The PA program is a self-contained graduate program that follows the UAB academic schedule. The final schedule for each class will be posted in the course syllabus, found in the course shell, on the first day of class for the semester.

Students attend classes on the UAB campus during the first four semesters of enrollment. This didactic phase of the curriculum consists of both biological sciences and clinically related courses. All courses are required and must be successfully completed with a minimum grade of a “C” (70%) in all PA didactic courses AND an overall cumulative 3.0 GPA in all PA program course work prior to beginning the clinical phase of training.

Please check the Graduate Catalog for the course descriptions.

Didactic Phase

First Year - Fall (18 hours)

  • CDS 505 - Professional Development (1 hour)
  • PA 601 - Human Gross Anatomy and Lab (4 hours)
  • PA 602 - Medical Physiology (4 hours)
  • PA 605 - Clinical Pathology (4 hours)
  • PA 610 - Clinical Laboratory Medicine (3 hours)
  • PA 615 - Introduction to the Profession (1 hour)
  • GC 535 - Medical Genetics Across the Lifespan (1 hour)

First Year - Spring (16 hours)

  • PA 603 - Pharmacology I (3 hours)
  • PA 606 - Clinical Medicine I (6 hours)
  • PA 608 - Surgical Disease I (3 hours)
  • PA 611 - History & Physical Examination (3 hours)
  • PA 616 - Electrocardiography (1 hour)

First Year - Summer (18 hours)

  • PA 604 - Pharmacology II (3 hours)
  • PA 607 - Clinical Medicine II (6 hours)
  • PA 609 - Surgical Disease II (3 hours)
  • PA 613 - Surgical Techniques (3 hours)
  • PA 618 - Risk Management (1 hour)
  • PA 619 - Fundamentals of Clinical Research (2 hours)

Second Year - Fall (13 hours)

  • PA 614 - Operating Room Techniques (2 hours)
  • PA 617 - Applied Behavioral Medicine (3 hours)
  • PA 620 - Analysis of Professional Literature (2 hours)
  • PA 633 - Navigating Healthcare Delivery and Reimbursement Systems for Physician Assistants (2 hours)
  • PA 634 - Simulated Clinical Concepts (2 hours)
  • PA 635 - Special Populations in Medicine (2 hours)

Prerequisites

Students should be aware that the PA program has a set (lock step) course schedule for each semester. This means that enrollment in each semester’s PA courses requires successful completion of the preceding semester’s courses. It also means that because of the program’s inability to teach courses out of their established sequence, students who fail to successfully complete a course will be decelerated and will have to withdraw from the program until the course is taught again in the following year.

CoursePrerequisite Course Completion
PA 604 Pharmacology II PA 603 Pharmacology I
PA 606 Clinical Medicine I PA 601, PA 602, PA 605, PA 610
PA 607 Clinical Medicine II PA 606 Clinical Medicine I
PA 608 Surgical Disease I PA 601 Human Gross Anatomy and Lab
PA 609 Surgical Disease II PA 608 Surgical Disease I
PA 613 Surgical Techniques I PA 601 Human Gross Anatomy and Lab
PA 614 Operating Room Techniques PA 613 Surgical Techniques
PA 620 Literature Evaluation PA 619 Fundamentals of Clinical Research
PA 698 Presentation of Research Project PA 620 Literature Evaluation

Didactic-Year Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the didactic year curriculum, students will be able to perform the following tasks:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology of disease and their application in clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate and manage common diseases encountered in general medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, pediatrics, women’s health, and behavioral medicine.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in performing a complete and problem-focused history and physical examination.
  • Demonstrate competency in the technical skills needed to perform as a surgical and primary care PA.
  • Demonstrate an ability to order and interpret laboratory tests, imaging, electrocardiograms, and other diagnostic studies utilized in primary care and surgery.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in CPR and ACLS management of acutely ill patients.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical literature databases, literature review, clinical research designs, basic medical statistics, and interpretation of medical literature.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of the PA profession, medical malpractice, medical practice guidelines, and medical ethics.
  • Consider cultural and human rights issues, including religion, ethnicity/race, disability, special healthcare needs, socioeconomic level, social determinants of health, gender identity, and human sexuality, as students provide medical care to patients in clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of legal and regulatory requirements in the PA profession.

Clinical Phase

Spring (17 Hours)

  • PA 621 - Clinical Service I (4 hours)
  • PA 622 - Clinical Service II (4 hours)
  • PA 623 - Clinical Service III (4 hours)
  • PA 624 - Clinical Service IV (4 hours)
  • PA 643 - Senior Seminar I (1 hour)

Summer (18 Hours)

  • PA 625 - Clinical Service V (4 hours)
  • PA 626 - Clinical Service VI (4 hours)
  • PA 627 - Clinical Service VII (4 hours)
  • PA 629 - Clinical Service IX (4 hours)
  • PA 698 - Presentation of Research Project (1 hour)
  • PA 644 - Senior Seminar II (1 hour)

Fall (15 Hours)

  • PA 630 - Clinical Service X (4 hours)
  • PA 631 - Clinical Service XI (4 hours)
  • PA 632 - Clinical Service XII (4 hours)
  • PA 645 - Senior Seminar III (3 hours)

Prerequisites

To enter the clinical year, students must have obtained the following:

  • A minimum grade of a “C” in all PA didactic courses AND an overall 3.0 GPA in all PA program course work. No graduate school course work other than that obtained in the PA program will be considered and factored into the GPA.
  • Students will not be able to enter the clinical year on academic probation.
  • Maintain enrollment in a comprehensive health insurance program while matriculating through the PA program.
  • Complete all required immunizations and testing for rubeola, diphtheria, tetanus, and Hepatitis B. A negative test for TB must be documented – either a negative PPD or a negative chest x-ray.
  • Must have a current BLS and ACLS certification that does not expire until after graduation.

Clinical-Year Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the clinical year curriculum, students will be able to perform the following tasks at the level of an entry-level physician assistant in clinical practice:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in obtaining and documenting patient encounters in various clinical settings, across the lifespan.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the technical and surgical skills required of an entry-level PA in clinical practice.
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of professional behaviors, including a respectful and caring attitude toward patients and a willingness to function as a cooperative member of the healthcare team.
  • Demonstrate the ability to utilize subjective and objective findings to formulate an appropriate differential diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to select and interpret appropriate diagnostic studies to formulate a working diagnosis.
  • Demonstrate the ability to develop a patient-centered treatment plan for common medical and surgical disorders, based on current guidelines and standard of care.
  • Develop clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities.
  • Demonstrate an ability to interpret scientific literature and apply findings to the practice of evidence-based medicine.