Didactic Phase

The Didactic Phase of Training incorporates 13 months of class, lab, and clinical activities.

Unlike most other programs, our students begin patient experiences during the didactic curriculum!

Precepted by their principal faculty during the didactic phase, our students assist in evaluating and treating patients at the Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College (located right next to our main building) - all this prior to their formal clinical rotations phase of training.

The Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College. The MLFC is located right on the Marion ...The Mel Leaman Free Clinic at Emory & Henry College. The MLFC is located right on the Marion campus. MPAS Students begin rotating through the clinic, precepted by their program faculty, for an average of 4 hours per week beginning their very first week in the MPAS Program!


Didactic Phase Coursework

The didactic phase includes just over three semesters of graduate-level full-time coursework. All of the following courses are required for progression from the didactic to clinical phase of training. The MPAS Program does not permit advanced placement and does not waive any of the below course requirements under any circumstance.

  • PA 501- Human Gross Anatomy

    Human Gross Anatomy includes lectures and cadaver lab instruction and dissection, in addition to clinical correlations and radiographic anatomy, providing students with in-depth training and experience in head-to-toe human gross anatomy and radiographic imaging pertinent to medical practice. Five semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): Anatomy - An Essential Textbook (2nd ed.; 2017): ISBN-13: 978-1626234390

  • PA 503a - Medical Physiology I

    The Medical Physiology I, II, and III courses are designed to provide in-depth study of genetics, molecular mechanisms of disease, physiology and pathophysiology and applications to patient care. The courses, when appropriate, are delivered via a team-based learning (TBL) format and organized to align with the Clinical Medicine Courses occurring in the same semester. Two semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Costanzo Physiology (6th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0323478816
    2. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Physiology (2nd Ed.) ISBN-13: 978-1496385826

  • PA 504a - Medical Physiology II

    The Medical Physiology I, II, and III courses are designed to provide in-depth study of genetics, molecular mechanisms of disease, physiology and pathophysiology and applications to patient care. The courses, when appropriate, are delivered via a team-based learning (TBL) format and organized to align with the Clinical Medicine Courses occurring in the same semester. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Costanzo Physiology (6th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0323478816
    2. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Physiology (2nd Ed.) ISBN-13: 978-1496385826

  • PA 505a - Medical Physiology III

    The Medical Physiology I, II, and III courses are designed to provide in-depth study of genetics, molecular mechanisms of disease, physiology and pathophysiology and applications to patient care. The courses, when appropriate, are delivered via a team-based learning (TBL) format and organized to align with the Clinical Medicine Courses occurring in the same semester. Three semester hours.

     

    Required text(s): 

    1. Costanzo Physiology (6th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0323478816
    2. Lippincott Illustrated Reviews: Physiology (2nd Ed.) ISBN-13: 978-1496385826

  • PA 506 - Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy I

    Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy I, II and III include lectures and lab experiences specifically designed to provide students with a clinical foundation in microbiology and the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and therapeutic use of pharmaceuticals for diverse patient populations with acute and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ systems aligning with the Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses, respectively. As with other courses, these courses will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team-based learning design including significant case-based learning sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Antibiotics Simplified (4th ed.; 2016): ISBN-13: 978-1284111293
    2. Infectious Diseases A Clinical Short Course (3rd ed.; 2013): ISBN-13: 978-0071789257
    3. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN: 978-1944272142
  • PA 507 - Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy II

    Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy I, II and III include lectures and lab experiences specifically designed to provide students with a clinical foundation in microbiology and the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and therapeutic use of pharmaceuticals for diverse patient populations with acute and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ systems aligning with the Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses, respectively. As with other courses, these courses will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team-based learning design including significant case-based learning sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Antibiotics Simplified (4th ed.; 2016): ISBN-13: 978-1284111293
    2. Infectious Diseases A Clinical Short Course (3rd ed.; 2013): ISBN-13: 978-0071789257
    3. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN: 978-1944272142
  • PA 508 - Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy III

    Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy I, II and III includes lectures and lab experiences specifically designed to provide students with a clinical foundation in microbiology and the pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and evidence-based therapeutic use of pharmaceuticals for diverse patient populations with acute and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ systems aligning with the Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses, respectively. As with other courses, these courses will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team-based learning design including significant case based learning sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Antibiotics Simplified (4th ed.; 2016): ISBN-13: 978-1284111293
    2. Infectious Diseases A Clinical Short Course (3rd ed.; 2013): ISBN-13: 978-0071789257
    3. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN: 978-1944272142
  • PA 511 - Clinical Medicine I

    Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses include lectures and lab experiences providing students with in-depth training in the etiology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis, and evidence-based prevention, treatment, and management for patients of all ages from initial presentation through ongoing follow-up. Patient management instruction will address acute and longitudinal management of diverse patient populations with emergent, acute, subacute, and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ system. Instruction related to treatment plans will be patient centered and inclusive, addressing medical issues, patient education and referral. As with other courses, this course will be taught with intermittent use of a flipped classroom and team based learning design including significant case based learning
    sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Eight semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s):

    1. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care (5th ed.; 2015): ISBN-13: 978-1625524157
    2. Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics (8th ed.; 2019): ISBN-13: 978-0323511452
    3. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2019 (49th ed.; 2019) ISBN-13: 978-1944272104
    4. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests (7th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-1259640896
    5. Subscription to American Family Physician https://www.aafp.org
    6. Thayler’s The Only EKG Book You’ll Ever Need (9th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1496377234

    The below required texts are available at no cost via E&H Library’s AccessMedicine ‘database’ 

    1. Color Atlas of Family Medicine (3rd ed.; 2018): ISBN-13: 978-1259862045
    2. Current Emergency Medicine (8th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0071840613
    3. Greenspans Basic and Clinical Endocrinology (10th ed.; 2017): ISBN-13: 978-1259589287
    4. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (20th ed.; 2018)  ISBN-13: 978-1259644030
    5. Introduction to Diagnostic Radiology (1st ed.; 2014): ISBN-978-0-07-180180-5
    6. Williams Gynecology (3rd ed.; 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0071849081
    7. Williams Obstetrics (25th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1259644320
  • PA 512 - Clinical Medicine II

    Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses include lectures and lab experiences providing students with in-depth training in the etiology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis, and evidence-based prevention, treatment, and management for patients of all ages from initial presentation through ongoing follow-up. Patient management instruction will address acute and longitudinal management of diverse patient populations with emergent, acute, subacute, and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ system. Instruction related to treatment plans will be patient centered and inclusive, addressing medical issues, patient education and referral. As with other courses, this course will be taught with intermittent use of a flipped classroom and team based learning design including significant case based learning
    sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Eight semester hours

     

    Required Text(s):

    1. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care (5th ed.; 2015): ISBN-13: 978-1625524157
    2. Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics (8th ed.; 2019): ISBN-13: 978-0323511452
    3. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2019 (49th ed.; 2019) ISBN-13: 978-1944272104
    4. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests (7th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-1259640896
    5. Subscription to American Family Physician https://www.aafp.org
    6. Thayler’s The Only EKG Book You’ll Ever Need (9th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1496377234

    The below required texts are available at no cost via E&H Library’s AccessMedicine ‘database’ 

    1. Color Atlas of Family Medicine (3rd ed.; 2018): ISBN-13: 978-1259862045
    2. Current Emergency Medicine (8th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0071840613
    3. Greenspans Basic and Clinical Endocrinology (10th ed.; 2017): ISBN-13: 978-1259589287
    4. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (20th ed.; 2018)  ISBN-13: 978-1259644030
    5. Introduction to Diagnostic Radiology (1st ed.; 2014): ISBN-978-0-07-180180-5
    6. Williams Gynecology (3rd ed.; 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0071849081
    7. Williams Obstetrics (25th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1259644320
  • PA 513 - Clinical Medicine III

    Clinical Medicine I, II and III courses include lectures and lab experiences providing students with in-depth training in the etiology, epidemiology, clinical manifestations, diagnostic evaluation, differential diagnosis, and evidence-based prevention, treatment, and management for patients of all ages from initial presentation through ongoing follow-up. Patient management instruction will address acute and longitudinal management of diverse patient populations with emergent, acute, subacute, and chronic conditions throughout the lifespan and organized by body/organ system. Instruction related to treatment plans will be patient centered and inclusive, addressing medical issues, patient education and referral. As with other courses, this course will be taught with intermittent use of a flipped classroom and team based learning design including significant case based learning
    sessions geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient-centered team-based model. Eight semester hours

     

    Required Text(s):

    1. Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care (5th ed.; 2015): ISBN-13: 978-1625524157
    2. Nelson’s Essentials of Pediatrics (8th ed.; 2019): ISBN-13: 978-0323511452
    3. The Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2019 (49th ed.; 2019) ISBN-13: 978-1944272104
    4. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests (7th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-1259640896
    5. Subscription to American Family Physician https://www.aafp.org
    6. Thayler’s The Only EKG Book You’ll Ever Need (9th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1496377234

    The below required texts are available at no cost via E&H Library’s AccessMedicine ‘database’ 

    1. Color Atlas of Family Medicine (3rd ed.; 2018): ISBN-13: 978-1259862045
    2. Current Emergency Medicine (8th ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-0071840613
    3. Greenspans Basic and Clinical Endocrinology (10th ed.; 2017): ISBN-13: 978-1259589287
    4. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (20th ed.; 2018)  ISBN-13: 978-1259644030
    5. Introduction to Diagnostic Radiology (1st ed.; 2014): ISBN-978-0-07-180180-5
    6. Williams Gynecology (3rd ed.; 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0071849081
    7. Williams Obstetrics (25th ed.; 2018) ISBN-13: 978-1259644320
  • PA 514 - Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry I

    The Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry I and II courses include comprehensive lecture and team-based learning experiences providing students with in-depth training in evidence-based behavioral medicine and psychiatry.
    Genetics and pathophysiology, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of psychiatric conditions and illnesses are covered throughout the courses. The courses are designed to introduce students to normal and abnormal development across the life span and the biopsychosocial model of evaluation and care for diverse patient populations with acute and chronic psychiatric/behavioral conditions throughout the lifespan, including but not limited to end-of-life care, integrating human physical and psychological development, principles of biopsychiatry & neuropsychiatry, and responses to stress, injury, illness and death. The courses also incorporate mindfulness practices in healthcare, training in substance use, abuse and addiction issues, and treatment adherence issues including the applications of motivational interviewing (MI) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET). Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Burns, David (1999). Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (revised; ISBN 978-0-380-81033-8) (The 1980 version is okay as well)
    2. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5; ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8)
    3. Robinson, David J. (2017). The Mental Status Exam Explained (3rd Edition; ISBN 978-1-894328-31-9)
  • PA 515 - Behavioral Medicine & Psychiatry II

    The Behavioral Medicine and Psychiatry I and II courses include comprehensive lecture and team-based learning experiences providing students with in-depth training in evidence-based behavioral medicine and psychiatry.
    Genetics and pathophysiology, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment and management of psychiatric conditions and illnesses are covered throughout the courses. The courses are designed to introduce students to normal and abnormal development across the life span and the biopsychosocial model of evaluation and care for diverse patient populations with acute and chronic psychiatric/behavioral conditions throughout the lifespan, including but not limited to end-of-life care, integrating human physical and psychological development, principles of biopsychiatry & neuropsychiatry, and responses to stress, injury, illness and death. The courses also incorporate mindfulness practices in healthcare, training in substance use, abuse and addiction issues, and treatment adherence issues including the applications of motivational interviewing (MI) and motivational enhancement therapy (MET). Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Burns, David (1999). Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy (revised; ISBN 978-0-380-81033-8) (The 1980 version is okay as well)
    2. American Psychiatric Association (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders – Fifth Edition (DSM-5; ISBN 978-0-89042-555-8)
    3. Robinson, David J. (2017). The Mental Status Exam Explained (3rd Edition; ISBN 978-1-894328-31-9)
  • PA 521 - Clinical Skills I

    Clinical Skills I, II and III include lectures, labs, and clinic experiences covering the in-depth study and practice of evidence-based patient interviewing, physical examination, diagnostic evaluation - including laboratory, imaging and procedural testing, patient counseling and education, and patient management for diverse patient populations throughout the lifespan. Clinical Skills I will emphasis the complete history and physical examination, including, but not limited to, documentation of care. Clinical Skills II and III will emphasize both a complete history and physical examination and documentation in addition to focused examinations organized by body/organ system aligning with the Clinical Medicine II and III courses and specific training on evidence-based technical skills and procedures. The courses also cover effective interviewing and communication skills, standardized patient and high-fidelity manikin simulation activities, and directly supervised clinical experiences in the Mel Leaman Free Clinic on campus. As with other courses, this course will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team-based learning design geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient- centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking (13th ed.) ISBN: 9781496398178
    2. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN:978-1944272142
    3. Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2020 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition (21st ed.) ISBN: 978-1284196160

  • PA 522 - Clinical Skills II

    Clinical Skills I, II and III include lectures, labs, and clinic experiences covering the in-depth study and practice of evidence-based patient interviewing, physical examination, diagnostic evaluation - including laboratory, imaging and procedural testing, patient counseling and education, and patient management for diverse patient populations throughout the lifespan. Clinical Skills I will emphasis the complete history and physical examination, including, but not limited to, documentation of care. Clinical Skills II and III will emphasize both a complete history and physical examination and documentation in addition to focused examinations organized by body/organ system aligning with the Clinical Medicine II and III courses and specific training on evidence-based technical skills and procedures. The courses also cover effective interviewing and communication skills, standardized patient and high- fidelity manikin simulation activities, and directly supervised clinical experiences in the Mel Leaman Free Clinic on campus. As with other courses, this course will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team- based learning design geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient- centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking (13th ed.) ISBN 9781496398178
    2. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN: 978-1944272142
    3. Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia 2020 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition (21st ed.) ISBN: 978-1284196160

  • PA 523 - Clinical Skills III

    Clinical Skills I, II and III include lectures, labs, and clinic experiences covering the in-depth study and practice of evidence-based patient interviewing, physical examination, diagnostic evaluation - including laboratory, imaging and procedural testing, patient counseling and education, and patient management for diverse patient populations throughout the lifespan. Clinical Skills I will emphasis the complete history and physical examination, including, but not limited to, documentation of care. Clinical Skills II and III will emphasize both a complete history and physical examination in addition to focused examinations organized by body/organ system aligning with the Clinical Medicine II and III courses and specific training on evidence-based technical skills and procedures. The courses also cover effective interviewing and communication skills, standardized patient and high-fidelity manikin simulation activities, and directly supervised clinical experiences in the Mel Leaman Free Clinic on campus. As with other courses, this course will be taught with extensive use of a flipped classroom and team based learning design geared towards problem solving and medical decision-making skills within a collaborative interprofessional patient- centered team-based model. Three semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s): 

    1. Bates’ Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking (13th ed.) ISBN: 9781496398178
    2. Sanford Guide to Antimicrobial Therapy 2020 (50th ed.) ISBN: 978-1944272142
    3. Tarascon Pocket Pharmacopoeia  2020 Deluxe Lab-Coat Edition (21st ed.) ISBN: 978-1284196160

  • PA 530 - PA Practice

    PA Practice include lectures and seminars covering the history of the PA profession and current trends, PA leadership and stewardship, professionalism, interprofessional team-based practice, medical ethics, public health, health policy and healthcare systems, health care disparities, patient and healthcare diversity, cultural awareness, patient safety, quality improvement, prevention of medical errors and risk management. The course also provides an introduction to malpractice and medical liability, legal issues and PA certification, licensing, credentialing and practice regulations. Four semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s):

    1. Ballweg’s Physician Assistant: A Guide to Clinical Practice (7th ed.) ISBN: 9780323654166
    2. Subscription to American Family Physician https://www.aafp.org/journals/afp.html

    The below required texts are available at no cost via E&H Library’s AccessMedicine ‘database’

    1. Medical Management of Vulnerable and Underserved Principles, Practice and Populations (2nd ed.; 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0071834445
    2. Understanding Global Health (2nd ed.; 2013) ISBN-13: 978-0071791007
    3. Understanding Medical Professionalism (1st ed.; 2014) ISBN-13: 978-0071807432
    4. Understanding Patient Safety (3rd ed.; 2017) ISBN-13: 978-1259860249
    5. Understanding Teamwork in Health Care (1st ed; 2013) ISBN-13: 978-0071791953
    6. Understanding Value-Based Healthcare (1st ed.; 2015) ISBN-13: 978-0071816984
  • PA 600a - Emergency Medicine and Advanced Clinical & Surgical Procedures

    Emergency Medicine and Advanced Clinical & Surgical Procedures incorporates a stand-alone emergency medicine course that also includes surgical skills and advanced clinical procedures. The emergency medicine course will include lectures on the identification, evaluation, and treatment of patients of all ages presenting with emergent medical conditions. The surgery portion of the course will provide students with an understanding of basic surgical procedures, preoperative patient assessment, principles of postoperative care, the identification and management of common post-operative complications and routines of the operative suite including, but not limited to, sterile technique and patient transfer methods. The advanced clinical procedures portion of the course introduces students to common outpatient and emergency medical procedures and allows for in depth practice of these procedures. The course includes training in Basic Life Support (BLS) and Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), and procedures frequently completed for Eye, Ear, Nose and Throat (EENT), Respiratory, Cardiovascular, Gastrointestinal, Genitourinary, Dermatologic, and Orthopedic systems. Five semester hours.

     

    Required Text(s):

    1. ACLS Provider Manual (2020 AHA Guidelines) ISBN: 978-1-61669-772-3
    2. PALS Provider Manual (2020 AHA Guidelines) ISBN: 978-1-61669-785-3

    The below required texts are available at no cost via E&H Library’s AccessMedicine ‘database’

    1. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Surgery (14th ed.; 2015) ISBN-13: 978-0071792110
    2. Current Diagnosis & Treatment: Emergency Medicine (8th ed.) ISBN-13: 978-0071840613
    3. Harrison’s Principles of Internal Medicine (20th ed.) ISBN-13: 978-1259644030
    4. Symptom to Diagnosis: An Evidence-Based Guide (3rd ed.; 2014) ISBN-13: 978-1260121117
    5. Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine (9th ed.) ISBN-13: 978-1260019933