Students are admitted and progress as a unified cohort and complete courses in a specified sequence of full-time study, divided between didactic and clinical phases. All courses are required. The Program does not waive courses or offer advanced placement.
The Didactic Phase
The didactic phase includes just over three semesters of graduate level coursework as follows:
- Anatomy: Human Anatomy with Cadaver Lab
- Neuroanatomy: Clinical Neuroanatomy with Cadaver Lab
- Biomedical Medicine I, II, and III: Genetics, Laboratory Medicine, Physiology & Pathophysiology
- Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I, II, and III: Microbiology, pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, pharmacotherapeutics
- Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry I and II: Behavioral health and psychiatry, mindfulness and meditation practices, cultural awareness and diversity, treatment adherence, psychotherapeutic techniques
- Physician Assistant Practice I and II: History of the profession, medical ethics & professionalism, medical malpractice, coding & billing, public health, healthcare systems and healthcare policy issues, global healthcare, interprofessional team-based care, and service/civic engagement activities
- Clinical Skills I, II, and III: Patient interviewing & interpersonal skills, mindfulness practices, physical examination, & patient education and counseling
- Clinical Medicine I, II, and III: The pathophysiology, epidemiology, patient presentation, patient evaluation, differential diagnosis, diagnosis, work-up (e.g., laboratory,imaging, and procedural testing) treatment, and referral—when appropriate—for conditions & diseases affecting patients across the lifespan, presented in an organ systems approach
- Surgery and Advanced Clinical Procedures: Surgical procedures and protocols, advanced training and practice in common emergency and outpatient clinical procedures
- Research: Research methods, design, hypothesis development and testing, statistical analysis, publication
The Clinical Phase of the Program
The clinical phase of the program will include four semesters of supervised clinical practice experiences (SCPEs) and further didactic training and research, and summative evaluation and training. Didactic sessions will include lectures; labs; grand rounds; small and large group sessions; course and program evaluations; and board review sessions.
Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences: 4–Week Long Clinical Rotations
SCPEs will incorporate training in the following disciplines:
- Emergency Medicine
- Family Medicine
- General Surgery
- Hospice/Paliative Care
- Internal Medicine - Hospitalist/Inpatient Care
- Internal Medicine - Cardiology & Pulmonology
- Women’s Health
- Elective Area*
Elective rotations can take place in a core rotation area or in a wide variety of specialty fields. The type of rotation will depend on student interest, rotation availability, and student performance during the didactic and clinical phases of the Program.
Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences: 8–Week Long Preceptorship
After the successful completion of their 4–week SCPEs, students will then participate in an 8-week SCPE preceptorship. The preceptorship serves to provide the student with enhanced training in one practice area for a prolonged period of time. The preceptorships can be in a wide variety of practice areas and, like the 4–week rotations, the type of practice area may be chosen based on student interest, preceptorship availability, and student performance during previous coursework.
Our Affiliation Agreements & SCPE Locations
Our SCPEs will take place in Southwest Virginia with the vast majority taking place within 50 miles of our campus. Most training will occur within hospitals, facilities and practices in Smyth County, Russel County, Washington County, and Wythe County.
The Program has made every attempt to ensure that most if not all of our students will not have to relocate throughout the clinical phase of their training.