Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Physician Assistant Program
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Courses

Click on a course below to read a course description and any required prerequisite.

Course Number
Courses Name
Credits
PA 400
Patient Assessment I
3

This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history, use of appropriate equipment, proper techniques and accurate medical terminology to document findings; course will provide an overview of the medical record as well as development of writing and organizational skills for medical record keeping and oral presentation skills. Skills will be developed through structured laboratory exercises.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 401
Patient Assessment II
3

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history, use of appropriate equipment, proper techniques and accurate medical terminology to document findings; course will provide an overview of the medical record as well as development of writing and organizational skills for medical record keeping and oral presentation skills. Skills will be developed through structured laboratory exercises.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 402
Patient Assessment III
3

This is the third in a series of courses designed to develop the knowledge and skills required to obtain and record the complete medical history, use of appropriate equipment, proper techniques and accurate medical terminology to document findings; course will provide an overview of the medical record as well as development of writing and organizational skills for medical record keeping and oral presentation skills. Skills will be developed through structured laboratory exercises.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 410
Behavioral/Preventive Medicine I
2

This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop skills in the area of patient communication, patient counseling, patient education and cultural diversity and how they influence all aspects of medical practice. Instruction is focused on the detection and application of preventive measures and treatment of health risk behaviors including stress, abuse and violence, substance abuse, sexuality, end-of-life issues and reaction to illness.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 411
Behavioral/Preventive Medicine II
2

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop skills in the area of patient communication, patient counseling, patient education and cultural diversity and how they influence all aspects of medical practice. Instruction is focused on the detection and application of preventive measures and treatment of health risk behaviors including stress, abuse and violence, substance abuse, sexuality, end of life issues and reaction to illness.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 412
Behavioral/preventive Medicine III
2

This is the third in a series of courses designed to develop skills in the area of patient communication, patient counseling, patient education and cultural diversity and how they influence all aspects of medical practice. Instruction is focused on the detection and application of preventive measures and treatment of health risk behaviors including stress, abuse and violence, substance abuse, sexuality, end of life issues and reaction to illness.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 420
Basic Science I
3

This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop an understanding of normal physiology, genetics, pathologic and pathophysiologic concepts of diseases per organ system and clinical anatomy with an emphasis on important anatomical landmarks required in physical evaluation of patient, anatomical relationships of structures to each other and anatomical components of body systems.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 421
Basic Science II
3

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop an understanding of normal physiology, genetics, pathologic and pathophysiologic concepts of diseases per organ system and clinical anatomy with an emphasis on important anatomical landmarks required in physical evaluation of patient, anatomical relationships of structures to each other and anatomical components of body systems.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 422
Basic Science III
3

This is the third in a series of courses designed to develop an understanding of normal physiology, genetics, pathologic and pathophysiologic concepts of diseases per organ system and clinical anatomy with an emphasis on important anatomical landmarks required in physical evaluation of patient, anatomical relationships of structures to each other and anatomical components of body systems.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 430
Clinical Laboratory Medicine I
2

This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, including radiographic and EKG testing. Students will learn to select, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory, imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating and managing patient needs.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 431
Clinical Laboratory Medicine II
2

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, including radiographic testing. Students will learn to select, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory, imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating and managing patient needs.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 432
Clinical Laboratory Medicine III
1

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop a functional understanding of the appropriate uses and interpretations of clinical diagnostic testing, including radiographic and EKG testing. Students will learn to select, interpret and evaluate clinical laboratory, imaging and other diagnostic tests used for diagnosing, treating and managing patient needs.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 440
Clinical Medicine I
5

This is the first in a series of courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient's clinical presentation.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 441
Clinical Medicine II
5

This is the second in a series of courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient's clinical presentation.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 442
Clinical Medicine III
4

This is the third in a series of courses designed to provide an intensive study of human diseases and disorders, using a lifespan approach from pediatrics to geriatrics, in the areas of clinical medicine including epidemiology, etiology, historical data, clinical manifestations, progression, therapeutic management, prevention, laboratory medicine and prognosis. Emphasis will be on disease processes common to primary care practices and the development of differential diagnoses and plan based upon the patient's clinical presentation.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 450
Pharmacotherapeutics I
3

This is the first in a series of courses designed to develop skills related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, prescription and non-prescription. Discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of pharmacodynamics, uses, side effects and toxicities.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 451
Pharmacotherapeutics II
3

This is the second in a series of courses designed to develop skills related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, prescription and non-prescription. Discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of pharmacodynamics, uses, side effects and toxicities.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 452
Pharmacotherapeutics III
3

This is the third in a series of courses designed to develop skills related to the principles of pharmacology as they pertain to therapeutic agents, prescription and non-prescription. Discussion will include the principal mechanisms of action of the major classes of therapeutic agents, understanding of pharmacodynamics, uses, side effects and toxicities.

Prerequisites: Successful completion of prior semester of PA coursework or program permission.

PA 460
Pre-Clinical Year Prep Course
3

This course will prepare the student for the upcoming clinical year. The focus will be on procedures, such as bedside and surgical procedures including aseptic technique, air and blood-borne pathogen transmission prevention, phlebotomy, IV placement, foley catheter insertion, paracentesis, lumbar puncture, thoracocentesis, injections, surgical techniques and casting, as well as on the emergency management of a wide variety of diseases and disorders.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 470
Mastering Medical Information
2

This course will cover the importance of evidence-based medicine and review basic statistical, research methods and ethical standards in research. It will also cover the interpretation and application of various types of clinical articles to answering a clinical question and prepare the student for the project to be completed during the clinical year.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 480
Preparing Future PAs
1

This course is designed to aid the student in the transition into the medical profession and serves as an introduction to professional practice issues. Areas of discussion include history of the physician assistant profession, the PA-Physician team, professional organizations, licensing and credentialing, malpractice, professionalism, healthcare delivery, reimbursement issues including Medicaid and Medicare, biomedical ethics, health literacy, diversity issues, domestic violence and end of life issues.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 490
Medical Spanish
1

This course is designed to prepare the student to communicate with Spanish speaking patients as they conduct a medical history and physical examination. Basic medical vocabulary and comfort with the spoken language is the focus of this course.

Prerequisites: Admission to the physician assistant program

PA 485
Bioethics
1

This course is designed to aid the student in the transition into the medical profession and serves as an introduction to bioethics. Areas of discussion include confidentiality, truth telling, competency, making informed decisions and other ethical issues.

Prerequisites: Admission in the physician assistant program

 
Total
60

Clinical Year

PA 501 Internal Medicine ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course provides the PA student with experience in internal medicine. The student will gain in-depth knowledge of a variety of medical problems and learn the skills necessary for providing patient care in an in-patient or outpatient setting.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 502 Family Practice ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course provides the PA student with experience in outpatient evaluation of pediatric and adult patients, including preventive medicine and acute and chronic illness.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 503 Psychiatry ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course will provide the PA student with a behavioral medicine experience in caring for ambulatory and/or hospitalized patients with psychiatric disorders. The student will perform basic psychiatric evaluations, monitor medications and support the clinical management plan for patients after psychiatric evaluation and treatment.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 504 Pediatrics ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course will provide the PA student with experience in outpatient and/or in-patient management of pediatric patients. The student will have the opportunity to perform well child exams, problem oriented exams, evaluate common pediatric illnesses and the care of the newborn and children.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 505 General Surgery ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course will provide the PA student with experience in the operating room as well as pre- and postoperative assessment and outpatient follow-up. Student will be expected to become able to first-assist a surgeon in a surgical setting.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 506 Women's Health ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course provides the PA student with experience in managing common gynecologic disorders. Obstetric experience will include labor and delivery plus routine prenatal and postpartum care.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 507 Emergency Medicine ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course provides the PA student with experience in triage, evaluation and management of patients in the emergency room setting. The student will have the opportunity to learn skills needed for the appropriate triage, stabilization, diagnosis and management of patients with traumatic injuries and illnesses as well as the management of less life-threatening problems. Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 510 Elective I  ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course is chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 520 Elective II ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course is chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine, or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 530 Elective III ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course is chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 540 Elective IV ( Credits 4 )

This four-week clinical course is chosen from a variety of surgical, family medicine or internal medicine specialties or subspecialties. The student will be able to recognize conditions treatable by these specialties, so they can refer patients appropriately and/or work in a supportive role for such specialists.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 508 Masters Project ( Credits 4 )

This course is a continuation of the first year course (Evidence-based Medicine) and is designed to allow the PA student to complete a master's degree project under the guidance of a faculty or community adviser. Students will identify an evidence-based medicine questions, conduct appropriate literature search, analysis selected articles and develop a paper of publishable quality. The student will prepare and present an oral presentation on their topic at the conclusion of the year.

Prerequisites: Completion of the preclinical year of the physician assistant program or program permission.

PA 550 Special Clinical Topics ( Credits 2-8 )

This course examines selected topics in clinical medicine. Topics considered will vary from semester to semester.

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: Enrollment in the physician assistant program or program permission.

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