About the Pre-Physician Assistant Program

A physician assistant is a licensed health care professional who works under the supervision of M.D. or D.O. to perform many of the tasks that were once carried out solely by doctors. Physician assistants can perform physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel patients on preventative health care, assist in surgery, and in most states, even write prescriptions. As a student you can expect to spend 27 months training both in the clinic and in the classroom once you’ve completed your undergraduate degree. Requirements beyond core classes include:  BIOL 205: Human Anatomy, BIOL 206: Human Physiology, BIOL 208: Microbiology, BIOL 324: Molecular Biology, CHEM 336: Biochemistry, PSYC 101: Introduction to Psychology, and medical terminology.

Program curriculum:

BIOL 172: Exploring Molecular Biology
3 credit hours

Recommended prerequisite or co-requisite: CHEM 115 or CHEM 238
This course examines the structure and function of nucleic acids and proteins. The molecular mechanisms of replication, transcription, mRNA processing and translation will be emphasized. In addition, regulation of these processes will be explored. Lecture and laboratory. Intended for students majoring in biology or related disciplines.

BIOL 181: Mechanisms of Genetic Inheritance
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  BIOL 172
This course will apply the knowledge acquired in BIOL 172 to the inheritance patterns of genetic traits between individuals and within populations. Lecture and laboratory.

BIOL 182: Evolution
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: BIOL 181. 
An introduction to the principles of evolutionary biology, including the history, processes and patterns of evolution as well as systematic biology.

CHEM 208: Analytical Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238.
A lecture course that covers analytical methods of chemical analysis. Topics include statistical analysis, quantitative chemical analysis, chemical equilibria, eletroanalytical techniques and fundamentals of spectroscopy.

CHEM 208-L: Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238-L
A laboratory course designed to give students experiences with analytical methods of chemical analysis. Topics include data analysis, chemical equilibria (acid-base and complexation), redox titrations and spectroscopy.

CHEM 238: Inorganic Chemistry
3 credit hours

A fundamental course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, nomenclature of inorganic compounds, fundamentals of inorganic complexes and an introduction to the chemistry of main group elements.

CHEM 238-L: Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory
1 credit hours

A fundamental laboratory course in the study of inorganic chemistry. Topics include the preparation of inorganic complexes, resolution of chiral transition metal compounds, ion conductivity and a preparation of a main group inorganic compound.

CHEM 315: Organic Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238
This lecture course is an in-depth study of organic functional group chemistry of alkanes, alkenes, alkynes, alkyl halides, aromatics and alcohols. Topics include nomenclature, stereochemistry, mechanisms, and theory.

CHEM 315-L: Organic Chemistry Laboratory
2 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 238-L
This laboratory course has a 1?hour lecture component that introduces the lab and complements CHEM 315. It develops organic lab skills and techniques with extensive hands?on experience and organic application of spectroscopy and instrumentation

CHEM 336: Biochemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 315 or CHEM 312. Recommended prerequisite: CHEM 327.  
A lecture course that studies the structure and function of biological molecules. Topics include enzyme kinetics, synthesis and degradation of biological molecules, and energy production. Emphasis will be placed on enzyme mechanisms and regulation.

CHEM 415: Advanced Organic Chemistry
3 credit hours

Prerequisite: CHEM 315.  
This lecture course continues in-depth study of organic functional group chemistry of carbonyl containing compounds and amines. Topics include spectroscopy, mechanisms, theory and an introduction to biochemistry and metabolic pathways.

CHEM 415-L: Advanced Organic Chemistry Laboratory
2 credit hours

Prerequisite:  CHEM 315-L or CHEM 312-L.  
A laboratory course has a 1?hour lecture component that introduces the lab and complements CHEM 415. It continues development of organic lab skills and techniques. Topics covered will include multi-step synthesis, open- ended projects involving experimental design and an introduction to enzyme catalysis and stereochemical control.

CORE 101: Drury Seminar
3 credit hours

This course introduces students to the expectations of academic work at the collegiate level. Particular emphasis lies on developing students’ skills in writing, critical thinking and information literacy. Each course section has its own theme, developed by faculty members from a wide variety of disciplines.

ENGL 207: Expository Writing: Art of the Essay
3 credit hours

Expository writing provides students with valuable opportunities to write in a wide variety of modes of nonfiction, including narrative essays, film and book reviews, cultural analyses and journalistic essays. Students read and discuss published nonfiction and participate in workshops where they respond to one another’s writing in small groups. The workshop format enables students to respond to issues of form, purpose, voice and audience.

MATH 227: Introduction to Statistics
3 credit hours

Prerequisite:  One year of high school algebra. 
A course to acquaint the student with the basic ideas and language of statistics including such topics such as descriptive statistics, correlation and regression, basic experimental design, elementary probability, binomial and normal distributions, estimation and test of hypotheses, and analysis of variance.

MATH 231: Calculus I
4 credit hours

Prerequisite:  Two years of high school algebra and one semester of high school trigonometry. 
A study of the fundamental principles of analytic geometry and calculus with an emphasis on differentiation.

PHYS 211: General Physics I
5 credit hours

Co-requisite:  MATH 231. 
The principles of Newtonian mechanics including motion, energy, and force. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format integrated laboratory and lecture emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered fall semester.

PHYS 212: General Physics II
5 credit hours

Prerequisite:  PHYS 211. 
Continuation of Newtonian mechanics, including working, 2-d motion, impulse-momentum, and circular motion. Also electrical and magnetic properties of matter, fields and forces, and DC circuits. Calculus with extensive use of vector analysis. Intended for science majors. The modeling-centered, inquiry-based workshop format integrated laboratory and lecture emphasizes experiment, data collection and analysis, problem solving, and cooperative learning in both small and large groups. Three two-hour sessions per week. Offered spring semester.


Physician Assistant

Undergraduate students interested in becoming a physician assistant often major in biology, chemistry, or both. Physician assistant is a program and is not considered a major. A Bachelor's degree is required prior to matriculation into physical assistant school.

A physician assistant is a licensed health-care professional who works under the supervision of a M.D. or D.O. to perform many of the tasks that were once carried out solely by doctors. PAs can perform physical exams, diagnoses and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel patients on preventative health-care, assist in surgery, and, in most states, even write prescriptions. As a student, you can expect to spend 27 months training in both the clinic and in the classroom once you've completed your undergraduate degree.

GRE

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is a standardized test designed to assess academic ability and understanding of general scientific concepts. The test is broken down into three section: Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning, and Analytical Writing. The GRE is administered throughout the year, and it provides professional schools with a quick way to compare students from schools all across the world.

Internships and Clinical Experience

Drury also strongly recommends that students spend time in a clinical setting. The experience that the student gains will not only give them a better understanding of the physician assistant profession, but these experiences let physician assistant schools know that an applicant has firsthand knowledge of the profession. A Drury University student has the advantage of contacts with local alumni, who can provide students with both shadowing opportunities and, in some cases, internships. Other internships can be arranged through the Office of Career Planning and Development.