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PA Medicine Curriculum

The PA Medicine Program at Michigan State University offers a 27-month with a total of 108 credits curriculum leading to the degree of Master of Science in PA Medicine. The PA Medicine curriculum allows PA students to team with other health professionals during both their didactic and clinical training experiences. Students are challenged to meet the needs of an ever-changing healthcare marketplace while learning to develop a collaborative approach to medical care. Students will work closely with COM medical students to learn the art of medicine and also be introduced to osteopathic medical philosophy to have a broader holistic approach to patient care. At the start of the program, 48% of the didactic curriculum (based on credit hours - 29 of the 60 didactic credits) for the PA Medicine students will be taught interprofessionally with the D.O. medical students. The curriculum includes four semesters of classroom and laboratory courses and three semesters of clinical supervised practical experiences courses. 

Maximum Duration of Program

As defined in the MSUCOM Policy for Retention, Promotion, and Graduation, the standard duration of the curriculum leading to the Master of Science in PA Medicine degree is 27 months. The maximum allowable time to complete the PA Medicine program is 33 months.

MSUCOM PA Medicine - Master of Science

The MSUCOM PA Medicine Course Catalog provides additional detail regarding the curriculum, including descriptions of required and elective rotations. Full details of the PA Medicine Curriculum can be viewed at the MSU Academic Programs Catalog Catalog.

Univeristy Course Catalog descriptions can be found below or the university site at: https://reg.msu.edu/Courses/Search.aspx.

PreClinical Curriculum 

Semester 1

  • PA 810 - Clinical Human Anatomy
  • PA 839 - Pathophysiology
  • PA 801 - PEAK Study Skills
  • PA 871 - Medicine I
  • PA 851 - Physical Examination I
  • PA 855 - Procedures and Diagnostics I

Semester 2

  • PA 832 - Microbiology
  • PA 828 - Genetics
  • PA 864 - Pharmacology
  • PA 872 - Medicine II
  • PA 852 - Physical Examination II
  • PA 856 - Procedures and Diagnostics II
  • PA 880 - Medical History and Documentation

Semester 3

  • PA 873 - Medicine III
  • PA 853 - Physical Examination III
  • PA 857 - Procedures and Diagnostics III
  • PA 881 - Medical Ethics
  • PA 882 - Primary Care Applications

Semester 4

  • PA 874 - Medicine IV
  • PA 854 - Physical Examination IV
  • PA 858 - Procedures and Diagnostics IV
  • PA 884 - Business of Healthcare
  • PA 883 - Introduction to Clinical Rotations

Clinical Curriculum

  • PA 955 - Surgical Subspecialty Elective
  • PA 957 - Emergency Medicine Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 908 - Behavioral Health Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 920 - Family Medicine Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 940 - Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 900 – Pediatrics Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 951 - Women’s Health Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 953 – Surgery Clinical Practicum*
  • PA 910 – Clinical Elective
  • PA 950 – Internal Medicine Subspecialty Elective
  • PA 958 – Ambulatory Medicine Elective
  • PA 990 – PA Medicine Competence Experience
  • PA 992 – Public Health and Disease Prevention
  • PA 993 – Osteopathic Manipulation Medicine
  • PA 998 – Research and Evidence Based Medicine

*ARC-PA Required Core Rotations

Course Descriptions

Preclinical Curriculum

Semester 1 (total credit hours = 18)

PA 801 PEAK Study Skills
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1 
Description: Learning skills to maximize cognitive potential. 

PA 810 Clinical Human Anatomy
Credits: Total Credits: 8   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 6   Lab Hours: 6 
Description: Macroscopic human structure, landmarks, and spatial relationships with clinical correlations. Clinical-anatomical language. 

PA 839 Pathophysiology
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2 
Description: Human disease and abnormal processes, including frequency, significance, diagnosis and treatment. 

PA 851 Physical Examination I
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Description: Physical examination skills needed to practice medicine utilizing a body systems approach. 

PA 855 Procedures and Diagnostics I
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1
Description:Medical procedures and interpretation of diagnostic testing relevant to the body systems

PA 871 Medicine I
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 3 
Description: A systematic approach to the etiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of clinical disorders. 

Semester 2 (total credit hours = 17)

PA 828 Genetics
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2 
Description: Basic principles of human medical genetics. 

PA 832 Microbiology
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 2 
Description: Basic principles of microbiology and their relationship to disease in humans. 
Interdepartmental With: Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
Administered By: PA Medicine

PA 852 Physical Examination II
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Prerequisite: PA 851
Description: Continuation of PA 851. 

PA 856 Procedures and Diagnostics II
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1
Prerequisite: PA 855
Description: Continuation of PA 855. 

PA 864 Pharmacology
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2 
Description: Basic principles of pharmacology, toxicology, and selected drugs. 

PA 872 Medicine II
Credits: Total Credits: 4   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 4 
Prerequisite: PA 871
Description: Continuation of PA 871. 

PA 880 Medical History and Documentation
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Description: Patient interviewing techniques, medical history, and documentation of patient encounters. 

Semester 3 (total credit hours = 13)

PA 853 Physical Examination III
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Prerequisite: PA 852
Description: Continuation of PA 852. 

PA 857 Procedures and Diagnostics III
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1 
Prerequisite: PA 856
Description: Continuation of PA 856. 

PA 873 Medicine III
Credits: Total Credits: 4   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 4 
Prerequisite: PA 872
Description: Continuation of PA 872. 

PA 881 Medical Ethics
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Description: Cultural awareness, sensitivity, ethical standards, and legal principles. 

PA 882 Primary Care Applications
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1 
Description: Health-care related hospital and community experiences. 

Semester 4 (total credit hours = 12)

PA 854 Physical Examination IV
Credits: Total Credits: 3   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2   Lab Hours: 1 
Prerequisite: PA 853
Description: Continuation of PA 853. 

PA 858 Procedures and Diagnostics IV
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1 
Prerequisite: PA 857
Description: Continuation of PA 857. 

PA 874 Medicine IV
Credits: Total Credits: 4   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 4 
Prerequisite: PA 873
Description: Continuation of PA 873. 

PA 883 Introduction to Clinical Rotations
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1 
Description: Transition to clinical applications of medicine. 

PA 884 Business of Healthcare
Credits: Total Credits: 2   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 2 
Description: Economics of healthcare in the United States. 

Clinical Curriculum  Semesters 5-7

Semester 5 total credit hours = 16
Semester 6 total credit hours = 16
Semester 7 total credit hours = 16

PA 900 Pediatrics Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Supervised clinical exposure in pediatric medicine. 

PA 908 Behavioral Medicine Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Supervised clinical exposure in behavioral medicine. 

PA 910 Clinical Elective
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Focused clinical medicine exposure in a specialty area. 

PA 920 Family Medicine Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Clinical exposure in family medicine. 

PA 940 Internal Medicine Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Clinical exposure in internal medicine. 

PA 950 Internal Medicine Subspecialty Elective
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Prerequisite: PA 940
Description: Clinical exposure in a selective subspecialty of internal medicine. 

PA 951 Women’s Health Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Women’s health with practical exposure to the evaluation and management of the prenatal through postpartum patient. 

PA 953 Surgery Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Clinical exposure and skill development in a surgical setting. 

PA 955 Surgical Subspecialty Elective
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Prerequisite: PA 953
Description: Clinical exposure in a surgical subspecialty setting. 

PA 957 Emergency Medicine Clinical Practicum
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Description: Clinical exposure in emergency medicine. 

PA 958  Ambulatory Medicine Elective
Credits: Total Credits: 4
Prerequisite: PA 920
Description: Clinical exposure in a variety of ambulatory medicine settings. 

PA 990 PA Medicine Competence Experience
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1 
Description: Summation of clinical and didactic assessment of various patient populations to ensure student readiness for clinical practice of medicine. 

PA 992 Public Health and Disease Prevention
Semester: 7
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1 
Description: Trends in public health, public health epidemics, disease prevention and patient counseling. 

PA 993 Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine
Semester: 7 
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1   Lab Hours: 1
Description: Osteopathic manipulative skills and clinical knowledge leading to diagnosis and treatment. 

PA 998 Research and Evidence Based Medicine
Semester: 7 
Credits: Total Credits: 1   Lecture/Recitation/Discussion Hours: 1 
Description: Evidence-based medicine, research design concepts, and critical appraisal of medical literature. 

Total Program Credit Hours = 108