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Curriculum

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The ISU PA Program Graduate Curriculum is twenty-four (24) months in length, divided into twelve (12) months of didactic (3 semesters) and twelve (12) months of clinical education (3 semesters).

The Didactic Curriculum is comprised of foundation courses in the fall semester, followed in the spring and summer semesters by modules that provide an immersive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases commonly encountered in primary care medicine.

 

Clinical Year Rotation goals are designed to meet the needs of the student and to address the ARC-PA accreditation standards. The Clinical Year staff places students in eight rotations which best address PA student educational objectives and at sites which promote continued, quality, preceptor relations with the ISU PA Program.

There are seven required content areas:

  • Internal Medicine
  • Outpatient Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Surgery
  • Psychiatry

One rotation will be an elective. Students are expected to travel during the clinical year and will pay for the expenses incurred for this travel.

 

Medical Spanish elective offerings available to MPAS students:
The Department of Languages and Literatures, in cooperation with the Division of Health Sciences, has created a new cooperative, interdisciplinary major in Spanish for the Health Professions (SHP), as well as a SHP graduate certificate. The hybrid undergraduate degree and graduate certificate are designed to increase graduate marketability and to better serve the health care needs of our state, region, and country.

Matriculated PA students may take individual SHP courses or pursue a Graduate Certificate in SHP. Dr. Helen Tarp, Director of the SHP Program, has a joint appointment with the Department of Languages and Literature and the Department of PAS. She teaches regularly scheduled Spanish courses for PAS students during the Didactic Year as well as other Spanish coursework in the Literature and Languages Department.

For course descriptions and additional information, visit the Idaho State University's Graduate Catalog.

Program Competencies & Learning Outcomes

Class of 2026 Guidelines and Policies

Below are the learning outcomes for PAS 6601, PAS 6602, PAS 6603, PAS 6604, PAS 6629, PAS 6631, PAS 6632, PAS 6633, PAS 6634, PAS 6635, PAS 6636, PAS 6637, PAS 6639, PAS 6640, PAS 6641, PAS 6642, PAS 6643, PAS 6646, PAS 6650, PAS 6651, PAS 6652, PAS 6653, PAS 6654, and PAS 6656.

  1. Elicit an appropriate, complete, interval or acute history from any patient in any setting.
  2. Perform a complete and focused physical examination on a patient of any age, gender, or condition in any setting.
  3. Identify, order, perform, and interpret cost-effective, diagnostic procedures based on history and physical examination findings, and assist the physician with other diagnostic procedures as directed.
  4. Explain the etiology, diagnosis, and management options of health problems within the scope of PA practice.
  5. Develop an evidence-based differential diagnosis and diagnostic impression considering the subjective and objective data obtained.
  6. Identify, perform, and order cost-effective pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapeutic modalities and assist the physician with other therapeutic modalities.
  7. Recognize, develop, and implement effective strategies for incorporating health promotion/disease prevention into clinical practice.
  8. Identify, discuss, perform, and order therapeutic procedures and treatment modalities for the management of commonly occurring primary care entities.
  9. Recognize and manage life-threatening conditions jointly with, and in the absence of, the physician.
  10. Communicate in a medically professional manner, both orally and in writing, to the patient, the family, and other health professionals.
  11. Apply evidence-based medical research methodologies in clinical practice.
  12. Demonstrate an understanding that cultural dimensions of health and illness are essential to effective patient care.
  13. Act consistently with the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) Code of Ethics of the PA Professions.

Program Competencies & Learning Outcomes

Class of 2025 Guidelines & Policies

Below are the learning outcomes for PAS 6661, PAS 6662, PAS 6663, PAS 6664, PAS 6665, PAS 6666, PAS 6667, and PAS 6668.

  1. Demonstrate the ability to take an appropriate medical history from the patient, parent, or significant other.
  2. Construct a master problem list from the medical history.
  3. Perform an appropriate physical examination, both general and focused, demonstrating the maintenance of patient modesty and comfort.
  4. Utilizing the information from the history and physical exam, develop an appropriate differential diagnosis.
  5. Identify the most likely diagnosis from the differential and identify appropriate test to help confirm the diagnosis.
  6. Appropriately chart patient information using the SOAP format either written or EMR following Medicare guidelines titled “Complying With Medical Record Documentation Requirements” which can be found in the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services MLN Publications at https://www.cms.gov.
  7. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of pharmacologic principles as they apply to the specific diagnoses.
  8. Identify indications for diagnostic procedures and lab tests.
  9. Identify the relationship between medical and socioeconomic problems and recognize the importance of the impact of culture on health beliefs and medical care.
  10. Provide patient education and counseling and an appropriate level of comprehension and sensitivity.
  11. Recognize when consultation is needed and identify the appropriate professional for that referral.
  12. Perform basic clinical procedures, e.g. venipuncture, suturing, laboratory tests, etc.
  13. Demonstrate an understanding of teamwork and collegiality by working with other members of the healthcare team in providing optimum care for the patient.
  14. At all times, follow and model ethical behavior as outlined in the program policies and guidelines.

Below are the learning outcomes for PAS 6657, PAS 6671, PAS 6672, and PAS 6673.

  1. Consider an appropriate, complete, interval or acute history.
  2. Evaluate comprehensive and focused physical examination findings.
  3. Identify, order, and interpret cost-effective diagnostic procedures based on history and physical examination findings, and also consider other diagnostic procedures appropriate and as follow-up to initial workup.
  4. Explain the etiology, diagnosis, and management options of health problems within the scope of PA practice.
  5. Develop an evidence-based diagnostic impression, and differential diagnosis considering the subjective and objective data available.
  6. Identify, and order cost-effective pharmacologic, non-pharmacologic, and other therapeutic modalities.
  7. Recognize, develop, and implement effective strategies for incorporating health promotion/disease prevention into clinical practice.
  8. Identify, consider, and order therapeutic procedures and treatment modalities for the management of entities within the PA scope of practice.
  9. Communicate in a medically professional manner throughout this process.
  10. Apply evidence-based medical research methodologies to clinical practice.
  11. Demonstrate an understanding that diversity and cultural dimensions of health and illness are essential to effective patient care.
  12. Act consistently with the American Academy of Physician Assistants’ (AAPA) Code of Ethics of the PA Professions.

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