Physican Assistant Studies

Students should use this checklist to complete the CASPA application. The Physician Assistant program will notify students when it is time to complete the Graduate School application online.

Students should complete this checklist after the CASPA application has been approved and the Physician Assistant program has notified them of admission to the program.

Degree Offered: M.S.P.A.S.
Program Director: James R. Kilgore, PhD, PA-C
Phone: (205) 936-9921
E-mail: AskCDS@uab.edu
Website: www.uab.edu/pa

General Information

Physician Assistants (PAs) are valuable members of a multidisciplinary healthcare team. The profession was established in 1965 to help physicians provide healthcare services to under-served and rural  populations. While the profession remains committed to its historical mission, PAs are now employed in  almost all medical and surgical specialties.
PAs are healthcare professionals licensed to practice medicine under the supervision of a physician.  Individual state practice laws and hospital bylaws define the scope of practice and prescribing authority of  physician assistants. To be eligible for licensure, PAs must graduate from an accredited physician assistant program and pass the Physician Assistant National Certification Examination (PANCE). To maintain licensure, PAs must complete 100 hours of continuing medical education credits every two years and pass the Physician  Assistant National Recertification Examination (PANRE) every ten years. PAs may obtain additional  training through postgraduate residency programs in subspecialty areas, but these programs are not  required for licensure or practice in subspecialty areas.
The mission of the UAB Physician Assistant Program is to provide qualified individuals with the knowledge, skills, and judgment needed to assist physicians in the care of patients in surgical, acute-care, and medical settings. While physician assistants function under the direction of the physicians, they are capable of performing selected tasks autonomously.

Admission Prerequisite Coursework and Application Information

All prerequisite courses must be successfully completed in the United States.

  • RequirementsHours
    BY 115Human Anatomy4
    BY 116Introductory Human Physiology4
    or BY 409 Principles of Human Physiology
    BY 123Introductory Biology I4
    BY 124Introductory Biology II4
    BY 261Introduction to Microbiology4
    or BY 271 Biology of Microorganisms
    CH 115
    CH 116
    CH 117
    CH 118
    General Chemistry I
    and General Chemistry I Laboratory
    and General Chemistry II
    and General Chemistry II Laboratory (CH 105, CH 106, CH 107, CH 108 accepted)
    8
    PY 216
    216L
    Elementary Statistical Methods
    and Elementary Statistical Methods Laboratory
    4
    PY 101Introduction to Psychology3
    or PY 201 Honors Introduction to Psychology
    PY 212Developmental Psychology3
    or PY 218 Abnormal Psychology
    HCM 360Statistics for Managers3
Deadline for All Application Materials to be received by the CASPA: Completed applications must be received by the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) no later than August 1 the year prior to the expected term of enrollment
Number of Evaluations/ Letter of Recommendations Required: Three
Entrance Tests: GRE (TOEFL is required for international applicants whose native language is not English) or MCAT.

Accreditation:

The Physician Assistant Program is accredited by the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA).

Credentials Conferred:

Diploma–The Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) degree is awarded by the  University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Professional Certification:

Graduates of the UAB PA program are eligible to take the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE) sponsored by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants to become a certified PA.

Essential Requirements

Fundamental tasks, behaviors, and abilities necessary to successfully complete the academic and clinical requirements of the program and to satisfy licensure/certification requirements have been outlined and are available upon request from the academic program office. Students requesting disability accommodations should contact UAB Disability Support Services (DSS) at 205-934-4205.

Program Curriculum:

Course requirements are listed below with semester credit hours shown.

Didactic Curriculum

First Year
First TermHours
PA 6014
PA 6024
PA 6053
PA 6103
PA 6151
 15
Total credit hours: 15
First Year
Second TermHours
PA 6033
PA 6064
PA 6083
PA 6113
PA 6133
PA 6161
 17
Total credit hours: 17
First Year
Summer TermHours
PA 6043
PA 6074
PA 6142
PA 6181
PA 6193
CDS 5351
HCM 5303
 17
Total credit hours: 17
Second Year
First TermHours
PA 6093
PA 6424
PA 6173
PA 6202
PA 6341
PA 6352
 15
Total credit hours: 15

Clinical Curriculum

The clinical component of the curriculum consists of 11 clinical rotations PA 621PA 632 plus Senior Seminar and a Master's Research Project Presentation. Of the  clinical rotations, 7 are required and 4 are electives.

Second Year
Second TermHours
PA 6214
PA 6224
PA 6234
PA 6244
 16
Total credit hours: 16
Second Year
Summer TermHours
PA 6254
PA 6264
PA 6274
PA 6294
PA 6981
 17
Total credit hours: 17
Third Year
First TermHours
PA 6304
PA 6314
PA 6324
PA 6415
 17
Total credit hours: 17

Clinical Rotations (PA 621- PA 632)

7 Required Clinical Rotations

4 Elective Clinical Rotations:

RequirementsHours
PA 621Clinical Services I4
PA 622Clinical Services II4
PA 623Clinical Service III4
PA 624Clinical Services IV4
PA 625Clinical Services V4
PA 626Clinical Service VI4
PA 627Clinical Service VII4
PA 629Clinical Service IX4
PA 630Clinical Service X4
PA 631Clinical Service XI4
PA 632Clinical Services XII4

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies-Master of Public Health Degree Option

The coordinated Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies and Master of Public Health (MSPAS-MPH) dual degree program will prepare physician assistant students for leadership roles that address community health care needs.  The program aims to increase the number of high quality primary care clinicians with public health expertise and thus improve access, quality and cost of care.  This plan of study provides students with a thorough understanding of the social and environmental determinants of health, population disease prevention and health promotion strategies, health disparities, epidemiological research analysis and healthcare quality improvement capabilities.

Admissions Requirements

Students must meet the admissions requirements for both the MSPAS degree program as well as the MPH degree program. Click here for MSPAS admissions requirements. Click here for UAB School of Public Health admissions requirements.
In addition to meeting the stated requirements for each degree separately, applicants for the dual degree must also have completed a bachelor degree and all prerequisites before December 30 in order to start the program in January of the following spring term.

Application Procedures

In order to be considered for admission to the UAB MSPAS/MPH dual degree program, candidates will need to complete and submit the following materials by the stated deadlines:

August 1: The Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA) Application
August 7: The UAB PA Supplemental Application
August 7: The UAB Graduate School MPH/MSPAS ApplyYourself Application

For more information visit the Physician Assistant Studies web page for the MSPAS-MPH degree option at http://www.uab.edu/shp/cds/physician-assistant/mspas-mph

Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies

RequirementsHours
CDS 501Professional Skills I0
PA 615Intro to the Profession1
PA 601Human Gross Anatomy4
PA 602Medical Physiology4
PA 610Clinical Lab Medicine3
PA 605Pathology3
CDS 502Professional Skills II0
Clinical Medicine I6
Clinical Medicine I
PA 611History and Physical Examination I3
PA 603Pharmacology I3
PA 616Electrocardiography1
PA 608Surgical Disease I3
PA 613Surgical Techniques3
CDS 535Medical Genetics Across the Life Span1
CDS 503
CDS 504
Professional Skills III
and Professional Skills IV
1
PA 614Operating Room Techniques2
PA 618Risk Management1
PA 619Fundamentals of Clinical Research3
HCM 530Health Care Delivery and Reimbursement3
PA 604Pharmacology II3
PA 617Applied Behavioral Medicine3
PA 635Special Populations in Medicine2
Clinical Medicine II6
Clinical Medicine II
PA 620Analysis of Professional Literature2
PA 609Surgical Disease II3
PA 634Simulated Clinical Concepts1
PA 638Senior Seminar I5
Clinical Service46
Clinical Services I
Clinical Services II
Clinical Service III
Clinical Services IV
Clinical Services V
Clinical Service VI
Clinical Service VII
Clinical Service VIII
Clinical Service IX
Clinical Service X
Clinical Service XI
Clinical Service XII,Clinical Services XII
PA 698Presentation of Res Project1
Total Hours117

Courses

PA 601. Human Gross Anatomy. 4 Hours.

Course provides a comprehensive survey of the gross anatomy of the human along with functional and applied anatomy as it relates to common clinical findings. It utilizes a lecture format and cadaver dissection laboratory sessions.

PA 601L. Human Gross Anatomy Lab. 0 Hours.

Human cadaver dissection laboratory for PA 601.

PA 602. Medical Physiology. 4 Hours.

Course emphasizes the normal function and control of various systems within the human body. The principles taught will serve as a foundation for understanding the etiology, management and prevention of disease processes.

PA 603. Pharmacology I. 3 Hours.

Course provides students with the pharmacologic knowledge needed to begin practice as primary care physician assistants. Delivery is via classroom lecture and supplemented with intermittent case studies requiring students to critically evaluate medical conditions and choose safe and effective medications in treating those conditions.

PA 604. Pharmacology II. 3 Hours.

Second and final course in a series that provides students with the pharmacologic knowledge needed to begin practice as primary care physician assistants. Delivered via classroom lecture and supplemented with intermittent case studies requiring students to critically evaluate medicalconditions and choose safe and effective medications in treating those conditions.
Prerequisites: PA 603 [Min Grade: C]

PA 605. Pathology. 3 Hours.

Course is designed to describe the pathologic processes involved in common disorders and diseases; introduce students to the principals of clinical medicine and clinical problem solving; and provide students with the background needed for the clinical courses taught later in the curriculum.

PA 606. Clinical Medicine I. 4 Hours.

Introductory course in human disease designed to describe the pathologic processes involved in common disorders and diseases; introduces students to the principles of clinical medicine and clinical problem solving; provides background needed for medical courses taught later in the curriculum.
Prerequisites: PA 601 [Min Grade: C] and PA 602 [Min Grade: C] and PA 605 [Min Grade: C] and PA 610 [Min Grade: C]

PA 607. Clinical Medicine II. 4 Hours.

Overview of the diagnosis and management of the most common clinical problems seen by primary care practitioners; employs an organ systems approach incorporating relevant anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology and nutrition.
Prerequisites: PA 606 [Min Grade: C]

PA 608. Surgical Disease I. 3 Hours.

Course introduces students to common surgical disorders with early emphasis on physiologic changes, medical requirements and evaluation of patients before, during, and after surgery. It also provides basic instruction in the diagnosis, management, and complications associated with common surgical gastrointestinal and urogenital disorders.
Prerequisites: PA 601 [Min Grade: C]

PA 609. Surgical Disease II. 3 Hours.

Course delivered via didactic instruction and focuses on the pre-operative evaluation and diagnosis, and post-operative management and treatment of common disorders of the heart, lungs, and vascular systems.
Prerequisites: PA 608 [Min Grade: C]

PA 610. Clinical Lab Medicine. 3 Hours.

An introduction to laboratory diagnostics with an emphasis on pathology, microbiology, hematology, and clinical chemistry. Course utilizes lecture format, specimen handling in a clinical laboratory as well as cost effective diagnostic algorithms in problem-based case scenarios.

PA 610L. Clinical Laboratory Medicine Lab. 0 Hours.

Lab for PA 610 Clinical Laboratory Medicine.

PA 611. History and Physical Examination I. 3 Hours.

First course in a series of two that provides students with the skills necessary to elicit a comprehensive medical history, perform a complete physical examination and systematically report thier findings. A variety of teaching formats are utilized including: lectures, small group activities, video productions, and simulated patients.

PA 611L. History and Physical Examination I Lab. 0 Hours.

Laboratory required for PA 611 History and Physical Examination I.

PA 612. History and Physical Examination II. 2 Hours.

Final course in a two-part series that will provide students with the skill necessary to elicit a comprehensive medical history, perform a complete physical examination and systematically report their findings.
Prerequisites: PA 611 [Min Grade: C]

PA 613. Surgical Techniques. 3 Hours.

Provides didactic instruction and appliad technical skills in surgical techniques and various invasive medical procedures. An animal sugery laboratory, using live pigs is an essential component.
Prerequisites: PA 601 [Min Grade: C]

PA 614. Operating Room Techniques. 2 Hours.

Final course in a series providing didactic instruction and applied technical skills in surgical techniques and various invasive medical procedures. Experiences in operating rooms in Birmingham area hospitals observing the basics in surgical first assisting.
Prerequisites: PA 613 [Min Grade: C]

PA 615. Intro to the Profession. 1 Hour.

Course is designed to introduce students to the Physician Assistant profession and to prepare them to practice as professionals in a physician/PA/patient team. It will cover roles and responsibilities of thePA including their expected legal and moral behavior, their understanding of laws governing their practice and their ethical responsibilities in being health care professionals. The course will also teach students to respect the health, safety, welfare, and dignity of all human beings and to assess their own personal capabilities and limitations, striving always to improve thier medical practice.

PA 616. Electrocardiography. 1 Hour.

Course presents the basic concepts needed to interpret the electrocardiogram and will provide opportunities to develop interpretive skills through analysis of rhythm strips and 12-lead electrocardiograms. Upon completeion of the course, students will be able to systematically interpret basic rhythm strips and 12-lead electrocardiograms.

PA 617. Applied Behavioral Medicine. 3 Hours.

Course introduces students to human behavior, strategies and issues surrounding health education and theoretical models of how to change human behavior. This knowledge will enable students to incorporate health promotion and disease prevention strategies in their daily clinical practice to the benefit of their patients.

PA 618. Risk Management. 1 Hour.

Course provides an introduction to the legal, political and professional issues affecting physician assistant practice.

PA 619. Fundamentals of Clinical Research. 3 Hours.

Course provides students with the foundation of epidemiologic measuresthe reason for patterns of disease occurrence, the principles of medical surveillance, the methods for investigating disease outbreaks and the principles of diagnostic tests. Students will review study designs, the roles of variability and bias in the interpretation of scientific literature and the principles of clinical decision-making based on the medical literature.

PA 620. Analysis of Professional Literature. 2 Hours.

This course is designed to prepare students to critically evaluate medical literature and use as basia for making medical decisions.

PA 621. Clinical Services I. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 622. Clinical Services II. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 623. Clinical Service III. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 624. Clinical Services IV. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 625. Clinical Services V. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 626. Clinical Service VI. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 627. Clinical Service VII. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 629. Clinical Service IX. 4-5 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 630. Clinical Service X. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 631. Clinical Service XI. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 632. Clinical Services XII. 4 Hours.

Supervised clinical practice experience in an assigned healthcare organization.

PA 634. Simulated Clinical Concepts. 1 Hour.

Laboratory simulated clinical experience to provide supervised practice in clinical skills, practical procedures, teamwork, patient management, and decision making in preparation for the students clinical year.

PA 635. Special Populations in Medicine. 2 Hours.

Exploration of the medical needs, challenges, and health disparities of specific patient groups including geriatrics, LGBTQ, ethnic minorities, and others.

PA 637. Special Topics in Physician Assistant Studies. 1-4 Hour.

Selected advanced topics of current scientific, clinical and professional importance; specific topics designed to meet student need and interest.

PA 641. Senior Seminar. 5 Hours.

Didactic instruction to prepare students for the Physician Assistant National Certification Exam (PANCE) and reinforce the student’s clinical rotation experiences. The course content reflects areas identified as important by the Examination Content Blueprint prepared by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants.

PA 642. Clinical Medicine III. 4 Hours.

Continuation of Clinical Medicine II; overview of the diagnosis and management of the most common clinical problems seen by primary care practitioners; employs an organ systems approach incorporating relevant anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, radiology and nutrition.
Prerequisites: PA 607 [Min Grade: C]

PA 698. Presentation of Res Project. 1 Hour.

Oral and visual presentations and structured discussion of research papers developed in PA 620.
Prerequisites: PA 619 [Min Grade: C] and PA 620 [Min Grade: C]

Faculty

Baddley, John, Associate Medical Director, 2006, MD (LSU), Infectious Disease
Caruthers, Kara, Assistant Professor, 2010, MAPAS (UAB), Emergency Medicine
Drace, William R., Assistant Professor; Director of Admissions, 2003, MA (Phoenix), Cardiothoracic Surgery
Epps, Chad A., Associate Professor , 2007, MD (Medical College of Georgia), Simulation
Harrelson, Paul M., Assistant Professor, Associate Program Director, 1999, MSPAS (Nebraska), General Surgery
Hurt, John, Assistant Professor, 2013, MSPAS (Nebraska), Emergency Medicine
Kilgore, James R., Program Director, Assistant Professor , 2013, PhD (Bienville), Internal Medicine
Maday, Kristopher, Assistant Professor and Didactic Coordinator, 2011, MSPAS (UAB), Trauma
McGilvray, Stephanie, Assistant Professor and Clinical Coordinator, 2012, MMSc (Emory), Emergency Medicine
Reiff, Donald, Medical Director, 2008, MD (Georgetown), Trauma
Swatzell, Kelley, Assistant Professor, 2004, PhD (UAB), Public Health