Phase IV


Fundamentals of Health Policy

This course examines the formal and informal public policy decision-making processes as well as the roles of key actors in influencing the organization and delivery of health care services in the U.S. Current problems affecting the delivery of services, alternative delivery systems, and proposals for reform are analyzed. Emphasis is placed on health issues within the context of the more generic system for public policy formulation. The focus is on policy formulation at the national level and consists of six key discussion components, including the following:

  • Theories on the policy decision-making process
  • Roles of government in policy decision-making (i.e., Legislature, President, Judiciary)
  • Roles of governmental agencies and private entities that participate in policy formulation

(bureaucracy, interest groups, etc)

  • Impact of federalism on health policy formulation, and
  • Factors impacting policy implementation.

3 Credit Hours


Didactic Summative

This course is designed to assess a student’s readiness to progress to the clinical phase of PA education. It provides the student with feedback on their current competence in medical knowledge, professionalism, interpersonal skills and patient care which will guide their preparation for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE).

1 Credit Hours


Public Health, Policy and the Law

The purpose of this course is to explore the intersections of public health, public policy, and law by examining the obligations of public health practitioners, whether working to improve the health of a single patient or an entire population. The course will provide a framework to consider the legal ramifications of public health interventions as well as the policy considerations that underlie such interventions.

3 Credit Hours


Managed Care

This course provides an overview of managed care and its past and current impact on the U.S. health care system.  Topics include the impact of managed care on the role and relationships of primary care, specialist physicians, and hospitals; origins of Health Maintenance Organizations and other managed care organizations; and consumer patient protection laws.  This course also explores public policy, regulatory, and financial managed care issues.

3 Credit Hours


Race Ethnicity & Health

The purpose of this course is to explore the myriad social and behavioral factors that might underlie the associations among race, ethnicity, and health status outcomes. Because research designed to address this issue remains in its formative stages.

3 Credit Hours

Research I

This course is the first of two sequenced courses designed to introduce PA students to clinical research in medicine and its applications to clinical decision making through concepts and principles of evidence-based medicine.  Additionally, the course will provide the student with the skills to complete a written research project through the investigation of a clinical topic utilizing the medical literature. Searching, interpreting and critically evaluating the medical literature and its application to patient care in order to promote evidence-based clinical practice will be emphasized.

1 Credit Hours