Master of Science – Physician Assistant
Program Design and Curriculum Content
The two-year program (120 semester credits) of study leading to a Master of Science in Physician Assistant (M.S.P.A.) is delivered Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM with occasional workshops outside of those hours. The first year of the program will be on the Heritage University campus in Toppenish, Washington with some coursework and/or learning experiences conducted at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. The clinic sites for the second year rotations will be spread throughout the WWAMI region.
A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 is required in all courses.
Didactic Education Overview
The didactic curriculum is an organ/system-based concept with basic sciences and clinical preparatory sciences coordinated in each module. This allows the student to learn the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of a system, while simultaneously learning the physical and diagnostic assessment skills. Students will learn how the disorder/disease presents in an infant, child, adolescent, adult and the elderly in an emergent, acute, or chronic situation. Included in these modules are health promotion disease prevention topics. Finally, they will learn the modalities, including pharmaceuticals, needed to treat the diagnosis. Three additional classes will be taught throughout the first year: Behavioral Medicine, Professional Issues for Physician Assistants, and the Master’s Research Project. Spanish for Medical Professionals will only be offered during spring semester.
The core courses required of all students in the M.S.P.A. degree are indicated below.
Didactic - First Year
• PAM 500 – Behavioral Medicine I - 1 credit
• PAM 515 – Master’s Research Project I - 2 credits
• PAM 530 – Professional Issues for Physician Assistants I - 1 credit
• PAM 545 – Introduction to Primary Care and the Normal Patient - 8 credits
• PAM 505 – Behavioral Medicine II - 3 credits
• PAM 520 – Master’s Research Project II (online) - 2 credits
• PAM 535 – Professional Issues for Physician Assistants II - 2 credits
• PAM 550A – Procedures and Diagnostics I - 5 credits
• PAM 560A – Integrated Primary Care I - 14 credits
• PAM 510– Behavioral Medicine III - 3 credits
• PAM 525 – Master’s Research Project III (online) - 2 credits
• PAM 540 – Professional Issues for Physician Assistants III - 1 credit
• PAM 555A– Procedures and Diagnostics II - 5 credits
• PAM 565A – Integrated Primary Care II - 14 credits
• SPAN 570 – Spanish for Medical Professionals - 3 credits
Clinical Education Overview
The second or clinical year is a Community-Based Clinical Education concept where the student will be placed in a primary care site typically located within a rural and/or underserved area. In general, the student is placed within a location that has supporting specialty care providers and hospitals.The student will remain in the community as they receive supervised clinical practice experiences in emergency medicine, family medicine, internal medicine, surgical care, pediatrics, prenatal and women’s health care, and psychiatry and / or behavioral medicine. While positioned in their primary care rotation for two or three days a week as a continuity clinic, during the remainder of the week the student will rotate through the above mentioned specialty rotations through the rest of the clinical year.
Clinical - Second Year
• PAM 615 – Master’s Research Project IV (online) - 1 credit
• PAM 600 – Community-Based Clinical Experience I - 12 credits
• PAM 620 – Master’s Research Project V (online) - 2 credits
• PAM 605 – Community-Based Clinical Experience II - 20 credits
• PAM 625 – Master’s Research Project VI (online) - 1 credit
• PAM 610 – Community-Based Clinical Experience III - 18 credits