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 current curriculum.

Didactic Phase

First Year - Fall (15 hours)

  • CDS 501 - Professional Development I (0 hours)
  • PA 601 - Human Gross Anatomy and Lab (4 hours)
  • PA 602 - Medical Physiology (4 hours)
  • PA 605 - Clinical Pathology (3 hours)
  • PA 610 - Clinical Laboratory Medicine (3 hours)
  • PA 615 - Introduction to the Profession (1 hour)

First Year - Spring (19 hours)

  • CDS 502 - Professional Development II (0 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 613 - Surgical Techniques (3 hours)
  • PA 616 - Electrocardiography (1 hour)

First Year - Summer (14 hours)

  • CDS 504 - Professional Development III (1 hour)
  • HCM 530 - Healthcare Delivery and Reimbursement (3 hours)
  • CDS 535 - Medical Genetics Across the Lifespan (1 hour)
  • PA 609 - Surgical Disease II (3 hours)
  • PA 614 - Operating Room Techniques (2 hours)
  • PA 618 - Risk Management (1 hour)
  • PA 619 - Fundamentals of Clinical Research (3 hours)

Second Year - Fall (17 hours)

  • PA 604 - Pharmacology II (3 hours)
  • PA 607 - Clinical Medicine II (6 hours)
  • PA 617 - Applied Behavioral Medicine (3 hours)
  • PA 620 - Literature Evaluation (2 hours)
  • PA 634 - Simulation Lab (1 hour)
  • 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

Objectives

Upon completion of the didactic year, Physician Assistant students will be able to perform the following tasks and functions at the level of a Physician Assistant:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of human anatomy, physiology, and pathology of disease.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in performing a complete history and physical examination.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evaluation and management of common diseases and disorders encountered in general medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, and psychiatry.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the evaluation and management of common diseases and disorders encountered in general surgery, cardio-thoracic surgery, plastic surgery, neurosurgery, pediatric surgery, and orthopedic surgery.
  • Demonstrate a proficiency in the basic skills necessary to function as a Physician Assistant, including knot tying, suturing, minor invasive procedures, first assisting, catheterization, and wound care.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of medical literature databases, literature searches, clinical research designs, basic medical statistics, and interpretation of medical literature.
  • Demonstrate an ability to order and interpret laboratory tests, x-rays, electrocardiograms, and other diagnostic studies in primary care medicine and surgery.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in CPR and ACLS management of acutely ill patients.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of infection control, universal precautions, quality assurance, and safety issues utilized in hospital settings.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of the PA profession, medical malpractice, enabling legislation, medical practice guidelines, medical ethics, and professional behavior.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of professional behavior, and an appropriate level of sensitivity to socioeconomic and human rights issues, including appropriate management of patients irrespective of religion, race, gender, disability, socioeconomic level, and sexual preference.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of PA professional limitations.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to life-long professional growth and medical education.

Clinical Phase

Spring (16 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)

Summer (17 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)

Fall (17 Hours)

  • PA 630 - Clinical Service X (4 hours)
  • PA 631 - Clinical Service XI (4 hours)
  • PA 632 - Clinical Service XII (4 hours)
  • PA 641 - Senior Seminar (5 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.

Objectives

Upon completion of the clinical year, students will be able to perform the following tasks and functions at the level of a Physician Assistant:

  • Demonstrate proficiency in obtaining and recording patient assessments including a complete medical history and physical exam, daily progress review, pre-operative and post-operative assessments, and discharge summaries.
  • Demonstrate a high level of competency in the technical skills needed to perform as a PA.
  • 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 health care team.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of, and adherence to, the clinical limitations of a PA.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge required to order and interpret common diagnostic studies.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge needed to establish a diagnosis and/or differential diagnosis for common medical and surgical disorders.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills needed to establish a treatment plan for common medical and surgical diseases and disorders.
  • Demonstrate the ability to assist the surgeon in all delegated tasks, including first-assisting, wound closure, hemostasis, suture tying, and other invasive procedures.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in recording Progress / SOAP Notes, Procedure Notes, Daily Orders, Discharge Summaries, Operative Notes, Pre-operative Orders, and Post-operative Orders.
  • Demonstrate an adequate level of knowledge to recognize and refer (to their supervising physician) complicated medical and surgical problems that are beyond the capabilities of a PA.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge required to counsel patients about common surgical and medical diseases and disorders.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and fortitude needed to conduct their personal and professional lives in a legal and ethical manner.
  • Demonstrate a working knowledge of quality assurance and management.
  • Demonstrate an appropriate level of sensitivity to socioeconomic and cultural and human rights issues, including the appropriate management of patients irrespective of religion, race, gender, disability, socioeconomic level, and sexual preference.
  • Demonstrate an ability to properly evaluate and participate in medical research.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to life-long professional growth and medical education.