2020-2021 Course Catalog

Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)

All physician assistant studies courses are limited to physician assistant studies students, unless permission is obtained from the program director.

The curriculum is a 24 month (85 semester credits) professional course of study leading to the MPAS degree. Basic medical sciences, research, clinical methods, and clinical experiences are integrated from the beginning of the program and continued throughout the course of study.

The program produces physician assistants capable of providing primary medical care in an ethical, legal, safe, and caring manner. To achieve this, students must acquire knowledge and the ability to use that knowledge in the practice of medicine. Students are expected to consistently retrieve and apply their knowledge appropriately in the area of their patients and reason effectively. Self-directed learning skills are necessary in order to keep their knowledge current. Self-knowledge, knowledge and understanding of others and continued professional development beyond the degree are necessary for success.

Chatham University utilizes hybrid model of Problem-Based Learning, lecture, and on-line activity that challenges students to be self-directed and prepares students for the evidence-based, problem-oriented world of clinical medicine. Through actual patient cases, students develop learning issues and research topics using the most up to date resources, work in teams and receive feedback on knowledge base as well as professionalism to prepare them for primary care, problem-focused clinical practice.

The MPAS program is competency-based, requiring all students to master the required material. The grading system is pass/fail. Individual course syllabi provides specific pass/fail criteria. Upon entrance to the PA Studies Department students agree to the electronic release of grades and academic information within departmental faculty and staff for academic standing and advising reviews.

A student in the MPAS program must be in good academic standing to remain enrolled in the program. To be eligible for graduation, students must be in good academic standing and successfully complete all required courses. Upon completion of all required courses, students must also meet the requirements of a summative evaluation which includes: medical knowledge, interpersonal skills, patient care skills, and professionalism.

Admission Requirements

Application deadline is October 1st

The application will be considered on time if it is e-submitted to CASPA by the October 1st deadline. Supporting documents may be submitted to CASPA after the deadline, but candidates are strongly encouraged to complete their application by the October 1st deadline. Candidates must have their PA Shadowing Hours and GRE completed by October 1st. The next application cycle will open in late April 2019 for students intending to start in Fall 2020.

Applying to the Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) Program

Chatham University’s Physician Assistant Studies program is a member of the Centralized Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). All applications must be submitted through CASPA with all relevant materials (transcripts, PA shadowing information and recommendations) at https://caspa.liaisoncas.com.

Applicants must document their physician assistant shadowing experience by completing the “Shadowing” section of the CASPA application.

Conditional acceptances may be granted pending successful completion of prerequisites for this program. All pre-requisite courses must be completed by June 1st of the matriculation year.

Master of Physician Assistant Studies Admission Requirements

  1. A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution or completion of the undergraduate requirements for the Integrated Graduate Degree Program.
  2. Cumulative GPA of 3.25 or better on a scale of 4.0, as calculated by CASPA.
  3. Cumulative science GPA of 3.25 or better with a minimum of 20 semester credits, as calculated by CASPA.
  4. Prerequisite Courses. A grade of "B-" or better is required for each prerequisite course:
    • General Biology 1 with lab (one term)
    • General Biology 2 with lab (one term)
    • General (Inorganic) Chemistry 1 with lab (one term)
    • General (Inorganic) Chemistry 2 with lab (one term) *
    • Organic Chemistry 1 with lab (one term)
    • Anatomy with lab (one term) **
    • Physiology (one term)
    • Microbiology (one term)
    • General Psychology (one term)
    • English (one term)
    • Medical Terminology (one term)
    • * Organic Chemistry 2 with lab (one term) may substitute for either, but not both, General (Inorganic) Chemistry 1 or 2.
    • ** If taking Anatomy with Physiology, both Anatomy and Physiology I and II with lab are acceptable to fulfill the requirement for Anatomy and Physiology.
    • All courses must be completed by June 1st prior to the August matriculation.
  5. Prerequisite courses must have been completed no more than 10 years prior to the anticipated start date of the PA program. Applicants requesting an exception to the 10-year limit due to healthcare work experience will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
  6. Completed CASPA application, including all pertinent supporting documentation such as recommendations, PA shadowing, GRE scores and transcripts.
  7. Three references: one academic, one from a volunteer or work experience, and one other (candidate's choice) submitted through CASPA. (Two work references are acceptable for those who have not had a recent academic experience.) The application will not be considered complete until all three letters are received.
  8. Essay Required
  9. PA Shadowing Experience Requirement – PA shadowing experience of at least 32 hours is required for admission to the program. The shadowing experience must be documented in the "Shadowing" section of the CASPA application. Shadowing a physician or nurse practitioner will not satisfy this requirement.
  10. On Campus Interview – Applicants are required to receive a passing score on the on-campus interview to meet the criteria for admission. Interviews are by invitation only.

    Interview dates for the Fall 2020 entering class:
    Saturday, September 28, 2019 and
    Saturday, November 9, 2019

Recommended Courses

We recommend, but do not require, the following courses:

  • Genetics
  • Statistics
  • Nutrition
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Additional/Advanced Anatomy and Physiology
  • Pathophysiology
  • Cadaver Lab Dissection

GRE

Official GRE scores are required. These scores must be sent directly to CASPA. Chatham's MPAS GRE ID number is 3879. We do not use a cutoff or minimum GRE score. Our average combined score (quantitative and verbal) range is 305 - 310, and average analytical writing score range is 4.0 - 4.5. However, applicants should achieve a score of 290 or higher on the combined quantitative and verbal sections, and a score of 3.5 or higher on the analytical writing section. Submitted GRE scores must be from GRE tests taken within 3 years of the application date.

International Applicants

  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores are required for international students whose native language is not English
  • Minimum TOEFL scores required: 600 or above on the paper-based test; 100 or above on the internet-based test. Minimum IELTS score: 7.0 or above.
  • International applicants must complete the International Graduate Student Application Supplement and provide the proper documentation [see University Catalog].
  • A course-by-course credential evaluation of university transcripts.
  • Additional requirements for international applicants can be found at https://chatham.edu/admission-and-aid/graduate/admission-info/international.html

TOEFL or IELTS

Applicants whose native language is not English and who have not completed their degree in the US or Canada will be required to submit current TOEFL or IELTS scores, regardless of their citizenship status. Minimum TOEFL scores required: 600 or above on the paper-based test; 100 or above on the internet-based test. Minimum IELTS score: 7.0 or above.

Technical Standards

The student must possess the mental, physical, and emotional capacities essential to attaining the competencies required to function as a physician assistant. All PA students will be expected to have abilities in five categories: observation, communication, motor, intellectual and social. These abilities enable the student to perform tasks required to meet graduation and professional requirements as measured by state and national certification, licensure and registration processes. Candidates who posses any disability that would potentially interfere with the attainment of such competencies are encouraged to contact the Graduate Admission Recruiter, Tyson Schrader, or the Director of the MPAS program, Judy Truscott, to discuss and identify possible accommodations. Chatham University and/or affiliated sites may arrange to enable the candidate to demonstrate the necessary physical, mental, and emotional capacities.

Observation: Candidates must have sufficient sensory capacity to observe in the problem-based learning and lecture settings, the laboratory, and the health care or community setting. Sensory abilities must be adequate to perform appropriate examination or assessments including functional vision, hearing, and tactile sensation to observe a patient's condition, and to elicit information appropriate to a physician assistant.

Communication: Students must be able to communicate effectively and professionally in academic, community, educational, and health care settings, and be able to demonstrate proficiency in both verbal and written English.

Motor: Students must have the ability to participate in basic diagnostic and therapeutic maneuvers and procedures. Students must be able to negotiate patient care environments, and be able to move between settings such as the classroom, health care facility, educational, or community setting. Physical stamina sufficient to complete the rigorous course of didactic and clinical study is required. Long periods of sitting, standing or moving are required in a variety of learning sites. Students must be proficient in typing skills.

Intellectual: Students must be able to measure, calculate, reason, analyze, and integrate information as well as be able to comprehend temporal and spatial relationships.

Social: Students must exercise good judgment and be able to function, appropriately and effectively, in the face of uncertainties inherent in clinical practice, and must maintain mature, sensitive and effective professional relationships with faculty, students, patients, and other members of the health care and/or educational team. Students are expected to fully participate in physical examination courses as both examiners and patients. Students should be comfortable with modest exposure of the body to allow for adequate examination (donning of sports bra or tank top for women, males will remove shirt; and shorts for both males and females). Students must also be able to be comfortable with donning surgical scrub clothing that expose the arms above the elbows, the neck and upper chest areas.

Students should be completely comfortable working in small groups for Problem Based Learning, including, but not limited to: verbal discussion of knowledge and limitations of knowledge, scribing of information via handwritten transmission in front of a group of students and a faculty member, or typing via use of smart board technology in front of a group of students and a faculty member.

In lab settings, students should be comfortable with and prepared to work with different students, both male and female, with regard to physical examination and/or procedures in a large room with other students present. No genital, breast, or rectal examinations are performed on fellow students.

Admissions Process Guidelines

After verifying that the minimum academic requirements are met, the Physician Assistant Studies program utilizes a holistic approach in reviewing the candidate's entire application. This process is intended to seek talented and qualified individuals of all backgrounds. Taking multiple factors into consideration during our admissions process positively achieves the educational benefits of a student body that is both diverse and academically excellent. This approach includes an evaluation of each candidate’s academic achievement as well as their personal characteristics, attributes and experiences. In order to receive credit for these factors, applicants are required to provide additional information in the personal statement section of the CASPA application. Further corroborating documentation may be requested before credit is awarded. As part of the holistic review, Chatham reserves the right to request a background check prior to offer of admission.

  • In addition to the minimum academic requirements stated above we take into consideration the following academic achievements:
    • Advanced degrees
    • Performance on the GRE
  • We also consider personal characteristics of the applicant including:
    • Socioeconomic status
    • Chatham student or alumni
  • Significant personal experiences have an impact on how individuals view the world and those around them. The following list provides illustrations of the types of experiences that would be considered but should not be viewed as all-inclusive:
    • Contact with other cultures, including travel, for a period of one or more months
    • Work experience, especially in healthcare
    • Military or government service
    • Voluntary service, especially with underserved populations
    • Significant PA shadowing experience

Integrated Degree Program

Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure they are meeting all requirements according to their IDP course of study.

Articulation Agreements

Chatham University has entered into "Articulation Agreements" with a select group of Colleges and Universities. These agreements provide for additional student pre-professional advisement and possible priority admission status for candidates with exceptional applications, demonstrating academic preparation above the minimal acceptable standards. Agreements exist with the following institutions for the 2018-2019 academic year: Allegheny College, Grove City College, Saint Vincent College, Washington and Jefferson College, and Waynesburg University. Pre-existing agreements with Mount Aloysius College, Mount Vernon Nazarene University, Slippery Rock University, and Thiel College are only applicable to undergraduates who matriculated at these institutions prior to August 31, 2017. Applicants from these institutions are advised to discuss the articulation requirements with their advisor as well as the graduate admission counselor at Chatham University.

Please review the Frequently Asked Questions, FAQs, for more information on our program.

Learning Outcomes

Medical Knowledge

  1. Understand etiologies, risk factors, underlying pathologic process, and epidemiology for medical conditions.
  2. Identify signs and symptoms of medical conditions.
  3. Select and interpret appropriate diagnostic or lab studies used in primary care.
  4. Manage general medical and surgical conditions to include understanding the indications, contraindications, side effects, interactions and adverse reactions of pharmacologic agents and other relevant treatment modalities.
  5. Identify the appropriate site of care for presenting conditions, including identifying emergent cases and those requiring referral or admission.
  6. Identify appropriate interventions for prevention of conditions.
  7. Identify the appropriate methods to detect conditions in an asymptomatic individual.
  8. Differentiate between the normal and the abnormal in anatomic, physiological, laboratory findings and other diagnostic data.
  9. Appropriately use history and physical findings and diagnostic studies to formulate a differential diagnosis.
  10. Provide appropriate care to patients with chronic conditions.

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  1. Create and sustain a therapeutic and ethically sound relationship with patients.
  2. Use effective listening, nonverbal, explanatory, questioning, and writing skills to elicit and provide information.
  3. Appropriately adapt communication style and messages to the context of the individual patient interaction.
  4. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals as a member or leader of a health care team or other professional group.
  5. Apply an understanding of human behavior.
  6. Demonstrate emotional resilience and stability, adaptability, flexibility and tolerance of ambiguity and anxiety.
  7. Accurately and adequately document and record information regarding the care process for medical, legal, quality, and financial purposes.

Patient Care

  1. Work effectively with physicians and other health care professionals to provide patient-centered care.
  2. Demonstrate caring and respectful behaviors when interacting with patients and their families.
  3. Gather essential and accurate information about their patients.
  4. Make informed decisions about diagnostic and therapeutic interventions based on patient information and preferences, up-to-date scientific evidence, and clinical judgment.
  5. Develop and carry out patient management plans.
  6. Counsel and educate patients and their families.
  7. Competently perform medical and surgical procedures considered essential in the area of practice.
  8. Provide health care services and education aimed at preventing health problems or maintaining health.

Professionalism

  1. Understanding of legal and regulatory requirements, as well as the appropriate role of the physician assistant.
  2. Professional relationships with physician supervisors and other health care providers.
  3. Respect, compassion, and integrity.
  4. Responsiveness to the needs of patients and society.
  5. Accountability to patients, society, and the profession.
  6. Commitment to excellence and on-going professional development.
  7. Commitment to ethical principles pertaining to provision or withholding of clinical care, confidentiality of patient information, informed consent, and business practices.
  8. Sensitivity and responsiveness to patients' culture, age, gender, and disabilities.
  9. Self-reflection, critical curiosity, and initiative.

Practice-based Learning and Improvement

  1. Analyze practice experience and perform practice-based improvement activities using a systematic methodology in concert with other members of the health care delivery team.
  2. Locate, appraise, and integrate evidence from scientific studies related to their patients’ health problems.
  3. Obtain and apply information about their population of patients and the larger population from which their patients are drawn.
  4. Apply knowledge of study designs and statistical methods to the appraisal of clinical studies and other information on diagnostic and therapeutic effectiveness.
  5. Apply information technology to manage information, access on-line medical information, and support their education.
  6. Facilitate the learning of students and/or other health care professionals.
  7. Recognize and appropriately address gender, cultural, cognitive, emotional and other biases; gaps in medical knowledge; and physical limitations in themselves and others.

System-based Practice

  1. Use information technology to support patient care decisions and patient education.
  2. Effectively interact with different types of medical practice and delivery systems.
  3. Understand the funding sources and payment systems that provide coverage for patient care.
  4. Practice cost-effective health care and resource allocation that does not compromise quality of care.
  5. Advocate for quality patient care and assist patients in dealing with system complexities.
  6. Partner with supervising physicians, health care managers and other health care providers to assess, coordinate, and improve the delivery of health care and patient outcomes.
  7. Accept responsibility for promoting a safe environment for patient care and recognizing and correcting systems-based factors that negatively impact patient care.
  8. Apply medical information and clinical data systems to provide more effective, efficient patient care.
  9. Use the systems responsible for the appropriate payment of services.

Curriculum

+Degree Requirements

Completion of 85 credits in physician assistant studies courses. All courses are pass/fail grading only.

PAS600 Essentials for the Physician Assistant I

Essentials for the Physician Assistant I is a problem-oriented approach to primary and specialty care medicine. This course incorporates medical diagnosis and treatment; pharmacotherapeutics; psychosocial assessment and management; patient education; management of patients with chronic illness; clinical decision making; and prevention of disability and disease through detection, education, and prevention. The course is divided into three segments, Units 1, 2, and 3.

9
PAS601 Essentials for the Physician Assistant II

Essentials for the Physician Assistant II is a problem-oriented approach to primary and specialty care medicine. This course incorporates medical diagnosis and treatment; pharmacotherapeutics; psychosocial assessment and management; patient education; management of patients with chronic illness; clinical decision making; and prevention of disability and disease through detection, education, and prevention.

9
PAS602 Clinical Application of Basic Sciences I

An in-depth study of topics in gross human anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology, supporting the instruction in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses. Instruction will involve basic sciences with an emphasis on the clinical application of the material, utilizing a systems approach.

4
PAS603 Clinical Application of Basic Sciences II

This course is a continuation of PAS 602. An in-depth study of topics in gross human anatomy, physiology, and pathophysiology, supporting the instruction in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses. Instruction will involve basic sciences with an emphasis on the clinical application of the material, utilizing a systems approach.

4
PAS604 Critical Reading of the Literature I

Students critically evaluate medical literature and resources used in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses, including research design, data collection, and statistical analysis.

1
PAS605 Critical Reading of the Literature II

This course is a continuation of PAS 604. Students critically evaluate medical literature and resources used in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses, including research design, data collection, and statistical analysis.

1
PAS606 Clinical Pharmacology I

This clinically oriented course provides students with knowledge required for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases through an understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Topics selected will support the body systems covered in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses.

2
PAS607 Clinical Pharmacology II

This course is a continuation of PAS 606. This clinically oriented course provides students with knowledge required for the safe and effective use of pharmaceutical agents in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases through an understanding of pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. Topics selected will support the body systems covered in the Essentials for the Physician Assistant courses.

2
PAS610 Introduction to Clinical Experiences I

This course will introduce the student to various types of medical documentation and medical terminology. It will address HIPAA and OSHA regulations, as well as Universal Precautions. Professional comportment while on rotations will also be introduced.

2
PAS611 Introduction to Clinical Experiences II

This is a continuation of PAS 610. Students will continue to explore various types of medical documentation, and issues surrounding cultural sensitivity in medicine. Professional comportment and communication skills will be addressed. Students will be introduced to billing and coding. Policies and procedures for clinical rotations will also be introduced.

2
PAS612 Introduction to the PA Profession

This course introduces the students to the physician assistant profession and their role in the American healthcare system. Topics of discussion include history of the profession, national and state organizations, federal and state laws affecting practice, education, and the future of the profession.

1
PAS614 Medical Ethics

Contemporary professional medical ethics issues are discussed and debated. Instruction is provided through classroom discussions, guest lectures, and small group discussions/presentations.

1
PAS617 Clinical Procedures

Laboratory course covering theory and application of common clinical procedures that a physician assistant will encounter during practice. Students demonstrate competence through practical evaluations.

2
PAS625 Clinical Decision Making I

Problem-oriented cases present the student with opportunities to use clinical reasoning to formulate differential diagnoses and emphasize development of treatment and care plans. These courses run concurrently with the clinical experiences I-IX.

1
PAS626 Clinical Decision Making II

Problem-oriented cases present the student with opportunities to use clinical reasoning to formulate differential diagnoses and emphasize development of treatment and care plans. These courses run concurrently with the clinical experiences I-IX.

1
PAS627I Clinical Decision Making III Part One

Problem-oriented cases present the student with opportunities to use clinical reasoning to formulate differential diagnoses and emphasize development of treatment and care plans. These courses run concurrently with the clinical experiences I-IX.

1
PAS627II Clinical Decision Making III Part Two

Genetic based case presents the student with opportunities to use clinical reasoning to formulate differential diagnoses and emphasize development of treatment and care plans. Introduction to MAT (Medication Assisted Treatment) is also covered.

1
PAS628 Clinical Decision Making IV

Drawing on skills acquired in PAS 625, 626 & 627, as well as knowledge that has been acquired throughout the curriculum, students develop case presentations which include history, physical examination, diagnostics, treatment, and patient education, based on specific disease entities. Additionally, students complete summative program evaluations related to medical knowledge base and clinical assessment skills.

1
PAS630 Topics in Clinical Medicine

An intensive review in preparation for entering practice as a physician assistant. A series of special seminars and presentations that provides the student with a topical approach to medicine.

3
PAS635 Healthcare Policy

Students explore relevant health-care law and policy issues that impact the Physician Assistant profession and health-care delivery systems. Instruction is provided through classroom discussions, guest lectures, and small group problem-based learning.

1
PAS636 Program to Practice

This course assists students with the transition of becoming a clinically practicing physician assistant. The course will provide information on how to prepare for the new career, including obtaining certification, licensure, malpractice insurance, and other essential items needed before they begin practicing.

1
PAS637 Clinical Skills for the Physician Assistant I

This skills-based course will cover history, physical examination, documentation of patient data and diagnostic aspects of the head and neck, integumentary, lymphatic, musculoskeletal, pulmonary and cardiac systems. History taking will also be introduced. Course format will include lectures, demonstrations, online simulation modules, and high-fidelity simulation.

4
PAS638 Clinical Skills for the Physician Assistant II

This skills-based course will cover history, physical examination, and documentation of patient data and diagnostic aspects of the abdominal, genitourinary, and neurologic examinations. The comprehensive patient examination will also be covered. Course format will include lectures, demonstrations, online simulation modules, and high-fidelity simulation.

4
PAS640 Clinical Experiences I

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS641 Clinical Experiences II

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS642 Clinical Experiences III

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS643 Clinical Experiences IV

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS644 Clinical Experiences V

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS645 Clinical Experiences VI

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS646 Clinical Experience VII

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS647 Clinical Experience VIII

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3
PAS648 Clinical Experiences IX

These are clinical courses designed to provide students with supervised medical and surgical clinical practice experiences enabling them to meet program expectations and acquire the competencies needed for clinical PA practice.

3

Contact

Judy Truscott

Program Director

jtruscott@chatham.edu

(412) 365 - 1283