Physician Assistant Studies

The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies Program is designed to provide a comprehensive primary care training program that combines didactic coursework with clinical experiences to enable the graduate to work in a variety of practice settings.

The program is offered over seven consecutive semesters, taking 27 months to complete. The program emphasizes problem-based learning, small group sessions, diversity awareness, evidence-based healthcare, interprofessional activities, integration of computer technology and the use of the internet in the educational process. A graduate project provides an opportunity to learn evidence-based medicine, literature review, evaluation and research process and prepares the graduate to be a critically thinking clinician who can effectively respond to the ever-changing demands of the healthcare system.

In addition, students participate in community service projects that include staffing of a free clinic and healthcare screening for the homeless. Clinical sites are located throughout the United States, but students have the option of selecting an international clinical elective in many countries of the world, including, but not limited to, China, Kenya, Nicaragua and Roatan.

Would you like to visit campus? Learn more by attending one of our open houses.

Director of Global Education, Assistant Professor
Director of Rural Medical Education, Academic Faculty, Assistant Professor
Academic Faculty, Assistant Professor
Director of Clinical Education, Assistant Professor
Coordinator of Student Affairs, Academic Faculty, Associate Professor
Associate Medical Director, Professor
Academic Faculty, Assistant Professor
Academic Faculty, Assistant Professor
Interim Director, School of Physician Assistant Studies

The curriculum is 27 months divided into two phases over seven consecutive semesters.

Students are strongly encouraged not to work while enrolled in the school. Any student who chooses to work is required to attend all program related activities and will not be granted an excused absence for work obligations.

Phase I — Didactic (13 months - 63 semester hours)

The didactic curriculum is organized into blocks to allow for a comprehensive and integrated approach to learning medicine by organ system. Each clinical medicine module contains anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, clinical skills, laboratory studies, study of disease states, pharmacology, behavioral medicine, preventive medicine, Spanish and evidence based healthcare. The morning classes are traditional lectures and the afternoon focuses on active learning through cases, skills, role playing and problem solving. Letter grades have been eliminated and all students must earn an 80 percent or higher to pass the module. There is a comprehensive assessment every two weeks. Students take an individual exam and then retake the same exam in their small groups, facilitating the opportunity to further learn the medical material through group discussion of the assessment. If a student does not pass the assessment, there are two opportunities to further learn the medical information and retest. Every student graduating from the program will have met the minimum competency of 80 percent in every area of medicine.

Summer Semester (13 weeks - 18 semester hours)

  • PA 510 | Current Topics in the PA Profession (2 semester hours)
  • PA 530 | Clinical History (3 semester hours)
  • PA 553 | Fundamentals of Clinical Medicine (CM) (6 semester hours) (Physiology, Nutrition, Pharmacology)
  • PA 554 | Fundamentals of Anatomy (1 semester hour)
  • PA 556 | CM Genetics (1 semester hour)
  • PA 581 | CM Infection and Immunology (3 semester hours)
  • PA 595 | Introduction to Evidence Based Healthcare (2 semester hours)

Fall Semester (16 weeks - 24.5 semester hours)

  • PA 558 | Fundamentals of Anatomy II (1 semester hour)
  • PA 571 | CM Nephrology (3 semester hours)
  • PA 576 | CM Hematology, Oncology (3 semester hours)
  • PA 577 | CM Endocrinology (3 semester hours)
  • PA 582 | CM Dermatology, Eye, ENT (3 semester hours)
  • PA 583 | CM Pulmonology (3 semester hours)
  • PA 585 | CM Cardiology, ECG (4 semester hours)
  • PA 586 | CM Gastroenterology (3 semester hours)
  • CHP 510 | Interprofessional Competence:Theory & Practice (0.5 semester hour - didactic)

Spring Semester (16 weeks - 20.5 semester hours)

  • PA 559 | Fundamentals of Anatomy III (1 semester hour)
  • PA 590 | CM Neurology (4 semester hours)
  • PA 591 | CM Musculoskeletal (4 semester hours)
  • PA 592 | CM Women's Health (4 semester hour)
  • PA 593 | CM Pediatric Medicine (3 semester hours)
  • PA 520 | Behavioral Medicine (2 semester hours)
  • PA 557 | CM Geriatrics (1 semester hour)
  • PA 587 | CM Men's Health (1 semester hour)
  • CHP 510 | Interprofessional Competence:Theory & Practice (0.5 semester hour - experiential)

Phase II — Clinical Rotations/Graduate Project (15 months - 68 semester hours)

Summer Semester (15 weeks - 17 semester hours)

  • PA 596 | CM Emergency Medicine (4 semester hours)
  • PA 597 | CM Surgery, Hospital Care (3 semester hours)
  • PA 599 | CM Whole Patient (3 semester hours)
  • PA 665 | Professional Practice Seminar I (1 semester hour)
  • Rotation 1 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)

Fall Semester (18 weeks - 19 semester hours)

  • Rotation 2 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • Rotation 3 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • Rotation 4 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • PA 666 | Professional Practice Seminar II (1 semester hour)

Spring Semester (19 weeks - 19 semester hours)

  • Rotation 5 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • Rotation 6 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • Rotation 7 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • PA 667 | Professional Practice Seminar III (1 semester hour)

Summer Semester (13 weeks - 13 semester hours)

  • Rotation 8 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • Rotation 9 | 6-week Rotation* (6 semester hours)
  • PA 668 | Professional Practice Seminar IV (1 semester hour)

*Note: Each student must complete the following clinical rotations

  • PA 630 | Family Practice Rotation (12 semester hours)
  • PA 631 | Internal Medicine Rotation (6 semester hours)
  • PA 633 | Inpatient Medicine Rotation (6 semester hours)
  • PA 634 | Surgery Rotation (6 semester hours)
  • PA 636 | Emergency Medicine Rotation (6 semester hours)
  • PA 637 | Community Medicine Rotation (6 semester hours)
  • PA 639 | Primary Care Focus Rotation: Pediatrics, Women's Health, Geriatrics, Family Medicine (6 semester hours)
  • PA 696 | Graduate Project (6 semester hours) completed during fall or spring semester
Oct. 10, 2014 | The Opioid Puzzle: Best Practices in Healthcare
Date: Friday, October 10, 2014 - 08:30 to 15:00

With the current medical and legislative controversies around use of opioids in chronic pain patients, many providers puzzle to balance appropriately treating pain and increasing quality of life, versus overmedicating or inappropriately medicating patients with disastrous consequences. The Opioid Puzzle: Best Practices in Healthcare workshop clarifies misconceptions around the mechanisms and signs of tolerance, addiction, and dependence, reviews current laws and regulations regarding controlled substance prescribing including the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and deliberates on how to make the decision to treat with an opioid. After attending this seminar, participants should be able to better understand the mechanism by which opioid addiction occurs, the objective data of opioid use and law in the Pacific Northwest, how to protect their practice while improving patient care, and should be able to inform their clinical decision making by an increased understanding of risk factors and protocols for opioid treatment.
Amber Buhler, PhD Associate Professor
Michael Millard, RPh, MS Assistant Dean for Clinical Services, Assistant Professor
Andrew Mendenhall, MD Medical Director of Hazelden Beaverton