Department of Physician Assistant Studies

The physician assistant profession has grown to meet the health care needs of our communities and nation. The Department of Physician Assistant Studies at Quinnipiac University educates qualified individuals to be highly skilled licensed health care providers who practice team-based medicine in collaboration with physicians. The department consists of an undergraduate Pre-PA program known as the Entry-Level Master’s Physician Assistant (ELMPA) program and the accredited graduate Physician Assistant program.

The ELMPA program provides students who are serious about entering the physician assistant profession with a well-rounded education and a strong focus in biological and health science studies. This very structured and organized undergraduate program not only prepares students for the rigors of the professional component of the program, but also introduces students to the role and responsibilities of physician assistants as well as the six competencies for the physician assistant profession. Upon successful completion of all of the requirements of the ELMPA program, students directly matriculate into reserved seats in the graduate program.

The graduate program is a 27-month intensive educational experience that prepares students with the core competencies to be a caring, compassionate, competent, and highly skilled health care provider. The program consists of a total of 15 months didactic and 12 months clinical education. Students are required to meet core professional competencies, standards of professionalism, and mission-driven program requirements prior to graduation from the program. Each graduate cohort is composed of students entering from the ELMPA program as well as external candidates who apply for admissions through the Central Application Service for Physician Assistants (CASPA). 

Physician Assistant (PY)

PY 104. Physician Assistant Seminar I - Orientation to the Profession.1 Credit.

This course is for ELMPA majors only. Students gain a basic knowledge of the fundamentals of the physician assistant profession and are introduced to the competencies of the PA profession. PA education, role expectations and practice settings are examined. In addition, historical information on the profession is presented. Students must have active AAPA student membership.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 204. Physician Assistant Seminar II -- The Interdisciplinary Team.1 Credit.

In this seminar course, students explore the roles of those professionals who are part of the health care team and learn how team practice affects patient care. Experts from a variety of health care fields explore the relationship of the practicing PA in each professional domain.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 388. Clinical Training I.3 Credits.

This course is for ELMPA majors only. It includes classroom and clinical experiences and provides students with an opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills required for Emergency Medical Technician National Certification. Emphasis is placed on patient assessment, clinical signs and symptoms, pathophysiology and the practical skills necessary to manage the pre-hospital care of patients. Clinical rotations on an ambulance service are required. At the discretion of the course instructor, students may be required to meet for additional practical sessions outside of class time. Successful completion of the PY 388-389 sequence and fulfillment of state-mandated hours of instruction are required to be eligible for certification.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 388L. Clinical Training I Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 388. (3 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 389. Clinical Training II.3 Credits.

This course is a continuation of PY 388.

Prerequisites: Take PY 388;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 389L. Clinical Training II Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 389. (3 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 397. Prehealth Professions Clinical Affiliation.3 Credits.

The pre-clinical experience pairs an undergraduate student who displays maturity, dedication and sensitivity with a physician assistant for a 12-week period. The affiliation is designed to provide the student with the opportunity to observe PA practice and the competencies of the PA profession in a clinical setting. Students may register for the course according to the following criteria: permission of faculty; completion of a minimum of three semesters at Quinnipiac; satisfactory GPA; compliance with preclinical health and uniform requirements.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104;
Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 400. Pre-Physician Assistant Clerkship.3 Credits.

Pre-physician assistant students participate in a mentoring program that provides the opportunity to gain knowledge through direct observation. Each student spends time with three physician assistants who specialize in different areas of medicine.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 401. Introduction to Clinical Problem Solving.3 Credits.

This course offers the pre-physician assistant student the tools necessary for developing a systematic approach to the patient and his or her medical condition. Students learn to access and evaluate the medical literature for identification of the signs and symptoms of disease presentation, the components of a history and physical, and the understanding of a differential diagnosis. In addition, students are taught the basis for developing a patient assessment plan.

Prerequisites: Take PY 104 PY 397;
Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 501. Human Physiology.4 Credits.

This course takes a system approach to the physiologic and biochemical functions of the human body, including relevant anatomical correlations. Laboratory sessions emphasize clinical application to systemic function.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 501L. Physiology Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 501. (3 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 502. Physical Diagnosis.4 Credits.

Students are introduced to the organization and techniques for performing the physical examination including the use of equipment. Lab sessions provide students with practical experience performing the complete physical examination on the adult patient. The course features specialty workshops in orthopedics, infant and child, as well as the male and female genitalia. Preclinical clerkships help students improve their clinical skills in history taking, physical exam performance, oral and written presentations.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 502L. Physical Diagnosis Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 502. (2 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 503. Principles of Interviewing.3 Credits.

This course explores the various methods of approaching and interviewing patients focusing on the establishment of a relationship, effects of cultural backgrounds, gender and age on giving and receiving of information in order to obtain an accurate medical history.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 504. History, Roles and Responsibilities of the PA.1 Credit.

This course explores through lecture and discussion the factors affecting the development of the profession and role socialization with emphasis on standards of quality assurance, credentialing of continued competence, policies and regulations governing clinical responsibilities and dynamics of membership on a health care team.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 505. Clinical Pharmacology I.2 Credits.

This distance education course covers the classification, mechanism of action, toxicity and clinical use of therapeutics agents. Side effects, indications, dose response and management of therapeutics are emphasized.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 506. Principles of Internal Medicine.6 Credits.

This course takes an organ system approach to disease emphasizing the pathogenesis, clinical presentation, differential diagnosis, diagnostic and therapeutic approach to disease processes. Laboratory sessions focus on clinical problem solving through the use of real cases.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 506L. Clinical Correlation Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 506. (1 lab hr.)

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 507. Principles of Electrocardiography.1 Credit.

This course offers a directed approach to understanding the principles of electrocardiography and its applications to clinical practice. Throughout this course, general principles of the etiologies of abnormal EKG patterns, the differential diagnosis and clinical management are discussed to correlate the EKG with clinical situations.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 507L. EKG Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 507. (1 lab hr.)

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 508. Diagnostic Methods I.2 Credits.

Clinical laboratory medicine is examined with emphasis on indications for tests, normal values, interpretation of results and correlation with clinical conditions. Laboratory sessions provide students with practical experience performing basic laboratory tests.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 508L. Diagnostic Methods Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 508. (2 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 509. Principles of Obstetrics and Gynecology.3 Credits.

Anatomy and physiology of the human reproductive system are examined, including the changes in pregnancy, prenatal care, medical and surgical complications of pregnancy, pre- and postpartum care. Common gynecologic conditions, methods and effectiveness of contraception, cancer detection methods and the diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted infections in the female are explored.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 510. Principles of Pediatrics.3 Credits.

This course examines the physical and psychological fundamentals of normal growth and development. Focus is on the major pediatric illnesses and conditions, their signs, symptoms and treatment. Immunization schedules, the various medications used in the pediatric population, their doses and indication are examined; the management of pediatric emergencies such as acute cardiac and respiratory arrest, anaphylaxis, seizures and trauma also are explored.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 511. Principles of Surgery and Emergency Medicine.4 Credits.

The fundamentals of surgical disease are explored with discussions on the etiology, pathophysiology, clinical manifestations and appropriate management of major and minor surgical conditions and care of the acutely injured and critically ill patient. Topics are discussed with emphasis on clinical presentation and pre- and post-operative management. The course introduces the principles of life support technique and the initial management of acute medical and traumatic conditions. Laboratory sessions are used to familiarize the student with aseptic technique and basic surgical procedures such as airway control, various catheter placements, surgical bleeding control and wound management.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 511L. Clinical Skill Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 511. (2 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 512. Psychosocial Issues in Health Care.2 Credits.

This course explores how cultural belief systems and values in a multicultural society relate to the provision of appropriate health care/counseling. Students become familiarized with the biological and psychological attributes contributing to sexual expression as well as societal values that shape perception and expression. Factors associated with communicating with and caring for individuals from different cultures, opposite genders or differing sexual preference are explored. Lab sessions help students gain experience and develop confidence in approaching patients through preclinical clerkships. Students improve their clinical skills in the areas of eliciting a history, performing a physical exam, presenting an oral report and medical documentation via the patient chart note.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 512L. Psychosocial Issues Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 512. (2 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 513. Behavioral Medicine.3 Credits.

This one-semester course gives students an overview of some of the most important areas in behavioral psychiatry. The course includes an overview of basic psychiatric concepts and focuses on assessing patients who manifest psychological symptoms. Topics include diagnosis and treatment of anxiety disorders, mood disorders, common child and adolescent disorders, somatoform and factitious disorders, psychotic disorders, sleep disorders, adjustment and personality disorders, drug and alcohol abuse, and addresses forensic issues in behavioral health.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 514. Diagnostic Methods II.1 Credit.

This course covers the basic principles of radiologic and imaging techniques, indication for various tests and recognition of abnormal findings.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 515. Clinical Pathology.3 Credits.

Basic human pathology is examined from a systemic and cellular level, pathogenesis and various disease states. Topics include histology, inflammation and repair, endocrine, cardiovascular, pulmonary, musculoskeletal, GI and GU pathology.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 516. Clinical Pharmacology II.2 Credits.

This continuation of Clinical Pharmacology I emphasizes commonly prescribed therapeutic agents.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 517. Human Anatomy.4 Credits.

This lecture/laboratory experience is meant to provide an environment for learning gross morphology of the human body including structural relationships, anatomical variations and radiological correlations. Approach to the material is both regional and systemic. Content includes the basic concepts of embryology, the comparison of normal and abnormal structural relationships and demonstration of how these things relate to health and disease. To meet the instructional goals and objectives, students attend lectures, review online reusable learning modules and participate in cadaveric dissections.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 517L. Human Anatomy Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 517. (6 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 526. Principles of Epidemiology.3 Credits.

This graduate-level course in epidemiology directs itself toward application of epidemiological principles. The course involves analysis of prospective and retrospective studies, cross-sectional studies and experimental epidemiology. Both communicable and chronic disease case studies are used, as well as case studies of occupationally induced diseases.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 536. Biostatistics.3 Credits.

This course covers the application of statistical techniques to the biological and health sciences. Emphasis is on mathematical models, collection and reduction of data, probabilistic models estimation and hypothesis testing, regression and correlation, experimental designs and non-parametric methods.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 546. Ethics in Health Care Delivery.3 Credits.

This course provides an opportunity for identifying, analyzing and resolving ethical dilemmas that will be encountered in professional practice. Issues are examined using the basic principles of biomedical ethics that include respect for persons, truth telling, justice, beneficence and integrity.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 572. Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases.4 Credits.

This detailed study of microorganisms and the diseases they cause in man includes consideration of infectious disease microorganisms including their biochemical, serological and virulence characteristics, and clinical manifestations. An organ system approach is used to examine the fundamentals of pathogenicity, host response, epidemiological aspects of infectious disease, as well as clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of infections.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 599. Independent Study.3 Credits.

Offered: As needed, All

PY 608. Graduate Seminar.4 Credits.

This seminar prepares students for the specific requirements of entering professional practice. Faculty active in the profession cover such issues as malpractice coverage, licensure regulation, risk management and legal issues, and aspects of the financing of health care. Lab sessions are designed as small group seminars. Through guided discussion in these small seminar settings, students explore the current literature and thinking on the competencies for the physician assistant profession.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 608L. Graduate Seminar Lab.0 Credits.

Lab to accompany PY 608. (1.5 lab hrs.)

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 611. Clinical Residency I.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 612. Clinical Residency II.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 613. Clinical Residency III.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 614. Clinical Residency IV.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 615. Clinical Residency V.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 616. Clinical Residency VI.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Fall

PY 617. Clinical Residency VII.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 618. Clinical Residency VIII.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 619. Clinical Residency IX.3 Credits.

Upon successful completion of the didactic phase, the PA student undertakes an intensive course of study requiring the application of skills and concepts acquired during the earlier course work. Each student rotates through seven six-week clinical disciplines and two four-week electives at varying sites throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The core rotations are: family medicine/primary care, internal medicine, general surgery, emergency medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics and psychiatry. Supplemental electives include a wide variety of medical, surgical and pediatric subspecialties.

Offered: Every year, Spring

PY 676. Comprehensive Examination.2 Credits.

This comprehensive examination is a capstone of the physician assistant program. The purpose of the exam is twofold. First, to ascertain if the student has both the broad and specific knowledge expected of someone holding a master's degree. Second, to determine whether the student has been able to integrate knowledge obtained from individual courses into unified concepts that link the students' own specialization to other fields of study. The student is given an oral exam, a written examination and a clinical skills examination in the form of an Objective Score of Clinical Evaluation (OSCE).

Offered: Every year, Summer

PY 699. Independent Study.3 Credits.

Offered: As needed, All