The PA program is divided into two phases, spanning 28 consecutive months over seven semesters.

Phase I, the 16-month pre-clinical year, spans four consecutive semesters (68 credit hours) and incorporates traditional classroom interaction with clinical skills development and simulated patient interaction through the Sentara Center for Simulation and Immersive Learning.

In Phase II (26 credit hours), students complete 8 clinical field experiences with supervised, direct patient care in various medical and surgical disciplines, which form the basis of the professional socialization process and adaptation to the role and functions of a physician assistant.

Most of the clinical sites are located throughout Hampton Roads. Opportunities exist for clinical placements outside the region and for students to initiate new rotation sites. However, international clinical placements are not an option.

Graduates are required to pass the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) and meet state-specific regulations in order to practice clinically. 

Course Sequence

PA students are expected to complete the program curriculum in the order specified below. Each semester's coursework is to be considered prerequisite to the next semester. Students may not enter the program with advanced standing, regardless of educational or work experience, and no accelerated curriculum or course waivers are offered.

Pre-Clinical
MPA 5001 Pathophysiology for Health Professions 5 Credits
MPA 5061 Clinical Anatomy for Health Professions 5 Credits
MPA 5081 Introduction to the PA Profession and the Business of Medicine 2 Credits
MPA 5341 Legal and Ethical Issues in Medicine 2 Credits
MPA 5142 Psychosocial Elements of Wellness 2 Credits
MPA 5800 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice  
MPA 5002 Introduction to Medical Diagnostics .5 credits
Total:   16.5 Credits
Pre-Clinical
MPA 5091 Clinical Assessment I 3 Credits
MPA 5112 Clinical Pharmacology I 3 Credits
MPA 5132 Clinical Skills and Therapeutics I 4 Credits
MPA 5314 Patient Counseling and Education  2 Credits
MPA 5162 Introduction to Clinical Medicine I      5 Credits
MPA 5800 Foundations of Interprofessional Practice .5 Credit
Total:  

17.5 Credits

Pre-Clinical
MPA 5192 Clinical Assessment II 3 Credits
MPA 5213 Clinical Pharmacology II 3 Credits
MPA 5234 Clinical Skills and Therapeutics II 4 Credits
MPA 5253 Introduction to Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine  2 Credits
MPA 5263 Introduction to Clinical Medicine II 5 Credits
MPA 5801 Practicum for Interprofessional Practice  
Total:   17 Credits
Pre-Clinical
MPA 5284 Journal Review Seminar 2 Credits
MPA 5294 Clinical Assessment III 3 Credits
MPA 5304 Problem-Based Clinical Reasoning 4 Credits
MPA 5333 Fundamentals of Surgical Patient Care  3 Credits
MPA 5364 Introduction to Clinical Medicine III 5 Credits
MPA 5801 Practicum for Interprofessional Practice .5 Credit
Total:   17.5 Credits
Pre-Clinical Total:   68 Credits

Each semester is approximately four months in duration. The sequence of clinical rotations is subject to change based on the number, specialty and location of preceptor sites, and will vary from student to student.

Supervised Clinical Practice (SCP)
MPA 5465 Introduction to Clinical Practice (Weeks 11-15) 1 Credit
MPA 5705 SCP: Family Medicine (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5715 SCP: Pediatric Medicine (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5725 SCP: General Internal Medicine (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5735 SCP: Emergency Medicine (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5745 SCP: General Surgery (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5755 SCP: Women’s Health (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5785 SCP: Psychiatry and Behavioral Health (5 weeks) 3 Credits
MPA 5790 SCP: Elective I* 
This may consist of one 5-week elective in a chosen area of medicine.
3 Credits
MPA 5795 SCP: Elective II*
This may consist of one 5-week elective in a chosen area of medicine.
3 Credits
MPA 5807 Service Learning Practicum 1 Credit
MPA 5900 Senior Seminar 5 Credits
MPA 5802 Interprofessional Practice 1 Credit
Clinical Year Total:   35 Credits
Degree Total:   103 Credits

*Clinical electives include Cardiology, Cardiothoracic Medicine, Dermatology, Endocrinology, Gastroenterology (adult and pediatric sites), Neonatology, Nephrology, Neurology (adult and pediatric sites), Orthopedics, Plastic Surgery and Trauma Surgery. Additional electives can be pre-arranged with proper planning on the part of the student.

Course Descriptions

Semester 1

MPA 5001: Pathophysiology for Health Professions (5 Credits)
A study of the cellular, organ and system changes associated with human disease processes and the physiologic responses associated with selected human pathologies.

MPA 5061: Clinical Anatomy for Health Professions (5 Credits)
A study and exploration of the human cadaver through lecture, lab dissection and prosection.

MPA 5002: Introduction to Medical Diagnostics (.5 credit)
This course will introduce the fundamental skills of clinical ultrasonography.

MPA 5081: Introduction to the PA Profession and the Business of Medicine (2 Credits)
This course explores the history, role, practice scope and professional policies of the physician assistant in healthcare. It also presents an interactive and strategic examination of the evolving American healthcare system, the issues and controversies relative to healthcare reforms and the growing impact of managed care.

MPA 5341: Legal and Medical Ethical Issues in Medicine (2 Credits)
This course examines the relationships and impact of health law and medical ethics in healthcare by analyzing case studies of contemporary health issues.

MPA 5142: Psychosocial Elements of Wellness (2 Credits)
The societal determinants of health, illness and disease are explored as a continuum of community care, a promotion of cultural sensitivity and an enrichment of the clinician-patient relationship.

MPA 5800: Foundations of Interprofessional Practice 
Foundations of Interprofessional Practice introduces interprofessional roles in healthcare in order to enable effective collaboration for a safe, effective and value-driven healthcare delivery system by emphasizing teams of professionals working together in order to benefit patients and improve health outcomes. The course extends through semesters 1 and 2.

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Semester 2

MPA 5091: Clinical Assessment I (3 Credits)
Introduces the beginning practitioner to the skills of listening, communicating, data collecting and documenting patient encounters.

MPA 5112: Clinical Pharmacology I (3 Credits)
This course provides preparation for appropriate administration/prescription of medicines, which is accomplished through a study of drug classifications, pharmacodynamic actions and rationale for therapeutic use of prescription and nonprescription medications.

MPA 5132: Clinical Skills and Therapeutics I (4 Credits)
Clinical Skills and Therapeutics I introduces and assesses clinical competency of specified skills, diagnostic modalities and therapeutic interventions related to professional responsibilities and practices in patient care.

MPA 5314: Patient Counseling and Education (2 Credits)
This course builds on knowledge gained in clinical science courses by providing the student with the skills necessary to educate patients about their disease processes, help patients become a partner in their own healthcare and guide patients toward health-promoting behavior.

MPA 5162: Introduction to Clinical Medicine I (5 Credits)
This course is designed to lay the foundation for patient care through a comprehensive understanding of illness. This 3-course series in the medical sciences and related technologies addresses care of the adult, adolescent and pediatric patient beginning with common acute self-limited illnesses and progressing to more complex, well-defined chronic disorders.

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Semester 3

MPA 5192: Clinical Assessment II (3 Credits)
This course introduces the use of examination techniques and equipment used during a physical examination and emphasizes the relationship of the exam to the history to aid in developing competency and clinical judgment in clinical assessment. A systematic approach is used in studying the comprehensive and problem-oriented clinical assessment of the adult, newborn, pediatric, obstetric and geriatric patient.

MPA 5213: Clinical Pharmacology II (3 Credits)
Preparation for appropriate administration/prescription of medicines is accomplished through a study of drug classifications, pharmacodynamic actions and rationale for therapeutic use of prescription and nonprescription medications.

MPA 5234: Clinical Skill and Therapeutics II (4 Credits)
Clinical Skill and Therapeutics II introduces and assesses clinical competency of specified skills, diagnostic modalities and therapeutic interventions related to professional responsibilities and practices in patient care.

MPA 5253: Introduction to Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine (2 Credits)
This course introduces population epidemiology and decision-making theory, followed by an introduction to and application of the principles of evidence-based medicine to patient care.

MPA 5263: Introduction to Clinical Medicine II (5 Credits)
Designed to lay the foundation for patient care through a comprehensive understanding of illness. This 3-course series in the medical sciences and related technologies addresses care of the adult, adolescent and pediatric patient beginning with common acute self-limited illnesses and progressing to more complex, well-defined chronic disorders.

MPA 5801: Practicum for Interprofessional Practice
Practicum for Interprofessional Practice introduces interprofessional roles in healthcare to enable effective collaboration for a safe, effective and value-driven healthcare delivery system by emphasizing teams of professionals working together in order to benefit patients and improve outcomes. This course is an interprofessional educational experience for both PA and MD students at EVMS. The course extends through semesters 3 and 4.

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Semester 4

MPA 5284: Journal Review Seminar (2 Credits)
(Weeks 1-10) The Journal Review Seminar explores the process of reviewing journal articles for practical application of new medical knowledge and clinical review articles appropriate for PAs. Students learn to evaluate a broad range of case reports and journal articles for quality and applicability to clinical practice.

MPA 5294: Clinical Assessment III (3 Credits)
This course integrates the history-taking and physical examination skills presented in semesters 1 and 2. The course begins with the complete history and physical exam and then introduces the problem-focused history and physical exam. Formulating differential examination skills and communicating findings with preceptors rounds out the experience.

MPA 5304: Problem-Based Clinical Reasoning (4 Credits)
This course promotes a working knowledge base for integrating information into decision-making, diagnosis hypothesis, clinical reasoning and data resolution skills through cooperative learning strategies and selected clinical topics.

MPA 5333: Fundamentals of Surgical Patient Care (3 Credits)
Fundamentals of Surgical Patient Care introduces concepts and practices in preoperative, perioperative and postoperative patient care and promotes skill development and competency in selected surgical skills.

MPA 5364: Introduction to Clinical Medicine III (5 Credits)
Designed to lay the foundation for patient care through a comprehensive understanding of illness. This 3-course series in the medical sciences and related technologies addresses care of the adult, adolescent and pediatric patient beginning with common acute self-limited illnesses and progressing to more complex, well-defined chronic disorders.

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Semesters 5, 6 and 7

MPA 5465: Introduction to Clinical Practice – Seminar (1 Credit)
This course will cover clinical year expectations and standards as well as reinforce the extensive medical knowledge base that was developed during the didactic portion of the MPA program. The primary focus is to prepare students for the clinical year by reinforcing clinical knowledge and emphasizing information needed to be successful in the clinical year.

MPA 5705: Supervised Clinical Practice: Family Medicine (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5715: Supervised Clinical Practice: Pediatric Medicine (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5725: Supervised Clinical Practice: General Internal Medicine I (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5735: Supervised Clinical Practice: Emergency Medicine (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5745: Supervised Clinical Practice: General Surgery (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5755: Supervised Clinical Practice: Women's Health (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5785: Supervised Clinical Practice: Psychiatry and Behavioral Health (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)

MPA 5790: Supervised Clinical Practice: Elective I (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)
This may consist of one 5-week elective in a chosen area of medicine. 

MPA 5795: Supervised Clinical Practice: Elective II (3 Credits, 5 Weeks)
This may consist of one 5-week elective in a chosen area of medicine.

MPA 5807: Service Learning Practicum (1 Credit)
This course provides an opportunity for students to spend at least 15 hours in a community, health-related agency during the clinical year of the program. The goal of the course is to reinforce the community orientation of the medical school and promote a commitment to service in our graduates. Projects are presented to peers prior to graduation.

MPA 5900: Senior Seminar (5 Credits)
The purpose of this course is to prepare the student for transition to a practicing PA through lectures, small group activities and oral presentations. Students will be required to participate in comprehensive board review sessions designed for certification. At the conclusion of the course, students will be required to pass a summative evaluation designed to assess overall performance and preparation for clinical practice.

MPA 5802: Interprofessional Practice (1 Credit)
This course focuses on the observation and application of interprofessional concepts within healthcare teams in clinical practice to enable effective collaboration for a safe, effective and value-driven healthcare delivery system. This is accomplished by emphasizing teams of professionals working together in order to benefit patients and improve health outcomes.

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