School of Allied Health Professions

Department of Physician Assistant Studies

Physician Assistant Curriculum

The 29-month curriculum of the LSUHSC-NO PA Program is divided into didactic and clinical phases. The following table illustrates the curriculum in its entirety.

NOTE: The schedule of Clinical Year Clerkships will vary per student per semester. This is just a guideline.

Didactic Curriculum

The 17-month didactic phase of the curriculum emphasizes human structure and function, physiologic systems governing body function, pathological and behavioral alterations causing clinical manifestations of illness, and therapeutic principles underlying the management of illness and injury. The program offers learning opportunities in clinical genetics, culture and diversity, ethics, and health promotion and disease prevention.

Both discipline-specific and interdisciplinary learning experiences are provided, with medical and allied health professions students participating in traditional and team-based formats. These experiences define the shared knowledge base necessary for entry-level practice.

The curriculum also addresses the role of PAs, the importance of cultural beliefs, and alternative care practices in care outcomes through courses such as PA Professional Practice, Clinical Practice Issues, and Culture and Diversity. Critical thinking, reasoning, and problem-solving are integral to the curriculum and are introduced in courses such as Differential Diagnosis, Physical Diagnosis and the Clinical Medicine lecture series.

Students are prepared for the development and writing of their Master's Project, a graduation requirement, through courses such as Research Methods and Capstone Project.

Faculty from the PA Program and LSUHSC-NO's basic science and clinical faculties collaborate in presenting these didactic experiences.



Clinical Curriculum

The 12-month clinical rotation phase of the curriculum provides in-depth instruction in the evaluation and management of disease and injury alongside medical students, residents, allied health practitioners and faculty in emergency medicine, internal medicine (inpatient and outpatient), family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, psychiatry and behavioral medicine, and surgery.

The training experiences are used to prepare PA students to deliver health care services to diverse patient populations of all ages with a range of acute and chronic medical and surgical conditions.

Students will have the opportunity to train in state-of-the-art urban medical centers, rural hospitals and clinics and in private offices of a variety of health care providers.