Curriculum | Physician Assistant Studies | Mississippi College
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Preclinical Phase

The first phase of the program, commonly referred to as the preclinical phase, consists of 77 credit hours in five continuous academic semesters. Beginning in May of the first year, these courses take students through the preclinical phase with completion the following August. This portion of the curriculum utilizes classroom, laboratory, and clinical settings that provide a thorough theoretical and practical background in the basic health sciences and in clinical medicine.

Summer A Summer B Fall Spring Summer A Summer B
Anatomy Lab Cross-cultural Medicine Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care Emergency Medicine I Emergency Medicine II
Anatomy and Physiology Clinical Medicine I-IV
Diagnostic Medicine I-V
Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I-V
Fundamentals of Medical Science I-V
Professional Development I-V
Behavioral and Community Medicine I EBM I Behavioral and Community Medicine II & III Critical Care Medicine I Critical Care Medicine II

Courses and Credit Hour

Credit Hours Course
 8  Anatomy & Physiology w/lab
 19  Clinical Medicine
 7  Diagnostic Medicine
 7  Diagnostic Medicine Lab
 8  Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapeutics
 7  Fundamentals of Medical Science
 6  Professional Development
 5  Behavioral & Community Medicine
 2  Cross-Cultural Medicine
 3  Evidence-Based Medicine
 1  Essentials of Musculoskeletal Care
 2  Emergency Medicine
 2  Critical Care Medicine

Clinical Phase

The clinical phase consists of 66 credit hours of academic work. During the series of clinical practicums I-VIII students will be assigned to eight clinical rotations conducted at a variety of clinical sites. Five weeks of the clinical rotation are spent on site, and one week is spent on campus for exams, lectures, board preparation, and course work. The rotation specialties include Emergency Medicine (6 weeks), Family Practice (6 weeks), Internal Medicine (6 weeks), Pediatrics (6 weeks), Surgery (6 weeks), Behavioral Medicine (6 weeks), Obstetrics & Gynecology (6 weeks), and an elective (6 weeks) of the student’s choice.  Students must complete all eight rotations to complete the practicum series.   The capstone of the clinical phase is the Advanced Clerkship. During this course, students choose an area of concentration and spend part of or the entire semester at one training site.

Clinical Coursework

  • Advanced Professional Seminar I-V
  • Evidence-Based Medicine II

Clinical Practicums include:

  • Family Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • General Surgery
  • Pediatrics
  • Women's Health
  • Behavioral Medicine
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Elective

Advanced Clerkships Include:

  • Any area of medicine, based on availability and approval of the clinical team.

Clinical Rotations

Family Medicine

This course is designed to provide the student with the basics necessary to build a solid foundation for the evaluation, documentation, diagnosis, and treatment of problems common in primary care/family medicine. Students learn the skills necessary to evaluate and manage the effects of chronic disease on multiple body systems and to perform or assist in procedures commonly used in providing care across the age spectrum. The student will develop proficiency in office procedures commonly performed in a family medicine office.

Internal Medicine

The focus is on in-depth evaluation and ongoing treatment of adult patients with complex problems and/or chronic illness. Students learn the skills necessary to evaluate and manage the effects of chronic disease on multiple body systems and to perform or assist in procedures commonly performed in internal medicine. This rotation also includes in-depth evaluation and ongoing treatment of geriatric patients with complex problems and/or chronic illness. Students learn the skills necessary to evaluate and manage the effects of chronic disease on multiple body systems and to perform or assist in procedures commonly used in providing care to the geriatric population.

General Surgery

Students will develop the skills necessary to evaluate and manage patients with a variety of surgical problems. Exposure will include pre-, intra- and post-operative patient care. The rotation will provide students the opportunity to develop an understanding of the role of the surgeon, anesthesiologist, assistant surgeon, circulating nurse, scrub nurse, scrub technician, recovery room and surgical floor nurses, aides and technicians in the care of the surgical patient.

Pediatrics

This clinical rotation is designed to provide the student with outpatient and inpatient experience in pediatrics. The student will learn to perform evaluations of the healthy pediatric patient, recognize, evaluate and treat the common illnesses and problems experienced by the neonate, infant, small child and adolescent to age 18. Additionally, the student will learn to identify and manage problems in growth and development of these age groups and recognize and manage pediatric emergencies.

Women’s Health

This rotation is designed to provide the student with a comprehensive experience in the area of care of the female patient, especially in the areas of women’s health and prenatal care and the impact of disease processes on the reproductive system. The student will develop the skills and knowledge necessary to evaluate, manage and educate the patient in areas such as annual exams, birth control, infertility, menstruation, sexuality, pregnancy, pre- and post-natal care, menopause, and relationships.

Behavioral Health

The student will develop the skills necessary to evaluate and manage patients with a variety of behavioral and psychiatric problems. The rotation will provide students with the opportunity to develop an understanding of the role of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and nurses in the care of the psychiatric patient. Students will learn the appropriate use of selected psychoactive pharmaceuticals. There will be ample opportunity for the student to practice the skills necessary to perform a psychiatric interview and mental status examination and make referrals for specialized psychiatric treatment.

Emergency Medicine

The student is introduced to triage and the stabilization of patients with life-threatening conditions and the procedures performed in the emergency department. Emphasis is placed on skills required to perform and document a problem-oriented history and physical; formulate a differential diagnosis; order and interpret the tests necessary to confirm or rule out a primary diagnosis and give appropriate patient education. The student will also learn strategies for interacting with patients and/or families in various levels of stress.

Elective

In association with the Clinical Coordinator, each student will choose from a list of elective rotations (i.e., primary care, hospitalist medicine, nephrology, interventional radiology, etc.).  No student will be required to acquire his/her own clinical rotation site. If a student has a particular clinical rotation site he/she wishes to develop, this may be done in association with and at the discretion of the Clinical Coordinator.