical/surgical area of their choosing. May be completed in any specialty or subspecialty chosen by the student and approved by the Clinical Coordinator.

PAS 8301 Seminar I for the Physician Assistant
[1 credit] This discussion-based course meets when students return from clinical rotations. Students present clinical cases, reflect on clinical experiences, and prepare for the next clinical experience.

PAS 8321 Seminar II for the Physician Assistant
[1 credit] This discussion-based course meets when students return from clinical rotations. Students present clinical cases, reflect on clinical experiences, and prepare for the next clinical experience.

PAS 8332 Seminar III for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] This discussion-based course meets when students return from clinical rotations. Students present clinical cases, reflect on clinical experiences, and prepare for the next clinical experience.

PAS 8312 Summative Experience for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Course curriculum required by accrediting body. The program must conduct and document a summative evaluation of each student within the final four months of the program to verify that each student is prepared to enter clinical practice.

PAS 8322 Capstone Project for the Physician Assistant
[2 credits] Course provides opportunity for completion of a Capstone project with tools and strategies addressed in Research Methods I and II.


Mississippi State University-Meridian has applied for Accreditation - Provisional from the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant (ARC-PA). Mississippi State University-Meridian anticipates matriculating its first class in January 2021, pending achievement of Accreditation - Provisional status at the June 2020 ARC-PA meeting.

Accreditation - Provisional is an accreditation status granted when the plans and resource allocation, if fully implemented as planned, of a proposed program that has not yet enrolled students appear to demonstrate the program’s ability to meet the ARC-PA Standards or when a program holding accreditation-provisional status appears to demonstrate continued progress in complying with the Standards as it prepares for the graduation of the first class (cohort) of students.

The program will not commence in the event Accreditation-Provisional is not granted.

For more information on the developing Master of Physician Assistant Studies Program, please contact (pa@meridian.msstate.edu).