Physician Assistant Program Curriculum

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program offers an innovative curriculum resulting in an MS-PAS degree after completing 115 graduate credits in 27 consecutive months.  The program is divided into three phases:

  1. The 14-month didactic phase is delivered in the classroom and laboratory.

  2. The 12-month clinical phase consists of nine five-week clinical rotations.

  3.  A two-week summative phase will assess student medical knowledge and clinical skills after the didactic and clinical phases.  

The DUPAP curriculum is sequential in delivery and must be successfully completed before moving to the next phase of the program.  The DUPAP curriculum was created considering ARC-PA standards, NCCPA Blueprint guidelines, and DUPAP competencies and outcomes. 

Total Credits: 73

Total Program Credits: 115

Curriculum Calendar

Didactic Phase Calendar

Clinical Phase Calendar

Program Competencies

Physician assistant students who complete the Drury University Physician Assistant Program will demonstrate the following competencies:

Medical Knowledge

Medical Knowledge

  1.   Graduates will demonstrate knowledge of basic sciences and clinical medicine in all organ systems, across the lifespan, and in a variety of healthcare delivery settings.

  2.   Graduates will be able to recommend treatment plans based on evidence-based medical knowledge, current practice guidelines, and patient goals in order to provide patient-centered care.

Interpersonal Skills

Interpersonal Skills

  1.   Graduates will demonstrate culturally sensitive communication skills that result in a trusting, therapeutic relationship with patients and families empowering shared decision making.

  2.   Graduates will be able to discuss diagnosis and treatment plans compassionately, honestly, and sensitively with patients and their families considering the patient and family’s capacity for understanding.

  3.   Graduates will respect the dignity and privacy of patients while maintaining patient confidentiality when working in an interprofessional environment.

Clinical and Technical Skills

Clinical and Technical Skills

  1.   Graduates will be able to perform comprehensive or problem-focused histories and physical examinations as appropriate.

  2.   Graduates will be able to formulate and prioritize a differential diagnosis based on clinical presentation.

  3.   Graduates will be able to accurately select the appropriate laboratory and diagnostic studies based on clinical presentation.

  4.   Graduate will be able to develop a diagnosis, create a plan for patient management, and accurately document medical information in a variety of formats.

  5.   Graduates will be able to provide concise oral case presentations to collaborating physicians and other health care providers while advocating for patients.

  6.   Graduates will be able to provide basic counseling and patient-centered education, and encourage treatment adherence and lifestyle modification.

  7.   Graduates will demonstrate proficiency in performing clinical procedures common to PA practice.

Professional Behaviors

  1.   Graduates will recognize that the business of health care affects patient outcomes, especially for patients with health disparities, and understand how to minimize barriers to patient treatments by providing cost-efficient, high-quality care.

  2.   Graduates will demonstrate professional and ethical conduct expected of a practicing physician assistant and as expected by the medical profession.

  3.   Graduates will demonstrate clinical leadership by knowing personal limitations through self-awareness, admitting mistakes, having the humility to seek help, and making appropriate referrals.

  4.   Graduates will work effectively and collaboratively with physicians and other healthcare professionals as both a leader and a member of the healthcare team.

Critical Reasoning and Problem Solving

  1.   Graduates will be able to recognize healthy versus ill patients across the lifespan based on the clinical presentation, physical examination, and laboratory and diagnostic studies, and determine the best plan of care which may include outpatient, inpatient, or emergent care.

  2.   Graduates will demonstrate investigative and analytical thinking in clinical situations.

Clinical Placements

The Drury University Physician Assistant Program assumes responsibility for the recruitment of clinical sites and preceptors in sufficient numbers for the program-mandated supervised clinical practice experience (SCPE). Students are not required to provide or solicit preceptors or clinical sites for the program-mandated clinical experiential learning component of the program.

Students may voluntarily submit the name(s) of potential preceptors and/or clinical sites not already affiliated with the PA program; however, the potential preceptors and/or clinical sites must agree to host future students from the Drury University PA Program. There is no direct or implied guarantee on the part of the program that the student will be assigned a rotation with any requested preceptor or clinical site, including those already affiliated with the program. It is ultimately the responsibility of the director of clinical education and the program director to judge whether the preceptor and clinical site are deemed appropriate for use in Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences.