The Case Western Reserve University PA program is a 102 credit-hour professional degree program that spans the course of 27 months. The program is a generalist program preparing learners to be leaders in PA practice in a variety of clinical settings. This intensive full-time graduate curriculum awards a Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies (MSPAS) from the School of Medicine upon completion. The curriculum enables graduates to sit for the PA National Certifying Examination (administered by the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants) and obtain a state license.
The educational philosophy of the PA program emphasizes the practice of evidence-based, patient-centered medical care as well as accountability to patients, society and the profession through experiential learning and active community involvement.
The program design utilizes a hybrid blend of learning methodologies and styles including:
- Experiential learning in the community- The community is the “learning lab” of the PA program. Wellness, prevention, professionalism, communication skills and philanthropy are best taught directly in the community with patients in their own environment.
- Pre-clinical Clerkships- In the second semester, students begin pre-clinical clerkships in which they are placed in clinical sites in the community for one half-day a week to practice their clinical skills, acclimate to the clinical environment and learn how to function within a team. The focus of this experience is to hone the students’ clinical skills in history taking, physical exam, oral presentation, medical documentation, communication, and professionalism. It also serves as an early critical-thinking activity.
- Medical writing across the curriculum (MWAC) is introduced in the didactic phase through student reflections and progress in the clinical phase to the creation of a scientific poster, patient-safety paper, and oral case presentations.
- Asynchronous learning
- Clinical simulations
- Case-based learning and clinical correlations
Our curriculum’s organization and sequencing of coursework is both horizontally and vertically integrated to create a connected flow of systems and conditions, creating a curricular thread intended to enhance the development of critical thinking and problem-solving. Planned redundancies help build a strong pre-clinical knowledge base.