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Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Courses

MPAS 200. Clinical Medicine I - Foundations (Anatomy). 4 Units.

This course involves a detailed regional analysis of the structure of the human body that includes the lower/upper extremity, head/neck and trunk, thoracic/abdominal and pelvic cavities and the central nervous system. Functional correlates to the structures will also be presented and discussed. This course has a discussion component as well as a laboratory component using physical anatomy models, cadaver prosections, and computer/textbook anatomy programs/atlases.

MPAS 201. Clinical Medicine I - Foundations (Pathophysiology). 4 Units.

This course involves an advanced review and clinical application of human physiology, in a body system approach, correlated with common disease pathophysiology. This course provides foundational and advanced understanding of disease mechanisms in preparation for clinical disease evaluation and management.

MPAS 202. Clinical Medicine II. 8 Units.

This is first of a two-semester course that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, etiology, clinical manifestation, diagnosis and management of select medical conditions, syndromes and diseases including the integration and application of knowledge obtained in the Clinical Skills, and Pharmacology and Therapeutics courses. The semester will follow an organ system approach.

MPAS 203. Clinical Medicine III. 8 Units.

This is the second of a two-semester course that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, etiology, clinical manifestation, diagnosis and management of select medical conditions, syndromes and diseases, including the integration and application of knowledge obtained in the Clinical Skills, and Pharmacology and Therapeutics courses. The semester will follow an organ system and discipline approach.

MPAS 205. Preparation for Clinical Practice. 4 Units.

This is an intensive clinical preparatory course prior to the start of clinical rotations. Clinical year clearance, policy and procedure instruction. Application of clinical and procedural knowledge through various individual and team activities. Culmination evaluations of the didactic portion of the curriculum. Satisfactory completion of the culmination evaluations is required to progress to the clinical year.

MPAS 211. Pharmacology and Therapeutics I. 3 Units.

This is the first of a three-semester course that focuses on general clinical therapeutic principles, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutic application. This semester emphasizes basic pharmacological principles, drug classifications, legal aspects of prescribing, supplements and alternative medicinal therapies, and self-care concepts.

MPAS 212. Pharmacology and Therapeutics II. 3 Units.

This is the second of a three-semester course that focuses on general clinical therapeutic principles, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutic application. This semester presents pharmacological and therapeutic concepts addressed in an organ system approach congruent with Clinical Medicine.

MPAS 213. Pharmacology and Therapeutics III. 3 Units.

This is the third of a three-semester course that focuses on general clinical therapeutic principles, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacotherapeutic application. This semester presents pharmacological and therapeutic concepts addressed in a organ system and disciple specific approach congruent with Clinical Medicine.

MPAS 215. Primary Care I. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to primary care medicine, including health maintenance, disease prevention, patient education and continuity of care. The written examinations for these will focus on family medicine.

MPAS 216. Primary Care II. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to primary care medicine, including health maintenance, disease prevention, patient education and continuity of care. The written examinations for these will focus on family medicine.

MPAS 217. Primary Care III. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to primary care medicine, including health maintenance, disease prevention, patient education and continuity of care. The written examinations for these will focus on family medicine.

MPAS 218. Periodic and Summative Evaluations/Capstone. 4 Units.

This will be a continuing course throughout the four semesters of the clinical education phase of the program. The periodic evaluations will include end-of-rotation written examinations, OSCEs, and skills assessments. Summative evaluations will consist of a written comprehensive examination and a practical examination (OSCE). All course elements must be completed satisfactorily in order to pass the course and be progressed to graduation. The Capstone Project will continue from the research portion of the Behavioral Sciences course. Under the supervision of a faculty member, students will pose and answer a clinical question on a practice topic of their choice by completing a critical review of the medical literature, and will write a paper suitable for publication on the topic.

MPAS 219A. Advanced Clinical Skills I. 2 Units.

This is the first course in a three semester series that builds upon the basic clinical skills coursework. Instruction and application of advanced clinical and procedural skills. Integration and application of clinical reasoning and a comprehensive patient centered approach through case analysis, simulation and standardized patient encounters.

MPAS 219B. Advanced Clinical Skills II. 1 Unit.

This is the second course in a three semester series that builds upon the basic clinical skills coursework. Instruction and application of advanced clinical and procedural skills. Integration and application of clinical reasoning and a comprehensive patient centered approach through case analysis, simulation and standardized patient encounters.

MPAS 219C. Advanced Clinical Skills III. 1 Unit.

This is the third course in a three semester series that builds upon the basic clinical skills coursework. Instruction and application of advanced clinical and procedural skills. Integration and application of clinical reasoning and a comprehensive patient centered approach through case analysis, simulation and standardized patient encounters.

MPAS 221. Behavioral and Health Sciences. 2 Units.

This course introduces the biopsychosocial model of health care. It addresses basic psychology concepts, biological and psychosocial development across the life span, stress management, basic counseling and behavior modification principles, social determinants of health.

MPAS 222. Evidence Based Practice. 2 Units.

This course emphasizes general research principles and the impact of research, social determinants, and health literacy on public and population health. Principles addressed include research design and methods, basic research statistics, evaluation and application of clinical research, identification and critical review of the medical literature, clinical decision-making driven by evidence based medicine, and disease surveillance.

MPAS 223. Mental and Behavioral Health. 2 Units.

This course emphasizes evaluation and management of behavioral and mental health disorders, including disorders outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.

MPAS 225. Primary Care/Pediatrics. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to pediatric primary care medicine. The written examination for this rotation will focus on pediatric medicine.

MPAS 231. Professional Practice and the Health System I. 1 Unit.

This is the first of a three-semester course that explores the healthcare system from a professional, legal, economic and patient care perspective. This semester includes the history and status of the PA profession and professional organizations, the physician-PA team relationship, PA scope of practice and legal regulations. An introduction to healthcare delivery systems, health policy, and related governmental agencies. Exploration of team based patient care through interprofessional education activities.

MPAS 232. Professional Practice and the Health System II. 1 Unit.

This is the second of a three-semester course that explores today’s healthcare system from a professional, legal, economic and patient care perspective. This semester emphasis is on medical ethics, legal aspects of health care, patient-provider interactions, confidentiality, risk management and malpractice. Exploration of team based patient care though interprofessional education activities.

MPAS 233. Professional Practice and the Health System III. 1 Unit.

This is the third of a three-semester course that explores today’s healthcare system from a professional, legal, economic and patient care perspective. This semester emphasis is the economics of health care, including billing and coding, utilization review and electronic medical records (EMR). Exploration of team based patient care through interprofessional education activities.

MPAS 235. Primary Care/Women's Health. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to women’s health care. The written examinations for this rotation will focus on women’s health and reproductive health.

MPAS 241. Clinical Skills I. 4 Units.

This three-semester course focuses on four main topic areas: history and physical examination, diagnostic studies, application through case based learning, and procedural skills. This semester builds a foundation of student knowledge in the four topic areas through focused study in the following areas: communication, documentation, history and review of systems, fundamentals of diagnostic studies, medical microbiology, external anatomy, and utilization of diagnostic equipment. Case based discussions emphasize clinical reasoning through knowledge application.

MPAS 242. Clinical Skills II. 4 Units.

This three-semester course focuses on four main topic areas: history and physical examination, diagnostic studies, application through case based learning, and procedural skills. This semester presents the concepts in an organ system approach congruent with Clinical Medicine. Case based discussions emphasize clinical reasoning through knowledge integration and application. Organ system specific procedures are covered.

MPAS 243. Clinical Skills III. 4 Units.

This three-semester course focuses on four main topic areas: history and physical examination, diagnostic studies, application through case based learning, and procedural skills. This semester presents the concepts in an organ system and discipline specific approach congruent with Clinical Medicine. Case based discussions emphasize clinical reasoning through knowledge integration and application. Organ system and discipline specific procedures are covered.

MPAS 245. Primary Care/Behavioral and Mental Health. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient and/or inpatient setting to obtain exposure to behavioral health care. The written examination for this rotation will focus on behavioral health.

MPAS 255. Internal Medicine. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in an outpatient, inpatient and/or long term care setting to obtain exposure to primary care and chronic disease management. The written examination for this rotation will cover internal medicine and geriatrics.

MPAS 265. Surgery. 4 Units.

Students will be placed with general surgeons and/or surgical specialists to obtain exposure to surgical principles. Student will obtain intraoperative experience during this rotation. Pre- and post-operative care concepts may be addressed in this rotation or any other rotation. The written examination for this rotation will focus on general surgical principles, including pre- and post-operative management.

MPAS 275. Emergency Medicine. 4 Units.

Students will be placed in a hospital based emergency room to gain exposure to urgent and emergent care. The written examination for this rotation will focus on emergency medicine.

MPAS 285. General Elective I. 4 Units.

Students in good academic standing will have the opportunity to complete elective rotations in a desired area of specialty or Pathway Track, if available. Elective rotations may occur in any healthcare setting in any field in which PAs are allowed to practice within the state where the practice is located. The Program reserves the right to utilize elective rotations in the best interest of the student to address knowledge and/or skills deficiencies.

MPAS 286. General Elective II. 4 Units.

Students in good academic standing will have the opportunity to complete elective rotations in a desired area of specialty or Pathway Track, if available. Elective rotations may occur in any healthcare setting in any field in which PAs are allowed to practice within the state where the practice is located. The Program reserves the right to utilize elective rotations in the best interest of the student to address knowledge and/or skills deficiencies.

MPAS 287. General Elective III. 4 Units.

Students in good academic standing will have the opportunity to complete elective rotations in a desired area of specialty or Pathway Track, if available. Elective rotations may occur in any healthcare setting in any field in which PAs are allowed to practice within the state where the practice is located. The Program reserves the right to utilize elective rotations in the best interest of the student to address knowledge and/or skills deficiencies.

MPAS 293. Special Topics. 4 Units.

Apply medical knowledge and clinical skills in patient centered practice

Demonstrate competence in domain 1 (Medical knowledge), 2 (Patient Care), and 3 (Interpersonal and Communication Skills) through application of knowledge and skills obtained through a comprehensive curriculum of basic and clinical science. 

Apply systems-based practice principles to patient care

Demonstrate competence in domain 6 (Systems based practice), through application of knowledge and skills obtained through a comprehensive curriculum of health care delivery systems, business and system improvement curriculum. 

Model Professionalism and Leadership

Demonstrate competence in domain 5 (Professionalism) through application of knowledge and skills obtained through a comprehensive curriculum focused on ethical care of all patients, professional communication, and integrity. Demonstrate cultural sensitivity and accountability to ones patients, health care team members, and community.  

Model commitment to life-long learning.

Demonstrate competency of domain 3 (Practice-based Learning and Improvement) through application of self-assessment, of all factors influencing patient care, and clinical curiosity. 

Competency Domains, Measures and Outcomes

Program Competencies, Measures, Outcomes

Physician Assistant Studies Faculty

Mark Christiansen, Program Director, Chair, Associate Clinical Professor, 2015, BS, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1977; MPAS, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 1997; MS, University of Nebraska at Omaha, 1999; PhD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, 2009.

Tracey DelNero, Associate Program Director, Associate Clinical Professor, 2015, BA, California State University, Sacramento, 1994; PA, Western University of Health Sciences, 1999; MSPAS, Touro College, 2014; DMSc; University of Lynchburg, 2020

Jessica Garner, Clinical Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2015, BA, California State University, Fresno, 2007; PA, San Joaquin Valley College, 2012; MMS, Saint Francis University, 2012.

Jed Grant, Admissions Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2015, BS, University of Nebraska, 1999; MPAS, University of Nebraska, 2008.

Rahnea Sunseri, Medical Director, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2015, BS, University of California, Davis, 1972; MD, University of California, Davis, 1976.

Curtis Fowler, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2016, BS, Sacramento State University, 1991; MPT, College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific, 1994; PA, University of California at Davis, 2002

Alicia Gordon, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2017, BS, UCLA, 2002; PA, San Joaquin Valley College, 2012; MMS, Saint Francis University, 2012

Jacie Touart, Assistant Clinical Professor, 2016, BHS, Duquesne University, 2001; MPA, Duquesne University,2002; DMSc; University of Lynchburg, 2020.