Physician Assistant Studies - M.S.P.A.S.
The Physician Assistant Program at Johnson & Wales University is a 24-month, 104-credit, full-time course of study. The program is offered at the university’s Providence, Rhode Island, campus. One new class is enrolled each year which begins in the summer graduate term. Upon successful completion, a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies is awarded.
The first 12 months of the program are devoted to preclinical studies, and the remaining 12 months to clinical experiences in primary care and medical and surgical specialties.
The summer semester provides a foundation upon which the following fall and spring body system courses are constructed. In Applied Anatomy, small groups of students dissect cadavers, view prosections and utilize virtual anatomy software to learn gross anatomic structures that are essential to the understanding of medicine and the practice of general surgery. Applied Anatomy is integrated with Patient Care I where techniques specific to the adult history and physical examination are taught; the anatomy of a body system immediately precedes the lectures and practice labs where students learn the physical examination skills required to examine that same area of the body.
In Foundations of Medicine, students are introduced to the basics of cell physiology and genetics that are essential to the understanding of pathophysiologic mechanisms of disease and clinical medicine. A primer in microbiology and immunology prepares students for the study of infectious disease and the basics of pharmacology are a prelude to courses in pharmacotherapeutics.
Three semesters of Professional and Health Policy Issues commences in the summer with discussions ranging from the history of the PA profession, types of healthcare settings, healthcare and public health policy to the expectations of a medical workplace relative to ethical and professional behavior. Students explore the role that diet has on health and wellness across the lifespan in the Food is Medicine course series, including practical application of the principles in culinary labs.
Fall and spring courses in Clinical Medicine are body-system based encompassing all aspects of clinical medicine, diagnostic skills and pharmacotherapeutics for the particular body-system. Students work sequentially through each body system course, one at a time, learning the physiology, pathophysiology, clinical medicine, evidence-based medicine, diagnostic skills and treatment specific to that system. In Patient Care, students learn the history and physical examination skills specific to the body system being studied in that course. In weekly small-group meetings, they develop the critical thinking skills necessary to synthesize and apply the course content to real patient cases. Seminars in the practice of humanistic medicine will begin a lifelong journey as a self-reflective and empathetic, patient-centered healthcare provider. The final systems course is Emergency Medicine which includes an introduction to clinical practice. Students learn skills they will apply during their clinical rotations; they are taught phlebotomy and injection skills and how to suture, knot-tie, perform surgical scrubbing and gowning and apply splints.
The second 12 months of the program provides the experiential learning in nine clinical rotations. Each rotation is five weeks in length. These rotations occur at off-campus clinical sites (hospitals, community health centers, medical offices, etc.) to be developed by program faculty and administrators. The seven required rotations include Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, Women’s Health, Behavioral and Mental Health, Emergency Medicine, and Surgery. There are two five-week electives that allow students to further develop skills in the area in which they plan to practice.
The Master's Course runs the length of the clinical year. It includes lectures and discussions that prepare students for the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination, job searches and clinical practice. In the spring semester, this Master’s Course culminates with the summative evaluation that ensures the student possesses the knowledge, interpersonal skills, patient care skills and professionalism required for entry into the profession.
Upon completion of the program, graduates are expected to:
- Develop rapport and an atmosphere of trust with patients and families while providing patient centered humanistic care.
- Recommend and perform clinical procedures for common medical disorders.
- Utilize and apply evidence-based medicine principles and skills to guide decision making in clinical practice.
- Engage and employ lifelong learning skills through ongoing self-reflection, active engagement, and professional development.
- Utilize effective interpersonal skills in oral and written communication with patients and families and work collaboratively with members of the healthcare team.
- Accurately elicit a medical history, perform a physical examination, formulate a differential diagnosis, and appropriately select and interpret diagnostic studies to diagnose medical conditions.
- Develop and manage appropriate treatment plans for preventative, acute, chronic and emergent disorders of patients across the lifespan
- Conduct oneself in a professional and ethical manner consistent with the role and responsibilities of a physician assistant.
Physician Assistant Studies
Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies
CreditsYear 1: Didactic Year
|Foundations of Medicine
|Patient Care I
|Professional and Health Policy Issues I
|Patient Care II
|Professional and Health Policy Issues II
|Introduction to Evidence-Based Practice
|Food is Medicine I
|Clinical Hematology and Infectious Disease
|Patient Care III
|Professional and Health Policy Issues III
|Food is Medicine II
|Clinical Nephrology and Urology
|Clinical Orthopedics and Rheumatology
|Clinical Neurology and Behavioral Medicine
|Clinical Gynecology and Obstetrics
|Year 2: Clinical Year
|Family Medicine Clinical Course
|Internal Medicine Clinical Course
|Pediatric Medicine Clinical Course
|Women's Health Clinical Course
|Emergency Medicine Clinical Course
|Behavioral and Mental Health Clinical Course
|Surgery Clinical Course
|Clinical Elective Course I
|Clinical Elective Course II
|Master's Course *
This course spans the clinical year; credit is awarded only in the spring semester.