The entry-level physician assistant program at NSU, leading to a Master of Medical Science (MMS) degree, is a fully integrated program encompassing basic science, clinical, and professional work. All students must complete the entire curriculum, regardless of their previous educational preparation.
The course of study in the 15 month didactic/academic phase includes a curriculum that builds on student knowledge of the basic sciences, introduces clinical medicine and fosters the development of the critical thinking process.
Courses include Anatomy, Physiology, Pathophysiology, Physical Diagnosis, Medical Terminology, Microbiology, Legal and Ethical Issues, Pharmacology, Clinical Medicine and Surgery (a multi-discipline review of all medicine and surgery), Clinical Laboratory Medicine, Clinical Behavioral Medicine, Clinical Procedures and Surgical Skills, Life Support Procedures and Skills, Clinical Genetics, Domestic Violence training, OSHA "Blood borne Pathogen" training, and Interpretation of the Medical Literature.
(Note: Many applicants may have completed similar courses in other institutions. No course exemptions for previous course work completed prior to admission will be considered except by expressed permission of the Program Director and the College of Health Care Sciences Dean. The PA program curriculum is subject to change and /or modification at any time).
The second year consists of clinical rotations in hospitals, private practices, and other patient care areas over the remaining 12 months of the program. The following areas of concentration are required in this clinical phase: Internal Medicine, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Pediatrics, and Family Medicine, OB/GYN and Behavioral Health. Students also complete three electives.
During the second year, students are required to return to campus after each rotation. These "End of Rotation" events include testing, review seminars, job preparation and didactic instruction in contemporary clinical medicine and surgery topics.
The progress of each student through the curriculum requires continuous satisfactory academic and clinical performance. Since many of the curriculum’s courses are offered only once per year, a student may have an altered plan of study if not making satisfactorily progress each semester. This may extend the student’s program beyond the standard 7 consecutive semesters. There is a maximum four-year time limit for program completion, which includes any approved leave of absence / administrative break and subsequent return to the program.