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I'm in the process of trying to decide on a program to attend.  I have 2 options and they are pretty different programs however one thing I noticed was the lack of a pathophys course in one of the programs.  At first I thought maybe it was just listed under another name.  The closest thing they have to it is a Human Phys course.  I'm pretty sure this course is specifically for PA students but the course description is not too similar to the pathophys course descriptions I've read.  My question is, how important is pathophys?  

I don't plan on this being a deal breaker but as I have no frame of reference for the course, I thought I would get some advice.

 

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It's hard to picture a PA program without pathophys. I think it's essential to becoming a PA. Especially if you end up in a medical specialty, pathophys, pharmacology, and physical exam are probably the three central legs to your education.

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To build on the above, you probably want to focus more on how the curriculum is taught because subject matter will be more or less the same between accredited programs. More importantly, how do you learn and what do you prefer? Do the faculty teach versus guest speakers from different departments in the med school? Is it modular or subject based, in other words, do you learn everything for ENT then move on, or do you learn pathophys, pharm/medicine, and physical exam separately? Most importantly, what are the PANCE pass rates, which IMO tells you the most about if the method works.

 

At my program, we use the modular approach, which I like and I am learning a ton. Things do get a bit crazy when you are in the transition. However, I expected things to be intense in PA school, so I don't mind this drawback. 

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We have a separate Clinical Path that coincides with CMS and Physical Diagnosis.  I think many programs do it this way.  You are getting each topic hit in various ways.  Repetition is the key to learning and all that.  

 

Path....learn why there is a problem.  CMS, learn to recognize the different manifestations of the problem and common treatments.  Physical Diagnosis, learn the techniques used to discover the problem during pt encounters.  This style is how we do it for every major system.  I think it is pretty standard for most programs.

 

Path has to be in there somewhere....they just aren't calling it Path.  They would have a pretty tough time staying accredited without it.  Not an expert, but that's my guess.

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Just ask the program for a more detailed description of their courses. They might even offer to let you check out a syllabus.

 

At my program, pathophysiology was integrated into our year-long general medicine class. Worked out well.

 

 

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