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College of Health Sciences

Glendale, AZ Campus

Years 1 and 2: Required Preclinical Courses

Arizona College of Health Sciences

Abbreviation/Number
Course Name

ANAT 1551

Human Anatomy and Embryology (with Gross Anatomy Lab)

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This course presents the anatomy of the human body and relevant embryological development in a lecture and laboratory format. The emphasis is on the relationship of form and function and the use of anatomy in physical diagnosis. Laboratory sessions include dissection of human cadavers. Student progress is evaluated through written and practical examination.

Credits: 7

BIOC  551

Human Biochemistry

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Biochemistry is concerned with the functioning of cellular constituents at the molecular level in health and how their functions are altered in disease. Biochemistry is fundamental to understanding all branches of the life sciences. Topics include cellular energy metabolism, signal transduction, cell biology, medical genetics, complete blood count, anemia, diabetes, and hemostasis tests.

Credits: 4

CORE 1560, 1570, 1580

Interdisciplinary Healthcare

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The Interdisciplinary Healthcare course involves the Colleges of Dental Medicine, Health Sciences, Optometry, Osteopathic Medicine, and Pharmacy. The course is designed to teach all clinically-based students about each other's clinical programs and how they interact together as part of an interdisciplinary healthcare team: cardiovascular sciences, clinical psychology, dental medicine, nurse anesthesia, occupational therapy, optometry, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physician assistant, physical therapy and podiatry students learn about the importance of an interdisciplinary approach to patient care. The class consists primarily of online presentations that are delivered by interdisciplinary team members from each of the clinical programs. Associated quizzes will also be completed online. Occasional lectures will also be given in the classroom in a seminar format or in conjunction with panel presentations.

Credits: Each 0.5

MICR 570

Microbiology

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The course is organized by organ system and the major infectious diseases affecting each of these are discussed. Focus is on the etiology, pathogenesis, clinical manifestations and diagnosis of these selected diseases.

Credits: 3

PASS 551

Behavioral Medicine

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This course presents a two-fold approach to behavioral medicine: 1) A biopsychosocial and family systems model of the individual and family developmental stages present throughout the life cycle; and 2) an introduction to the major psychopathologies encountered in clinical practice. Emphasis is placed on medical assessment, diagnostic criteria, clinical management, and first-line treatments. Case histories and audio-visual presentations will enhance the student's understanding.

Credits: 3

PASS 556

Medical Interviewing and Documentation

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The purpose of this course is to create an awareness and understanding of the art of interviewing and communicating with patients and other health care professionals. The course focuses on creating a medical record that accurately reflects the medical interview and establishes the competency of the PA. Topics involving communication techniques with patients, confidentiality issues, ethical issues, and cultural sensitivity will also be addressed.

Credits: 2

PASS 560

Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine

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The purpose of this course is to provide the PA student with an overview of basic epidemiologic principles and an introduction to evidence-based medicine (EBM). The students will be taught the core concepts that can be used to critique medical literature and then apply these epidemiological and EBM skills to clinical scenarios, using case studies as examples.

Credits: 2

PASS 565, 570, 580

Clinical Medicine I, II, III

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The purpose of the Clinical Medicine series is to introduce students to diseases and conditions commonly encountered in ambulatory-based primary care medicine. Lectures emphasize the epidemiology, pathophysiology, presentation and course of the disease, plus diagnostic and treatment modalities of each disease presented. Students participate in weekly problem-based learning sessions where they have the opportunity to develop competence in writing SOAP (Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan) notes. Students gain experience in formulating a differential diagnosis and creating an effective management plan, including prescription writing.

Credits: PASS 565: 4 credits; PASS 570: 5 credits; PASS 580 5 credits

PASS 571

Therapeutic and Diagnostic Skills

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This course emphasizes skill development in performing routine therapeutic procedures and competence in managing therapeutic interventions. Areas of skill development include (at a minimum) injections, suturing and wound care, casting, splinting, venipuncture, and intravenous therapy.

Credits: 1.5

PASS 573

Basic Electrocardiography

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The purpose of this course is to introduce students to reading and interpreting the findings on rhythm strips and twelve-lead electrocardiograms. Students will learn how to determine heart rate, intervals, axis, chamber enlargement or hypertrophy, signs of ischemia and infarcts, and the effects electrolyte abnormalities and medications can have on the myocardium. Additionally, students will learn to recognize various arrhythmias, including atrial dysrhythmias, junctional dysrhythmias, ventricular dysrhythmias, ectopy, and heart block.

Credits: 1.5

PASS 574

Clinical Laboratory Medicine

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The purpose of Clinical Laboratory Medicine is to guide the PA student through diagnostic tests and procedures associated with medical illnesses encountered in the clinical setting. This course is aligned closely with the Clinical Medicine curriculum, integrating pathophysiology and diagnosis of illness with the appropriate diagnostic studies and their interpretation. The PA student will develop critical thinking skills through the use of clinical case studies, small group application and examinations.

Credits: 2

PASS 575

Women's Health

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The purpose of this course is to introduce the first-year physician assistant (PA) student to the principles of women's health, including topics such as sexually transmitted infections, menstrual abnormalities, health maintenance, gynecologic oncology, prenatal care and normal and abnormal labor and delivery. This course will provide the PA student with fundamental knowledge and skills critical for success in the second year and relevant to a PA in a variety of practice settings, including obstetrics/gynecology, primary care, emergency medicine and surgery.

Credits: 2

PASS 577

Evidence-Based Medicine Cases

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The purpose of this course is to help students further develop literature analysis and clinical application of EBM principles. The course coordinators will assist student small groups in the selection of a clinical case topic and facilitate an in-depth approach to the topic through the use of a case-based presentation. An integral part of this course is facilitating those skills necessary to succeed as a PA in clinical practice (i.e. self-directed learning, medical informatics, time management, ability to cooperate and work effectively within a group, etc.).

Credits: 2

PASS 582

Emergency Medicine and Surgical Principles

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The Emergency Medicine and Surgical Principles course is designed to develop an approach to problems frequently encountered in the Emergency Department and to expose students to the role of the PA in surgical practice. Course goals related to emergency care also include review of the triage process and recognition of principles of intervention for life threatening emergencies as well as management and disposition of non-emergent patients. Elements of surgical care will include the pre-, intra- and post-operative care of the patient.

Credits: 3

PASS 586

Pediatrics

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This course will provide overall instruction in the evaluation and management of the pediatric patient from the neonatal period through adolescence. The course will cover common conditions and abnormalities encountered in the pediatric population. The course will include common acute and chronic illnesses, genetic and chromosomal abnormalities, developmental abnormalities and an introduction to wellness and prevention in the neonate, child, and adolescent.

Credits: 2

PASS 587

Medical Ethics

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This course is an introductory exploration of a variety of issues central to the ethical dimensions of medicine. Course objectives include the development of critical skills for evaluating and articulating ethical and philosophical claims, arguments, and goals; to encourage reflection on personal and professional moral commitments in the practice of medicine and promote discussion between professionals; to improve ability to communicate effectively with patients; and to reflect on the relationships among moral, professional, and legal obligations of clinicians.

Credits: 1

PASS 680

Preparation for Clinical Phase (PCP)

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Preparation for the Clinical Phase (PCP) is designed to prepare students for the clinical training phase of the Physician Assistant Program. PCP focuses on reviewing pertinent professional issues, confidentiality of patient information, proper conduct on rotations and medical documentation. Topics that illustrate the challenges faced by PAs in clinical practice and the challenges PAs may encounter as they make the transition from a student to a professional will also be covered. Introduction to core concepts in public health and nutrition, chronic disease management in special populations, principles of nutrition assessment, and patient education are included.

Credits: 1.5

PASS 681

Clinical Medicine IV

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The purpose of Clinical Medicine IV is to consolidate learning of basic clinical material before students begin their clinical rotations. Lectures will emphasize differential diagnosis of common presenting symptoms that students are expected to encounter on their rotations. The course will encourage a review of interview techniques, physical diagnosis skills, and the application of common laboratory tests to clinical situations. There will be an emphasis on the most appropriate pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches to treatment.

Credits: 2

PASS 682

Clinical Simulation

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The purpose of this course is to introduce the first-year physician assistant (PA) student to the principles of patient safety, interpersonal communication, and teamwork, in addition to refining clinical history taking, physical examination, diagnosis and treatment planning through interprofessional and team-based simulated patient encounters. This course will also introduce the student to advanced clinical skills. The course is designed to reinforce the first year material prior to starting clinical rotations.

Credits: 2

PASS 683

Medical Genetics

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The purpose of this course is to teach physician assistant students which genetic disorders they can diagnose and manage themselves and which require referral to a genetic specialist. This course will address the importance of family history as well as genetic screening tools that are office based, and direct to consumer. Curricula will be evidence-based and specifically geared towards application to clinical practice, regardless of clinical specialty.

Credits: 1

PASS 684

Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS)

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This course teaches students how to manage patients in cardiac distress. At the completion of this course, students receive a certificate in ACLS.

Credits: 2

PASS 1569

Physical Diagnosis

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This course is designed to teach the student the art and technique of physical assessment. Course content includes lectures and reading assignments covering normal and abnormal physical findings. In addition, there are weekly physical exam laboratory sessions designed to provide the student with hands-on practice in exam techniques. At the conclusion of the course the student will be expected to pass a written final exam and satisfactorily perform a complete physical examination.

Credits: 4

PHAR 560, 570, 580

Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapeutics I, II, III

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The overall instructional goal of pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics courses is to provide the physician assistant with a firm understanding of the effects of therapeutically important drugs, from a molecular to a behavioral level of organization. These courses discuss therapeutic strategies, and new types of drugs, as well as the clinical implications and contraindications. Lectures are designed on an organ system basis with emphasis on distinctive uses of drugs. Although large numbers of drugs are available on the market, only a few prototype agents have been selected for intensive study for this course.

Credits: PHAR 560: 2 credits; PHAR 570: 3 credits; PHAR 580: 3 credits

PHYS 1571, 1582

Human Physiology I, II

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In this two-quarter series, students are introduced through didactic instruction, workshops, and clinical case discussions to the basic physiologic principles that underlie the normal function of the various organs and organ systems. These core principles provide the foundation through which the student develops an understanding of the physiologic adaptations and transitions that occur in commonly occurring disease states. Emphasis is given to developing an understanding of health in physiologic terms and appreciation of the diverse regulatory processes that maintain the homeostasis of the human body.

Credits: Each course 4