Physician Assistant Studies
(PAS)

Associate Professor: Zellmer (Program Director); Lecturers: Friell, Garland, Majewski.

Physician Assistant Studies Major —
(Science and Allied Health)
www.uwlax.edu/pastudies

Important Note:
The program is planning a transition to the graduate level with an anticipated June 2004 starting date for the MS in Physician Assistant Studies program.  Therefore, students applying for admission into the PAS program at that time will be required to hold a Bachelor's degree in addition to having met the stated prerequisites for entrance to the program. There will not be an undergraduate class accepted during the transition.

Physician assistants are health professionals licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision in all fifty states. Physician assistants work in a variety of practice settings including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and research centers.  PAs are qualified to take medical histories, examine patients, order and administer diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, treat illnesses, and assist in surgery.  They are trained to provide care that otherwise might be provided by a physician.  PAs can provide care as generalists, in primary care situations, or in subspecialty areas of medicine.

The physician assistant program represents a partnership of UW-L, the Gundersen Lutheran Medical Foundation of La Crosse and the Mayo School of Health Sciences in Rochester, MN.  Clinical experiences are provided primarily using Mayo, Gundersen Lutheran and other practice sites in western Wisconsin, southern Minnesota and northeastern Iowa.
 

The program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant Inc., (ARC-PA). To be licensed for practice, graduates must also pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA).


The rigor and intensity of the program and the level of skills and responsibility necessary for practice as a physician assistant require the program to accept candidates who have demonstrated a strong academic background along with excellent interpersonal skills and maturity.  Prior health care experience is also an indicator of a career commitment suitable to clinical practice.  Factors considered in the admission process include academic preparation; motivation, maturity, ability to work with people, and suitability for clinical practice; health care and other work experience; knowledge of the PA profession and the profession's role in the health care system; background predictive of potential for future practice in the service areas of the program's partner institutions; letters of recommendation; and personal and group interviews. More information is available from the PA Program's Web site
www.uwlax.edu/pastudies or through the PA program office.

Pre-Professional Requirements ---
(The following description of prerequisites is for the BS physician assistant program in which new students are no longer being enrolled.  When the prerequisites for the MS PAS program are approved, they will be posted on the program's Web site and placed in the graduate catalog.)

The following courses must be completed prior to admission to the professional curriculum or be waived by the PA program director based on review by the PA program admission committee:  BIO 105*, 312, 313 and one of the following: BIO 306 or 408 or MIC 406 or BIO 424; CHM 103*,104; 300 or (303, 304 and 305); and one of the following: BIO 315, 435 or CHM 325 or (417 and 418); MIC 230; MTH 145* or 250* or 305; and MTH 151* or 207*; PSY 100*.  PHY 125*, or 103* and 104, or 203 and 204 are recommended.  (Satisfies college core requirements).

At the time of application, candidates must have the prerequisites completed or be able to demonstrate a plan to complete the prerequisites prior to enrollment in the program. In addition to the academic prerequisites, applicants must also complete the UW-L General Education program, or already hold a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college; have completed a total of at least 90 semester credits; have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.00; and meet the program's Technical Standards of Performance (available in program materials and at www.uwlax.edu/pastudies).  Candidates lacking one or more of the pre-professional course requirements or the minimum GPA who have significant work and life experience may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Professional core requirements ---

Preclinical phase --- 72 credits including CSC 421; PAS 422, 425, 426, 427, 428,
429, 430, 431, 432, 433, 434, 435, 436; BIO 718, 719; CHM 427.

Clinical phase --- 54 credits including PAS 460, 461, 462, 463, 464, 465, 466, 467, 470 (4 credits), 475.  In addition students must pass the PA program's summative exam, and be approved for graduation by the program's student progress and conduct committee.

 
*This course will also fulfill General Education requirements. May substitute BIO 103 for BIO 105.


PAS 422 Cr. 1
Clinical Neuroanatomy
This course provides the student an understanding of the structure, organization and function of the central, peripheral and autonomic nervous systems including the vascular supply to each of these components. This provides the basis for appreciating the anatomical basis of more common neurologic disorders and neurologic testing. Cadaveric specimens are used in the laboratory. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director.

PAS 425 Cr. 5
Medical Pathophysiology
The study of pathophysiology provides the understanding of the nature and mechanisms of disease which is the foundation for critical thinking in clinical practice. This course provides a systematic approach to the physiologic basis for disease. The general pathology of cell injury, inflammation, infection and neoplasia is presented along with the disease processes of organ systems including the gastrointestinal, cardiovascular, respiratory, neurologic, renal, urinary, reproductive, musculo- skeletal, immunological, endocrine, dermatological, and hematological systems. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director.

PAS 426 Cr. 2
Clinical Pathology
Through participation in this course, students will gain an understanding of the technologies used in the performance of clinical diagnostic tests, be able to interpret these tests, and make appropriate clinical correlations for patients states of disease and health. Students will also develop competencies in the performance of selected laboratory tests. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director.

PAS 427 Cr. 5
Medical Pharmacology
This course represents a broad survey of the general principles of pharmacology. Included are the principles of pharmacokinetics and pharmaco-dynamics, the mechanisms of action, toxicities and interactions of specific drugs and drug groups, and an introduction to medical therapeutics. The physiologic basis and clinical characteristics of disease states receptive to pharmacologic therapy will also be discussed. The objective of the course is to lay a cognitive foundation in pharmacology and therapeutics that can be refined and applied in clinical practice. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and/or approval of the PA program director.

PAS 428 Cr. 4
Medical Microbiology
This course is designed to introduce the general principles of infectious diseases and the characteristics of the important pathogens involved. The discussion will focus on the clinical aspects of each infectious disease with a minor emphasis on the microbiology of the disease. A survey of microorganisms that infect human beings, including bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic pathogens, will be covered. In addition, the immune system as it pertains to infectious diseases will also be discussed. A laboratory component will demonstrate techniques utilized in both the clinical laboratory and office settings. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and/or approval of the PA program director.

PAS 429 Cr. 2
Clinical Diagnostic Skills
This course presents topics on the use of hematologic, urine and electrocardiographic tests in the medical diagnostic evaluation. Students learn to perform basic hematologic tests, urine analysis and to interpret these tests. Interpretation of simple one lead and 12-lead electrocardiograms in the clinical diagnostic setting is presented. Lect. 9, Lab. 6. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered J-term.

PAS 430 Cr. 3
Epidemiology and the Interpretation of Medical Literature for Clinical Practice
This course presents concepts of epidemiology and biostatistics as applied to the interpretation of the medical literature. A systematic process for identifying published literature relevant to clinical practice and evaluating its quality and applicability to the clinical situation is presented. Students then identify, review and critique published research appropriate to their clinical practice setting. In addition, a series of seminar presentations of various issues of professional interest to PAs is also presented. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered Sem. I.

PAS 431 Cr. 3
Clinical Skills and Issues I
This course is the first of a three-semester sequence designed to prepare physician assistant students for their professional clinical role. This course provides an overview of the PA profession, its history, current role in health care and other issues of professional interest. Students also develop the patient interview and communication skills through classroom and limited structured clinical experiences. An introduction to radiographic anatomy and interpretation is also presented. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and permission of the PA program director. Offered summer session.

PAS 432 Cr. 4
Clinical Skills and Issues II
This course is the second of a three-semester sequence designed to prepare physician assistant students for their professional clinical role. An introduction to the medical history and physical exam are presented and students begin to practice these skills both in the teaching lab and in the clinical setting. The class also explores a variety of issues of current interest to the PA profession, including medical, legal and ethical issues in clinical practice. Lect. 3, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered Sem. I.

PAS 433 Cr. 4
Clinical Skills and Issues III
This course is the third of a three-semester sequence designed to prepare the physician assistant students for their professional clinical role. Students continue to develop and refine their patient communication, medical history and physical exam skills. Body system specific and comprehensive medical history and physical exams are performed. Special techniques for the examination of pediatric and geriatric patient are also explored. Other professional issues are also considered, including impact of spiritual and family systems issues in medical practice. Lect. 4, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered Sem. II.

PAS 434 Cr. 3
Wellness, Preventive Medicine and Healthcare Systems
This course presents clinical prevention strategies and the use of health and wellness education programs in the clinical setting. It also provides the student with an understanding of current healthcare and reimbursement systems, their operation and impact on community health and medical practice. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered Sem. I.

PAS 435 Cr. 2
Physical Diagnosis and Clinical Skills
Developing a variety of procedural skills and refining student skills in performing and interpreting the medical history and physical exam are the primary purposes of this course.Students learn various surgical protocols and procedures along with other standard diagnostic and hospital procedures typically used in primary care practice. Clinical staff from the Mayo School of Health Related Sciences take responsibility for presenting this course which is only taught in Rochester during a 12-week summer session. Lect. 2, Lab. 3. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered summer session.

PAS 436 Cr. 15
Introduction to Clinical Medicine
This course provides a comprehensive presentation of primary care focused topics across the spectrum of clinical medicine. The course is designed to allow PA students to develop critical clinical reasoning skills, and the advanced understanding of disease processes and their treatment necessary for the supervised practice of medicine. A broad range of clinician instructors from the Mayo Clinic present lectures in their field. The course includes a clinical therapeutics curriculum taught in an interdisciplinary fashion with nurse practitioner students. A problem based learning series develops students’ critical thinking skill using the students’ clinical patient cases. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Offered summer session.

PAS 450 Cr. 1-3
Topics in Clinical Science for Physician Assistant Students
Topics for this course are selected by the instructor and/or as developed by student/faculty dialogue to meet special interests and needs of students in the physician assistant professional curriculum. Such topics are chosen from those not specifically presented within the required or existing PA program curriculum. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

PAS 460 Cr. 2
Dermatology Clinical Rotation
In the two-week dermatology rotation, students have a brief but intense exposure to the wide variety of skin conditions while developing skills in the recognition and treatments for these conditions. Because these experiences generally occur in secondary referral practices, students also come to appreciate the role of a consulting dermatologist in the provision of primary care. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director.

PAS 461 Cr. 2-4
Emergency Medicine Clinical Rotation
This four-week rotation allows the student to develop skills in managing patients in the emergency room setting. These skills include those necessary for appropriate triage, stabilization, and initial management of patients with traumatic injuries and illnesses, the management of the less life threatening problems which present to the emergency room, working with the pre-hospital emergency medical service team, and making appropriate secondary referrals. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 4.

PAS 462 Cr. 2-6
General Surgery Clinical Rotation
This six-week rotation is designed to prepare the student to function as an assistant to the surgeon in the primary or secondary care setting. Students assist in surgical procedures in the operating room, the diagnostic evaluation of surgical patients, with post-operative care and with the ambulatory care of surgical patients. Proficiency is to be developed in suturing, incision and drainage, excision and the biopsy of simple wounds and lesions. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

PAS 463 Cr. 2-6
Internal Medicine Clinical Rotation
During the six-week internal medicine rotation, physician assistant students become a part of an internal medicine practice caring for adult and geriatric patients. Students perform patient history and physical examinations, obtain diagnostic testing and present the data to their precepting physician(s) with a proposed differential diagnosis and treatment plan. Students function in a role similar to the intended role of a practicing physician assistant, including participation in hospital rounds where diagnostic and therapeutic plans for acutely ill patients are discussed, performing and observing various clinical procedures, and preparing written and oral communication about patients. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

PAS 464 Cr. 2-6
Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Rotation
This six-week rotation provides an opportunity for the physician assistant student to develop skills in the management of obstetrical patients during the antenatal, perinatal and post natal periods. Students also have experience in managing common outpatient gynecology problems, gynecologic diagnostic techniques and therapy, family planning, assisting at gynecologic surgery, and techniques for the early detection of gynecologic cancer. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

PAS 465 Cr. 2-4
Orthopedics Clinical Rotation
The orthopedic clinical rotation, four weeks in length, is designed to develop student skills necessary for the care of patients with orthopedic problems including fractures, wounds, soft tissue injuries, and degenerative conditions found in primary care. Through work with orthopedic surgeons, and other professionals in orthopedic practice, the student gains an appreciation for their roles, and becomes better able to make timely orthopedic referrals in primary care. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 4.

PAS 466 Cr. 2-6
Pediatrics Clinical Rotation
During the six-week pediatric rotation the physician assistant student has an intense exposure to primary care pediatric problems with the objective of developing skills in well child preventive care, the care of common pediatric illnesses and the care of the newborn. These experiences are obtained primarily in the out-patient setting. However, exposure to the acute care of hospitalized pediatric patients is also expected. The student also comes to appreciate and begins to work with the many professionals, such as teachers, psychologists, speech and hearing pathologist, nurses and social workers, involved in the care and evaluation of children. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

PAS 467 Cr. 2-4
Psychiatry Clinical Rotation
The clinical rotation in psychiatry, four weeks in length, involves experiences, primarily in out-patient settings, that allow students to develop skills in the evaluation and management of patients with a variety of psychiatric problems. Through these experiences students gain an appreciation for the role of the psychiatrist, psychologist, nurse and social worker in the care of the mentally ill, and becomes better able to make appropriate psychiatric referrals from primary care. The use of psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and the role of psychotherapy in psychiatry are explored in the experience. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for a written examination at the end of the rotation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 4.

PAS 470 Cr. 2-4
Independent Study: Elective Clinical Rotation(s)
During the preclinical phase and early portion of the clinical phase physician assistant program students consider their own clinical practice interests and needs for skill development. The student selects (a) clinical area(s) for the elective clinical rotation(s) with the approval of program faculty. Students may select elective experiences from specialty areas not included in the required rotations, or in one of the required clinical areas. With the consultation and approval of program faculty the student develops  an individualized learning contract which includes objectives for their elective rotations(s), and a method to demonstrate achievement of these objectives at the conclusion of the rotation(s). Where possible and appropriate, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. Students are required to have a total of four credits (four weeks) of elective clinical rotation for graduation. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Pass/Fail grading.

PAS 475 Cr. 2-12
Family Medicine Preceptorship
This 12-week preceptorship provides students with a prolonged experience in one setting during which students refine their skills in performing the history and physical exam, ordering and interpreting diagnostic tests, and developing treatment plans for the diversity of patients in a typical rural family medicine practice. With this prolonged experience the student begins to appreciate the long term impact of health care on patients’ lives and becomes more skilled in preventive health care and the long term management of chronic medical problems. To the extent possible, preceptorship sites include at least two family physicians, one or more physician assistants or nurse practitioners who might practice in a satellite clinic, and a community hospital where students can be involved with acute inpatient care, obstetrical, surgical and emergency room practice. Where possible, students participate in grand rounds, noon conferences and other clinically relevant didactic presentations. A set of cognitive objectives guides student reading in preparation for written examinations at the middle and end of the preceptorship. Prerequisite: admission to the physician assistant program and approval of the PA program director. Repeatable for credit — maximum 12.


 

Last Modified:August 25, 2008
comments To: records@uwlax.edu
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse  1725 State Street  La Crosse, WI  54601  608.785.8000
All material Copyright© 2002 by the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System

Hit Counter