Physician Assistant Program

Master of Science-Physician Assistant

The M.S. in Physician Assistant is a three-year, full-time, ninety-five-credit program that begins each fall. One class is admitted per year. The program is cohort-based, meaning that students have a predetermined course schedule each semester and move along in the program with the same group of peers. As a result, students are able to support each other and work and study in a community-like atmosphere. Classes are held at the Monmouth University Graduate Center in Monmouth Park Corporate Center.

At its March 2021 meeting, the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant, Inc. (ARC-PA) granted Accreditation-Continued status to the Monmouth University Physician Assistant Program sponsored by Monmouth University. Accreditation-Continued is an accreditation status granted when a currently accredited program is in compliance with the ARC-PA Standards.

Specific questions regarding the Program and its plans should be directed to the Program Director and/or the appropriate institutional official(s).

The mission of the Monmouth University physician assistant program is to educate physician assistants to provide compassionate, patient-centered, quality healthcare in a variety of settings. Program graduates will possess clinical skills to serve a diverse patient population and have the ability to advance the profession through leadership and research.

Our goals are to prepare physician assistants who:

  • Function as high-quality physician assistants providing primary care in a variety of medical or surgical specialties.
  • Learn how to integrate critical thinking and clinical reasoning into an evidence-based approach to patient management.
  • Understand the importance of delivering high-value, cost-conscious care while adding quality improvement to a practice setting.
  • Develop professional skills in order to work as collaborative members of the healthcare team.
  • Understand and respect diversity with interpersonal skills that allow effective communication with patients, their families, physicians, and other healthcare professionals.
  • Develop an intellectual curiosity by engaging in critical evaluation of the practice of medicine through research and publishing.

The program consists of two phases: the didactic phase and the clinical phase. The didactic phase is forty-two weeks consisting of classroom and clinical skills laboratory instruction, with hospital and clinic experiences. The clinical phase consists of sixty weeks of clinical clerkships, in which students are assigned to preceptors at various hospitals and physician offices. Course descriptions are located in the course description section of this catalog. Please refer to the Admission section of this catalog for the admission requirements. Students must successfully complete all courses and clinical clerkships in order to be eligible to graduate from the program.

Upon acceptance to this program, students will be required to meet health and immunization requirements and complete a background check. More information can be found in the Physician Assistant Student Handbook, posted on our Web site.

Frank Daminai, Specialist Professor. B.A., University of West Virginia; Doctorate of Medicine and Science, University of Rome.
fdaminai@monmouth.edu

Gina Lamandre, Specialist Professor.
Interim Program Director of the Physician Assistant Program. B.S., The College of New Jersey; PA-C, M.S., University of Massachusetts; M.S., University of Medicine and Dentistry. Emergency and family medicine.
gilamand@monmouth.edu

Stephanie Lynch, Specialist Professor. B.S., Arizona University; PA-C, M.S., George Washington University. Experience in occupational medicine, OBGYN, urgent care, and internal medicine. Professor Lynch is natinally certified as a physician assistant and is licensed in New Jersey.
slynch@monmouth.edu

Bernardo Mucha, Specialist Professor. M.D., National University of San Marcos, Lima/Peru
bmucha@monmouth.edu

Erin O'Donoghue, Specialist Professor. B.S., Montclair State University; M.S., Seton Hall University. Spine pathologies, care of patients with pain related to neurologic, rheumatologic, orthopedic, and infectious conditions.
eodonogh@monmouth.edu

Pauline Papapietro, Specialist Professor. B.A., C.U.N.Y. College of Staten Island; M.A., Pace University.
ppapapie@monmouth.edu

Course usage information

PHA-601   Human AnatomyCredits: 5   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

Anatomy is a central focus of basic science education. During this course the student is introduced to gross anatomy presented by the regional approach. The student becomes familiar with the back, chest, upper extremity, abdomen, pelvis, lower extremity, neck, head, the central nervous system, and internal viscera. Instruction is primarily in lecture and lab format. However, atlases, computer programs, and other visual aids are available. Student performance is evaluated in both written and practical examinations.

Course usage information

PHA-603   Introduction to Patient AssessmentCredits: 5   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

Students will be introduced to basic history taking and physical examination techniques, psychosocial development and behavior, and the effective relationship between the physician assistant, other health professionals, and the patient. Techniques of physical examination and use of examining equipment are introduced. Students are assigned to preceptors for the purpose of taking complete histories and performing a complete physical examination on patients.

Course usage information

PHA-606   Physical DiagnosisCredits: 3   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-603

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

Continuation on the focus of Introduction to Patient Assessment on developing physical examination skills and the process of clinical data collection. Introduces the process of clinical reasoning and decision making. Attention will be provided to the recognition and appropriate description of common abnormal physical findings. Emphasis will be placed on the analysis and interpretation of clinical data that occurs during the process of formulating a differential diagnosis.

Course usage information

PHA-615   Topics in Medicine and Surgery IIICredits: 6   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-637 and PHA-638

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

Topics in Medicine and Surgery III is the third in a series of three courses instructing students in clinical medicine presented in an organ systems format. The course builds upon the knowledge acquired in Topics in Medicine & Surgery II. Students will develop their knowledge base in the genetics, epidemiology, clinical presentation, work-up, non-surgical and surgical treatment and management of the covered conditions/diseases. The courses provide students instruction in health promotion and disease prevention, generating differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, patient management including acute and chronic care plans, patient education, and specialty referral specific for the conditions/diseases covered in each course. Combined, the Topics in Medicine and Surgery courses instruct students on the provision of medical care across the life span including prenatal, infant, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly patients. The courses emphasize the development of clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities needed for the practice of clinical medicine. Additionally, the courses are designed to prepare students to work collaboratively in interprofessional patient centered teams.

Course usage information

PHA-616   Physiology & Pathophysiology ICredits: 3   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

This is the first of two courses providing students with in-depth study of medical physiology & pathophysiology. Physiology and Pathophysiology I is designed to offer foundational training in the principles of medical physiology and pathophysiology, in addition to more specific training pertaining to the organ systems covered in the course that, when possible, are aligned with the topics delivered in concomitant Topics in Clinical Medicine coursework. Together, the two courses provide a foundation in human physiology coupled with the in-depth study of pathophysiological processes that lead to clinical signs and symptoms of illness and diseases.

Course usage information

PHA-617   Physiology and Pathophysiology IICredits: 3   

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

This is the second of two courses providing students with in-depth study of medical physiology & pathophysiology. Physiology and Pathophysiology II builds on knowledge acquired in Physiology & Pathophysiology I to offer further training in the medical physiology, in addition to more specific training pertaining to the organ systems covered in the course that, when possible, are aligned with the topics delivered in concomitant Topics in Clinical Medicine coursework. Together, the two courses provide a foundation in human physiology coupled with the in-depth study of pathophysiological processes that lead to clinical signs and symptoms of illness and diseases.

Course usage information

PHA-618   Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy ICredits: 3   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

The Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy I course is the first of two courses providing students with in-depth study in the science and applications of pharmacology. This course covers an introduction to the principles of pharmacology, pharamacogenetics, and pharmacotherapy in addition to the indications, contraindications, interactions, and adverse effects of specific drug classes and the drugs within each class.

Course usage information

PHA-619   Pharmacology and Pharmacotherapy IICredits: 3   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-618

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

The Pharmacology & Pharmacotherapy II course is the second of two courses providing students with in-depth study in the science and applications of pharmacology. This course builds upon the knowledge gained in the first semester course and provides an in-depth study of the indications, contraindications, interactions, and adverse effects of specific drug classes and the drugs within each class.

Course usage information

PHA-620   PA Professional PracticeCredits: 3   

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

PA Professional Practice is designed as a comprehensive introductory course to the PA profession and professional practice issues. Topics include the history of the PA profession, professionalism, team-based interprofessional care, patient-centered care practices, the medical coding, billing and documentation, healthcare systems and policies, concepts of public health, patient safety, quality improvement and risk management.

Course usage information

PHA-622   Clinical ManagementCredits: 2   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Using literature searches, critical analysis, and newly acquired medical information students study various clinical patient scenarios and apply basic medical knowledge in an effort to evaluate and recommend appropriate treatment. Students will employ all the tools acquired in previous courses to analyze these scenarios to develop realistic diagnoses, problem lists, and plans incorporating the proper ancillary clinical and diagnostic methods appropriate for supporting the diagnosis. The student will also be required to recommend therapeutic measures as deemed necessary. This is the first student effort to organize all of the knowledge gained to date and to exercise this knowledge in true patient management.

Course usage information

PHA-623   Clinical Skills ICredits: 3   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-603

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

Clinical Skills I builds upon the previous semester's Introduction to Patient Assessment course to further advance interpersonal and communication skills resulting in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and other health professions, development of clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, patient evaluation, work-up, diagnosis, intervention, and management. The course will be modularized to accompany the topics covered in the Topics in Medicine & Surgery II courses occurring in the same semester.

Course usage information

PHA-624   Behavioral Medicine and PsychiatryCredits: 4   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

Provides an overview of psychiatric concepts and an introductory approach to the evaluation of patients with behavioral issues. Includes a discussion of various psychiatric syndromes, with a review of causal factors and clinical presentation. Provides an overview of normal human behavior development over the life span. The impact that psychological problems have on the total health care of the patient will be emphasized.

Course usage information

PHA-627   Research Methods ICredits: 3   

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Research Methods I is the first of 2 courses specifically designed as the PA student's graduate-level research training with emphasis on practice-based learning and improvement (PBLI). The course includes specific training in principles of practice-based learning & improvement, basic biomedical statistics, research methods & design, and the analysis and application of medical research geared towards improving patient outcomes in clinical practice. As the first of two courses, this course will serve as a foundational course enabling the PA student to develop a practice-based improvement project that will be finalized in Research Methods II delivered during the clinical phase of training.

Course usage information

PHA-628   Clinical Skills IICredits: 3   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-623

Term Offered: All Terms

Course Type(s): None

Clinical Skills II builds upon the previous semester's Clinical Skills I course to further advance interpersonal and communication skills resulting in the effective exchange of information and collaboration with patients, their families, and other health professions, development of clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities, patient evaluation, work-up, diagnosis, intervention, and management. The course will be modularized to accompany the topics covered in the Topics in Medicine & Surgery III courses occurring in the same semester. Prerequisite; PHA-623.

Course usage information

PHA-632   Biomedical EthicsCredits: 2   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

The application of human and professional values, judgments, and choices to selective ethical dilemmas that arise in clinical practice. Traditional and contemporary approaches to resolving professional dilemmas will be discussed as well as ethics related to the delivery of healthcare.

Course usage information

PHA-635   Research Methods IICredits: 1   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-627

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

Many of the tasks of this course are related to the completion of the research study which was begun in Research Methods I (PHA-625). Much of the work of this single-credit course is accomplished through small group activities outside of formal class sessions. Class sessions for the course are infrequent. These will be lecture-discussion sessions in which we will meet to discuss topics designed to facilitate the completion of the research study and to enhance knowledge of medical research in general. Reading assignments should be completed prior to these meetings so that class discussions can be meaningful. Lecture notes, assignments and announcements will be posted on the e-Campus course site. Students should check both class and Web-based discussions.

Course usage information

PHA-637   Topics in Medicine and Surgery ICredits: 5   

Term Offered: Fall Term

Course Type(s): None

Topics in Medicine and Surgery I is one of three courses instructing students in clinical medicine presented in an organ systems format. Students will develop their knowledge base in the genetics, epidemiology, clinical presentation, work-up, non-surgical and surgical treatment and management of the covered conditions/diseases. The courses provide students instruction in health promotion and disease prevention, generating differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, patient management including acute and chronic care plans, patient education, and specialty referral specific for the conditions/diseases covered in each course. Combined, the Topics in Medicine and Surgery courses instruct students on the provision of medical care across the life span including prenatal, infant, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly patients. The courses emphasize the development of clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities needed for the practice of clinical medicine. Additionally, the courses are designed to prepare students to work collaboratively in interprofessional patient centered teams.

Course usage information

PHA-638   Topics in Medicine and Surgery IICredits: 6   

Prerequisite(s): PHA-637 and successful completion of all previous coursework

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

Topics in Medicine and Surgery II is the second of three courses instructing students in clinical medicine presented in an organ systems format. The course builds upon the knowledge acquired in Topics in Medicine & Surgery I. Students will develop their knowledge base in the genetics, epidemiology, clinical presentation, work-up, non-surgical and surgical treatment and management of the covered conditions/diseases. The courses provide students instruction in health promotion and disease prevention, generating differential diagnoses, ordering and interpreting diagnostic studies, patient management including acute and chronic care plans, patient education, and specialty referral specific for the conditions/diseases covered in each course. Combined, the Topics in Medicine and Surgery courses instruct students on the provision of medical care across the life span including prenatal, infant, children, adolescents, adults, and elderly patients. The courses emphasize the development of clinical reasoning and problem-solving abilities needed for the practice of clinical medicine. Additionally, the courses are designed to prepare students to work collaboratively in interprofessional patient centered teams.

Course usage information

PHA-640   Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences ICredits: 8   

Term Offered: Spring Term

Course Type(s): None

The Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences (SCPE) courses include various clinical clerkships providing the student with the direct patient care exposures across required core and elective clinical experiences. In all experiences the student will participate in patient-care experiences under the supervision of a licensed clinician. It is in these clerkships that students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the didactic phase of the program to actual patient encounters. Combined, the four SCPE courses provide the opportunity for students to train in hospitals, emergency rooms, long-term care facilities, outpatient practices, and surgical environments.

Course usage information

PHA-641   Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences IICredits: 8   

Course Type(s): None

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences II (SCPEs II) I is the second of four courses that include various clinical clerkships arranged as modules to provide the student with direct patient care exposures across required core and elective clinical experiences over the span of four semesters. In all experiences the student will participate in the provision of medical care for patients across the lifespan under the supervision of a licensed clinician, primarily a board-certified and licensed physician or a nationally certified and licensed PA. It is in these clerkships that students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the didactic phase of the program to actual patient encounters. Combined, the four SCPE courses provide the opportunity for students to train in hospitals, emergency rooms, long-term care facilities, outpatient practices, and operative environments. At the conclusion of the four SCPEs courses, students will have had in-depth training and patient-care experiences in core areas, including Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, and Women's Health Care, including prenatal and gynecologic care. Additionally, students have selective clerkships that can be in one of the core areas or a specialty practice area.

Course usage information

PHA-642   Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences IIICredits: 8   

Course Type(s): None

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences II (SCPEs II) I is the third of four courses that include various clinical clerkships arranged as modules to provide the student with direct patient care exposures across required core and elective clinical experiences over the span of four semesters. In all experiences the student will participate in the provision of medical care for patients across the lifespan under the supervision of a licensed clinician, primarily a board-certified and licensed physician or a nationally certified and licensed PA. It is in these clerkships that students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the didactic phase of the program to actual patient encounters. Combined, the four SCPE courses provide the opportunity for students to train in hospitals, emergency rooms, long-term care facilities, outpatient practices, and operative environments. At the conclusion of the four SCPEs courses, students will have had in-depth training and patient-care experiences in core areas, including Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, and Women's Health Care, including prenatal and gynecologic care. Additionally, students have selective clerkships that can be in one of the core areas or a specialty practice area.

Course usage information

PHA-643   Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences IVCredits: 8   

Course Type(s): None

Supervised Clinical Practice Experiences II (SCPEs II) I is the last of four courses that include various clinical clerkships arranged as modules to provide the student with direct patient care exposures across required core and elective clinical experiences over the span of four semesters. In all experiences the student will participate in the provision of medical care for patients across the lifespan under the supervision of a licensed clinician, primarily a board-certified and licensed physician or a nationally certified and licensed PA. It is in these clerkships that students apply the knowledge and skills gained in the didactic phase of the program to actual patient encounters. Combined, the four SCPE courses provide the opportunity for students to train in hospitals, emergency rooms, long-term care facilities, outpatient practices, and operative environments. At the conclusion of the four SCPEs courses, students will have had in-depth training and patient-care experiences in core areas, including Behavioral Medicine/Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, General Surgery, Internal Medicine, Pediatric Medicine, and Women's Health Care, including prenatal and gynecologic care. Additionally, students have selective clerkships that can be in one of the core areas or a specialty practice area.