Course Descriptions

Enrollees must successfully complete all requirements of the Physician Assistant (PA) program and Towson University. The PA Professional Certificate and the M.S. degree in PA Studies will be awarded upon successful completion of all 96 program credits which includes 36 graduate credits.

Tuition and fees for 200-level courses are paid to CCBC Essex. Tuition and fees for 600, 700 and 800 level courses are paid to Towson University. Applicants will pay appropriate application fees to both institutions.

All classes are taken at CCBC Essex. Students will register for 200 level courses with CCBC Essex and will register for 600, 700 and 800 level courses with Towson University.

Please select a course number below to read the corresponding course description.

Plan of Study

Year 1, Summer

Session Course Number Course Name Credits
Summer 1 PAST 212 Public Health and Preventative Medicine 2
Summer 1 PAST 224 Gross Anatomy 2
Summer 1 PAST 236 Basic Physical Diagnosis 3
Summer 1 PAST 602 Ethics, Issues, & Trends 2
Summer 2 PAST 214 Psychosocial Issues in Medicine I
Summer 2 PAST 215 Human Pathophysiology
Summer 2 PAST 603 Medicine I 
    Total  15

Year 1, Fall

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 216 Psychosocial Issues II 2
PAST 230 Diagnostic Studies I 2
PAST 237 Advanced Physical Diagnosis 2
PAST 604 Medicine II 6
PAST 606 Pediatrics I 2
PAST 609 Pharmacology I 2
  Total 16

Year 1, Winter (Mini-Mester)

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 231 Diagnostic Studies II 2
PAST 605 Medicine III 2
  Total 4

Year 1, Spring

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 232 Diagnostic Studies III 2
PAST 250 Introduction to Clinical Practice 4
PAST 601 Research Methods 3
PAST 607 Pediatrics II 2
PAST 608 Medicine IV 6
PAST 610 Pharmacology II 2
  Total 19

Year 2, Summer

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 251 Clinical Practicum I 6
  Total 6

Year 2, Fall

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 252 Clinical Practicum II 12
PAST 730 Clinical Management Seminar 2
PAST 801 Research Seminar 1 1
  Total 15

Year 2, Winter (Mini-Mester)

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 253 Clinical Practicum III 3
  Total 3

Year 2, Spring

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 254 Clinical Practicum IV 11
PAST 731 Clinical Management II 2
PAST 802 Research Seminar II 1
  Total 14

Year 2, Summer

Course Number Course Name Credits
PAST 255 Primary Care Preceptorship 5
  Total 5

Total Credits: 97

Course Descriptions

PAST 212 Public Health and Preventive Medicine - 2 Credits
Presents the dynamics of health and disease in human populations and introduces services and facilities for the maintenance of health and prevention of illness. Explores concepts of demography, epidemiology, environmental health, provision of medical services, preventive medicine and infectious disease; addresses basic principles of health policy making.

PAST 214 Psychosocial Issues in Medicine I - 2 Credits
Covers psychological processes underlying human behavior in medical settings. Emphasizes the dynamics of the patient-health provider relationship, including communication skills, approaches to patients, working with special populations, cross-cultural communication, stress and disease, chronic illness, adherence, domestic violence, human sexuality issues, and death and dying.

PAST 216 Psychosocial Issues in Medicine II - 2 Credits
Covers psychological process underlying human behavior and psychiatric disorders. Emphasizes psychiatric principles in primary care; examines concepts in the diagnosis and treatment of the major classes of psychiatric disorders, psychiatric emergencies in primary care, special issues in geriatric mental health, and prevention, recognition and intervention of child abuse and sexual assault.

PAST 230 Diagnostic Studies I - 2 Credits
Provides proficiency in performing, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies. Covers ordering and interpretation of radiographs, imaging studies, and electrocardiograms; gives students opportunity to perform 12 lead EKG studies. The first of three courses.

PAST 231 Diagnostic Studies II - 2 Credits
Prepares students to perform and interpret basic diagnostic and laboratory tests; emphasizes those tests necessary to assess complaints common to the ambulatory, hospitalized and emergency medicine patient.

PAST 232 Diagnostic Studies III - 2 Credits
Prepares students to perform and interpret basic diagnostic and laboratory tests; emphasizes those tests necessary to assess complaints common to the ambulatory, hospitalized and emergency medicine patient.

PAST 250 Introduction to Clinical Practice - 4 Credits
Develops basic clinical skills presented in PAST 213, focusing on the diagnostic process and elements of clinical management. Assigns students to the clinical setting and faculty facilitated small groups weekly. Emphasizes eliciting the patient history, physical assessment, recording patient data and case presentation, differential diagnosis, basic management plans, and performing basic clinical skills with actual patients in the clinical setting.

PAST 251 Clinical Practicum I - 6 Credits
Gives the first of four clinical practical which provide a total of ten clinical rotations in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine, community medicine, and two general elective areas in primary care and general medicine. During this ten-week course, each student is assigned to two five-week rotations. Psychiatry is covered during family practice and emergency medicine rotations with bi-weekly campus sessions.

PAST 252 Clinical Practicum II - 12 Credits
Continues the sequence of clinical practica which provide a total of ten clinical rotations in family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, pediatrics, surgery, emergency medicine, community medicine, psychiatry, a general elective and a primary care elective. During this fifteen-week course, the student is assigned to three five-week rotations.

PAST 253 Clinical Practicum III - 3 Credits
Continues the sequence of four courses which provide supervised clinical experiences in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry, community medicine, and an additional rotation of the student's choice.

PAST 255 Primary Care Preceptorship - 5 Credits
Provides an eight-week final clinical experience; enables the student to apply principles of the practice of medicine covered throughout the program in a primary care or rural/ underserved location; allows the student to function as a full member of the medical team and be responsible for patient care from presentation through follow-up including diagnostic evaluation and patient management.

PAST 254 Clinical Practicum IV - 11 Credits
Concludes the sequence of four clinical courses which provide supervised clinical experiences in internal medicine, family practice, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, emergency medicine, surgery, psychiatry, community medicine, and an additional rotation of the student's choice.

PAST 601 Research Methods in Physician Assistant Practice (3)
Examination of theory and methodology for designing and coordinating qualitative and
quantitative research, including data collection and analysis. Prerequisite: Admission to program.

PAST 602 Ethics, Issues, & Trends (3)
This course examines professional and ethical issues, as well as legal implications, confronting the physician assistant. Effect of social, political and economic changes is also explored, together with the physician assistant role in the health care team. Prerequisite: Admission to program.

PAST 603 Medicine I - 2 Credits
Prepares the physician assistant student for management of disease in the adult patient; presents the disease process, diagnostic criteria, differential diagnoses and management options; includes lectures and case-based learning; the first of four courses.

PAST 604 Medicine II - 6 Credits
Introduces Physician Assistant students to the mechanism and natural course of disease process; signs, symptoms and laboratory findings; differential diagnoses and management options.

PAST 605 Medicine III - 2 Credits
Prepares Physician Assistant students for management of disease in the adult patient; the third of four courses.

PAST 606 Pediatrics I - 2 Credits
Provides Physician Assistant students with exposure to the mechanism and natural course of the disease process in the pediatric patient; the first part of a two-part course.

PAST 607 Pediatrics II - 2 Credits
Provides Physician Assistant students with exposure to the mechanism and natural course of the disease process in the pediatric patient; the second part of a two-part course.

PAST 608 Medicine IV - 5 Credits
Prepares Physician Assistant students for management of disease in the adult patient; the fourth of four courses.

PAST 609 Pharmacology I - 2 Credits
Presents the basic principles of pharmacology and pharmacokinetics, focusing on basic principles of prescribing; covers the clinical use of antibiotics, analgesics, hypoglycemic agents, insulin, and medications used for treatment of peptic ulcer disease; the first of two courses.

PAST 610 Pharmacology II - 2 Credits
Provides specific coverage of drugs affecting the autonomic nervous system, cardioactive drugs, antiarrhythmic, anesthetics, diuretics, antifungal, asthmatics, and drugs used for the treatment of various neurological and psychiatric disorders.

PAST 711 Research Methods for Physician Assistants II - 1 Credit
Continues Research Methods I; provides students an opportunity to design a research project and conduct a study.

PAST 730 Clinical Management I - 2 Credits
Presents selected clinical management topics in seminars that meet at the conclusion of each clinical rotation; covers general surgical entities, common primary care complaint medical topics and interpretation of medical literature. This course also requires students to pass a national competency examination.

PAST 731 Clinical Management II - 2 Credits
Continues Clinical Management Seminar I; presents selected clinical management topics in seminars that meet at the conclusion of each clinical rotation; covers model surgical entities, common emergency entities, office dermatology, common primary care complaint medical topics and interpretation of medical literature; includes a comprehensive written and oral examination.

PAST 801 Research Seminar I - 1 credit
This course begins the formal development of the PA students Masters Project. Students will be required to present their project topic, design and timeline for completion to the research coordinator and their research mentor as criteria for evaluation in this course.

PAST 802 Research Seminar II - 1 credit
This course completes the PA students Masters Project. Students will be required to present their final project as outlined in their student guideline handbook for completion to the research coordinator and their research mentor as criteria for evaluation in this course.